I get asked about maple syrup/sap. I figured I would answer a few questions here about the sap end of it, then do a maple syrup one tomorrow. Just to leave you in suspense!
How many gallons of sap to maple syrup? It's a 40-1 ratio.
How much maple syrup do you get a year? Well first it depends on how many taps we put out. This year we put out 50. So we should get about 12.5 gallons of maple syrup. And the other huge factor is the weather.
So what about the weather? It needs to freeze at night, below 32, and be above freezing during the day. 40 is nice.
How long does the season last? Well usually about 4 weeks or so. Some start in early- mid Feb and go until sometime in March.
How do you know when the trees are done? Well, the sap can do a few things. It can be cloudy looking. Or the sap turns a pee colored yellow. Oh gross I know! But it's true.
How do you clean the sap? Believe it or not the sap can have tree dirt in it, as well as twigs and bugs. So we run it through a filter before it goes into the saperator. Then once it is all done and ready to be put into jars we run it through a sock type of filter. That way there is little to none of the tree dirt/sediment in the bottom of the jars.
How do you know if the sap you have has spoiled? It's feels slimy, and looks kinda like soap, gets bubbly. Really. Oh and it can stink too.
What about this year? It really was a bad year all around. We had on open winter (not a lot of snow). And the temperature was just not right. It would be really cold during the night, and then the day it wouldn't warm up enough. Or it would be too warm.
How long does it take to boil it down? A long time! haha. We have a commercial saperator that will boil about 10 gallons an hour. So that is pretty sweet! Our homemade one we used the first years would do about 5. So we've doubled our production!
How long have you been doing this? About 8 years. We have really come a long way in our production and quality of maple syrup we make now. We are pleased with everything we have learned over the years and thankful.
Does the whole family pile in the car and drive up and down the road everyday it runs, lug pails to and fro, then drive back home and empty it all out into big barrels to boil down? Why yes we do. It a family affair ya know!
That is all the questions I can think of for the sap end of it. Let me know if you have any and I'll be glad to answer. I'll post one about the maple syrup part tomorrow time provided!
Have a great night all!