as asked by a few readers to share the entire process of collecting sap and making syrup here goes…I first posted back in March when we tapped our Maple trees. There are a couple ways to boil down sap which we’ve experimented with in previous years, gas and/or wood. The method we currently use seems to be the most cost effective and least labor intensive. To boil down exclusively by gas is very expensive and cooking over an open fire is a lot of work! This year we only tapped 3 trees. 2 taps in the two big trees and 1 in the small one so we had 5 buckets to empty every day.
In the old summer kitchen in our farmhouse we have an ancient Ashley wood stove. We simply remove the cover and boil down the sap in a shallow pan directly atop the wood stove. We add to the sap as it boils down throughout the day and towards night we stop adding to it. most every evening we would boil down the remains of the pan inside on our gas range. It was just easier to tend without fear of turning it into sugar. instead I boiled it over a few times and made a HORRENDOUS mess :/
after boiling for a few hours I tested the syrup by placing a spoonful in a cool dish to check for consistency and color. if it is to my liking I would pour into hot canning jars while filtering with cheesecloth. Cap it and turn the jars upside down for the caps to seal.
Over 5 gallons of it. Do the math and that is approximately 200 gallons of sap.
It is currently going for $50/gallon in this area.
We’ve enjoyed it on homemade waffles, maple syrup shakes, over ice cream, blueberry-maple muffins and this week I hope to to make some granola with it.