Monday, March 12, 2012

Making Maple Syrup

My father and grandfather made maple syrup when I was a kid.  I have very fond memories of chugging through knee deep mud or snow collecting the sap.  Then cooking it down in the big pan in the woods over an open fire. If we were lucky, we could roast hot dogs and marshmallows while waiting for the sweet brown liquid to finish.

Since then, Grandpa's farm was sold, along with all the tapping equipment and memories.  He and my mom passed away and my dad moved to a different property.

Now, after years of hearing stories and reading books, our kids wanted to try making syrup.  The Farmer was game, so here's our story...

Preparation - building the fire pit, drilling holes, pounding in taps, and hanging buckets....

The sap starts running and eventually fills the pails....

Gather the sap and dump it into the pan.  Gather wood and start the fire to cook...

It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.  Unfortunately, it started to rain before the sap was cooked down.  So the Farmer brought the unfinished sap to the house to finish on the stove.  We had 3 large kettles to finish.  It took all night and day.

We use a special thermometer to test when the syrup is ready.

When it's ready, you must strain the syrup to clean debris and sediment. 

Once it's strained, we bottle it in quart jars and warm in the oven on a low heat to seal.  

We enjoyed some for supper on our french toast....YUMMY! There's nothing like fresh maple syrup :)

1 comment:

  1. That is so cool! Thank you for sharing the process. It's fun to see it on a smaller scale. It inspires me to maybe try it someday. Yummy;)