From Our Trees to Your Table -
How Maple Syrup Is Made
Sugar made by the leaves during summer is stored as starch in the root tissues. As winter loosens its grip in February, we begin to tap the trees. A sugar maple that is 10 to 12 inches in diameter at chest height will be about 40 years old and gets one tap.
Spring’s warmer temperatures coax sugar maple trees to turn stored starch back into sugar. Sap is made as the tree mixes ground water with the sugar. The sap is mostly crystal clear water with about 2% sugar.
Our sap is then sent through a reverse osmosis or RO machine removing some of the water from the sap before boiling. The sap is then boiled in a stainless steel evaporator which sends clouds of sweet maple scented steam billowing from the sugarhouse cupola. This boiling is generated by a wood-fired arch.
A pattern of freezing and thawing temperatures (below freezing at night and 40-45 degrees during the day) will build up pressure within the trees causing the sap to flow from the tapholes. Sap is gathered via multiple pipelines that empty into a gathering tank which is then transported back to the sugarhouse.
As the sap boils and water is evaporated the sugar content of the sap continues to rise. The concentration and carmelizing of sugar in the sap is the transformation of a single ingredient, the sap, into pure maple syrup. Minerals in the soil and sap, boiling time, and other sap characteristics factor in to the final flavor and grade (or color) of the syrup.
As the syrup is made, we use a hydrometer which measures the density of the syrup. Once the syrup reaches a sugar content of 66-67%, the syrup is filtered and packaged into glass or plastic containers. A grade is also assigned to the syrup based on it's flavor and translucence. Once the bottles are fully labeled, they are ready for the market.