From tap to table, how we make maple syrup
The process of making maple syrup is a very unique process, and by no means easy. What makes it so special?Climate and weather:
Pure Maple Syrup is made during the early spring only in the Northeastern US and Canada, where the temperate climate allows the sugar maple and red maple to grow. The weather also directly influences the amount of syrup that is produced every year. For maple syrup to be made, the weather must drop well below freezing at night and warm in to the 40's and 50's during the day. This allows maple sap to flow from the tree. Vermont is the nations largest producer of maple syrup, accounting for half of the entire US production.Getting maple sap from a maple tree:
Maple sap is 98% water and 2% sugar and other minerals and antioxidants. To collect the sap from a maple tree, a small hole is drilled in to the tree and a plastic spout is inserted in to the hole. Each tree is connected together by plastic tubing. We have 20,000 maple trees which are connected by miles and miles of tubing suspended in 3-4 feet the air. This plastic tubing funnels all of the sap to the sugarhouse where we collect about 20,000 gallons of sap PER DAY. There is a huge amount of labor involved in walking to every tree and suspending the miles of tubing, but it is great to spend the time in the outdoors. Click here for picturesTurning maple sap the maple syrup:
Sap needs to be boiled to make maple syrup. It takes 42 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup. We remove the majority of the water with a reverse osmosis machine which cuts down on our boiling time and fuel oil consumption. The remainder of the sap is boiled on an oil fired evaporator where we finish the process of converting maple sap to maple syrup. We make about 100 gallons of syrup an hour. The maple syrup is 66% sugar and minerals when it is finished. It is a completely organic sweetener that tastes wonderful. We put all of our syrup in to barrels for storage. Click here for picturesBottling maple syrup:
We bottle our syrup throughout the year to ensure that our product is as fresh as possible. When we bottle, we heat the syrup up to 180-190 degrees. Everything we use from the maple tree to bottling is food grade and stainless steel to ensure safety and quality.