Maple Syrup has to be one of the most rewarding products me have made on our homestead. We are fortunate to have access to quite a number of maple trees and yet only this year did we decide to ‘tap’ into the wonderful world of making maple syrup.
This website was the best for following the process from start to finish. I give it a five star rating! Check it out for EVERYTHING you need to know to make your own maple syrup.
What you need to make maple syrup
- Maple trees – preferably sugar maples
- Sap taps
- Buckets (we got all ours free by asking for discards from the bakery section of the local supermarket)
We are doubly fortunate that family have been doing this process for years and we inherited some of the equipment (taps) – but the rest we gathered ourselves.
After we ID the trees, we installed the taps following this guide. We tapped just three trees to learn the process.
We put our taps in when the weather still had very cold days and nights (around March 15) and when the forecast had the days warming and yet still cool nights to try and capture the sap flow. As it turned out, the following week of “ideal weather” was NOT ideal for sap flow. So we waited and checked our buckets on a daily basis. If nothing else, collecting maple syrup is very much a waiting game.
Then the sap started to flow! Within a day we had collected 30 pints of clear sap. We started to process this by filtering it through coffee filters in a sieve, then boiling on the kitchen stove. The smell in the house was beautiful – and finally after a very dry winter, the house felt like it had some moisture!
Those 30 pints boiled down to just one pint of light amber maple syrup. We kept a very close watch on the final process using a candy thermometer as well as doing a viscosity test using a metal spoon (it needed to flow like syrup). Of course we did a few taste tests!
The final step was to pour the final product into a pre-sterilized bottle.
Here is the final product:
This was a wonderful process – and the final product is beyond-belief good! A real gem for us to be able to make on our homestead.
If you live in an area with maple trees, I would encourage you to give it a try. The reward is in the eating.