Our neighbors are the sweetest! They came over this last week to show us the Maple Syrup making process and it's been such a joy to learn about and honestly much less intimidating than I imagined it to be. Fifteen gallons of sap were harvested from our trees from the first two days. I boiled up some small batches and the neighbors took some as well. The taps are still on the trees, but as a ratio perspective, I'm learning, is that with most sap which is 2% sugar, it will take forty-three gallons to make one gallon of Maple Syrup! Forty-three gallons harvested, lifted from bucket to bucket to boiling pot to be boiled down.. such a beautiful, ode to slowing down life and appreciating the most simple things. I am so intrigued.
What a burnt batch looks like! I put the girls down for bed thinking that it still needed a lot longer, and came out to Max flagging out smoke. The house smelt so good. Like, crisp waffles. Haha! I didn't want to share this, but decided to share the whole process from start to finish. I will be scrubbing this pan for days.
Fresh sap. So delicious to drink on it's own too.
Sap officially becomes Maple Syrup when it reaches 66.9% sugar. The magic moment is measured as it's being boiled on the stove and needs to reach seven degrees above the boiling point of water. When boiling sap reaches 219 degrees F, that means enough water has been removed to officially become Maple Syrup. Maple trees actively run sap the best if the tree goes through a freeze-thaw cycle so it is all based specifically on wind, sun and temperature drops. The other reason is that maple trees produce sap best when it is just before the active growing season. Once the trees leaf out and begin to actively grow they heal very quickly and the holes that were drilled dry up and heal over. It's the perfect way to close the chapter on winter and welcome an ode to a coming Spring and this is for sure the first of many more years of a tradition for us as a family! You'll see on the last image that there are many different variations that a Maple Tree can produce in terms of color. SO amazing!
Same exact process, same property, same timing and collection times, but three different trees! I am completely obsessed with the color variations and grade levels! I wrote about the entire process in detail and the full tutorial in my manuscript for my cookbook coming out next Spring, so I'm hoping you pick up a copy! Happiest syrup season to you! I am so thankful for this process and the beautiful trees that outpour nourishment to us.