How to Make Maple Syrup
Making maple syrup is an enjoyable and rewarding experience that is becoming increasingly popular each year. Not only is this iconic treat a fun hobby, could you even imagine a pancake breakfast without it? While most of us simply purchase our syrup in a store, making it yourself is simpler than you may think.
Ingredients for Making Maple Syrup
- 4 gallons of sap from maple trees. Maple Sap is typically collected in the late winter or early spring months.
- 2 cups of boiling water
- 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
- Container for collecting sap, such as a bucket or other collecting vessel.
- Large pot for boiling the sap, preferably stainless steel, as aluminum tends to absorb flavors and odors.
- Thermometer to monitor the boiling temperature. This is the essential piece of equipment that makes the syrup safe for consumption.
- Strainer for removing debris from the sap.
- Cheesecloth for filtering out any remaining small debris.
- Bottling container for storing and preserving the syrup.
Collect the sap. Cut into trees with a hand drill and maple taps, or use tubing systems to draw the sap from the trees. Place the sap into containers such as buckets or holding drums.
Strain the sap. Use a strainer to remove any visible debris, and then strain it again through a cheesecloth to remove smaller particles. At this point, you should discard any sap that contains debris, insects, or other impurities.
Boil the sap. Have a thermometer ready to measure the temperature of the syrup as it cooks. Boil the sap on low to medium heat, gradually raising the temperature until the sap thickens. Boil until the thick sap reaches 7 degrees Fahrenheit above the boiling point of water.
Add flavorings. Adding flavorings is completely optional, but can add an extra layer of complexity to the syrup. If adding flavoring, add 2 cups of boiling water and 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup to the sap.
Bottle the syrup. Heat up sterilized bottles and pour the syrup into them. Be sure to leave a little bit of head space at the top of the bottles to reduce the risk of the syrup overflowing when heated.
Store and enjoy. Seal the bottles tightly and store the syrup in a cool, dark place. If stored properly, the syrup will last for several months.
Making maple syrup is a fun and rewarding experience. Follow these simple instructions, and you’ll have a delicious maple syrup your family and friends will love!