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how to make maple syrup: step by step

A few weeks ago I told about how we tapped our maple trees. We ended up tapping twelve trees and out of those twelve, nine produced sap. We're new at all of this, and not completely sure why some trees produced more and others less, but we were thrilled by the amount of sap we were able to collect. Being novices, our expectations were low.

In all we gathered about twenty gallons of sap. Rory built an evaporator with cement block and a metal grate. We ordered buffet table serving dishes to boil the sap in. They worked well. I think Rory would say they were hard to carry when full of sap and sort of difficult to maneuver while on the fire, but for the price, they did the job very well.

Rory kept the fire hot, and I kept him company. We decided to wake up early Sunday morning and evaporate before the kids woke up. We sat by the fire as the sky brightened while sitting in our camping chairs. Felt a lot like camping, actually. 

Rory let the pans boil down for a long time and then consolidated them into two pans on the fire. When he had only two gallons of sap left in the buffet pans, he poured it into our canning pot and brought the sap into the kitchen to boil on the stove.

We purchased a Hydrometer, some cool tool that told us when the sap had boiled to the correct syrup consistency. Rory would fill the metal vile with syrup and then place the thermometer into the vile. When the syrup was not ready the thermometer would sink to the bottom. But when it was getting close, the thermometer bobbed in the vile.

Thirty-two on the scale (the red line) is the magic number. That's a pretty awesome picture, right?!!

Using cheese cloth, Rory filtered the syrup into mason jars. And then I staged the jars for a photo shoot in front of my pretty dishes.

The night our first batch of syrup was completed Rory and I stayed up way too late and ate eggos at the kitchen table. I think it will forever be a favorite memory of mine, and probably the most appreciated and classy eggo I've ever enjoyed.


margaret harrington said...

You two are amazing! Can't wait to taste it!

[not the] Best Blog Ever said...

Well was it soooo good??? You left out that important detail! :)

Nancy Holte said...

Wow! Impressive! Now I know why it's so expensive. :)

elsak said...

Sooo cool! Thanks for sharing your adventures. I know my dad enjoys your blog too, though he may not comment. :)

Becca Groves said...

Beth! It was soooooo good. Yes, quite the detail to leave out.

I think it tastes different than the pure maple syrup I've had in the past. I think it's more buttery. Not sure what that would be, or why but I love it.

And hello to Uncle Paul! Elsa, I love that he's a reader! And you too. :)