maple syrup

valmom

Crafter
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
1,515
Reaction score
16
Points
173
Location
Vermont
I've done it two years now. I just boil it down in the house- I really don't find it makes anything sticky, but it is NOT an economical way. I wanted to build a rocket stove and boil out on the stone patio, but my SO just gave me that look that says that I was pushing the whole SS thing a bit. Oh, well. I will do it that way some year :cool:. Identify your trees now! And almost all maples will give you syrup, but sugar maples just give a better % of sugar to water, so less boiling.

Where do you live? The winter has to be cold enough. Last year the sap ran very fast and short and sort of early like Free said- I almost missed it entirely!

Have fun, it is great to have your own delicious syrup instead of the crap sold as "syrup" in the stores.
 

raro

Lovin' The Homestead
Joined
Sep 17, 2010
Messages
160
Reaction score
1
Points
59
I'm in Virginia. I think it gets cold enough in January and February. I have a maple tree in my yard that I've made fun of for a long time...it's certainly wide enough (a foot or so) but it rises more like a stick than a maple tree. I joked that it doesn't produce fruit, is only so-so for shade, so what good is it? I know it's a maple, but I'll have to figure out which kind.
I have a wood stove that is constantly in use...could I use that? I was thinking of just putting a big pot on top of it and letting the fire do all the work. Does it need to be stirred constantly?
 

Mackay

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
1,332
Reaction score
0
Points
128
I read an artilce not too long ago that you can make syrup from birch trees too. Anyone ever do that? I think there is a youtube video on it.

We just planted 4 autum blaze maples. Does it have to be a sugar maple to get syrup?
 

Henrietta23

Yard Farmer
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
6,707
Reaction score
13
Points
240
Location
Eastern CT
Mackay said:
I read an artilce not too long ago that you can make syrup from birch trees too. Anyone ever do that? I think there is a youtube video on it.

We just planted 4 autum blaze maples. Does it have to be a sugar maple to get syrup?
I haven't done it but I did eat birch syrup while in Alaska. Flavor is different but good.
 

freemotion

Food Guru
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
10,817
Reaction score
89
Points
317
Location
Southwick, MA
The trunks need to be about a foot in diameter to safely tap any tree, so finding a birch that big is rare in the lower 48, as far as I know. And it takes many more gallons of birch sap to make syrup....is it 60+ maybe? Maple averages 40:1.

Certain maples make better syrup than others, have more sugar, and make better quality. I have lots of red maples and the syrup is supposed to be lower quality and gritty. So I hope to tap the few sugar and silver maples I have eventually....maybe this coming spring.
 

valmom

Crafter
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
1,515
Reaction score
16
Points
173
Location
Vermont
I crusade to get rid of red maples (swamp maples) because they are so toxic to horses. I had a pony die from eating swamp maple leaves.
 

Gomanson

Sustainable Newbie
Joined
Oct 30, 2010
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
7
Raro, an autumn blaze maple is a hybrid of red maple and sugar maple. Most syrup is made from sugar maples. Sugar maples have 3x the sugar content in their sap as silver maples or boxelder (a maple), so you need a lot less sap per amount of syrup. I'm not sure what the sugar content is on autumn blaze hybrid, but I'm sure you could search online and find out.

One poster said it already but I'll reiterate: Once you get used to real syrup, the store-bought flavored corn syrup is like eating runny wax with sweetner!

Last year (spring 2010) WAS a weird year (at least here in MN). The sap flows when nights are frozen and the days are thawed. This spring we had days with highs below freezing; then about 2 days of good sap weather; and then nights which didn't get BELOW freezing. I'm glad I took the year off.

As to starting small and cheap, I usually only make enough to get through the year, plus some extra to give to friends and family. I tap a 24" sugar maple and 2 12" sugar maples and/or a 15" boxelder. The syrup does taste a bit different from each species, but mine usually ends up getting mixed together anyway. I use 4" stubs of copper pipe for the spiles. Just watch out that you don't deform it when tapping it in (it's soft). I use plastic gallon milk jugs hanging by straps to collect the sap. With a small batch you can use a wood fire with a large pan on top for evaporating. I just make 2 rows of bricks and set the pan on top. It takes a few days. Then I finish the syrup on my propane grill side burner.

Everyone is surprised to find out there's "no sugar added" which is actually the whole point! It's a simple two-step process. 1. Get maple sap. 2. Remove water from sap.
 

valmom

Crafter
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
1,515
Reaction score
16
Points
173
Location
Vermont
This coming year, I want to figure out how to make maple sugar candy. I've never made any kind of candy at all, so getting everything just right should be tricky! I LOVE maple sugar! Even more than syrup. My main problem, thinking it through, is the foaming issue. By the time it gets to syrup temperature, it is foaming all the way to the top of a pot. I can't imagine getting it hotter than that without a disaster.
 

Latest posts

Top