Once you’ve become a pro at harvesting your own maple sap, you can start cooking! You’ll need 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. One tap will produce around 20 gallons of sap. Once you’ve harvested enough sap to make the final product, get the sap ready to boil. Never boil sap inside as the sticky moisture created will stick to everything inside of your house.
Cook over a large outdoor stove, oven, fire, or barrel. Make sure that the flames of your cooking method only hit the bottom of the pan and don’t let smoke into the pan.
Homemade Maple Syrup
Boil the sap in a large, flat, high walled pan. The more surface area the pan has the better. The goal of cooking the sap is to evaporate all of the unwanted moisture out of the sap leaving you with pure syrup.
Add sap to cover the bottom two inches of the pan and start cooking!
As the sap evaporates, add more sap continuously. Ladling cold sap into the pan will stop the mixture from boiling. The best way to stop this is to prepare a “sap injector” or feeder can. Punch a small hole in the bottom of a container that is around one gallon. When you are ready to add sap, ladle the sap into this feeder can so that the sap slowly pours into the cooking pan.
As your concoction boils, a layer of foam will start to form at the surface. Skim this foam off and discard it.
The syrup is done when it has reached 7°F above the boiling point of water. The boiling point of water changes slightly due to elevation and barometric pressure that day. An easy way to test what temperature you want your syrup before it is done is it test the temperature that water boils in your location. Just boil some water next to the syrup and use a candy thermometer to see what temperature it is when it does boil.
As soon as the syrup reaches 7° above this temperature, remove it from the heat.
Poor the syrup through a paper lined felt filter to remove any sugar clumps that may have formed.
You now have maple syrup! Can or jar the finished product, enjoy it and don’t forget to share!
Photo: QUOI Media Group
Jake Frazier is an outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Residential Ecology, a sustainable ecological resource management company. He uses existing natural systems to improve the quality of life for both humans and the Earth. Jake is interested in permaculture, living systems and exploring. Connect with him on LinkedIn.