Saturday, August 8, 2015

Home Made Maple Syrup

Thanks to Sharlene and Jeremy for showing us how to make Maple Syrup at home! We were also privileged to see Maple Syrup being made commercially which is in another blog post :). Here is a step by step tutorial! 

First you need to figure out which trees are suitable for tapping Maple Syrup. I didn't know that there are certain varieties of Maple trees more suited for syrup then others. Also for someone who has little tree knowledge, once the tree loses it leaves, the trees all look alike at least to me! Shar and Jeremy had their trees marked. Clever :)

You drill a hole into the tree and place a tap in it. Voila running maple sap
Well not quite, the sap only runs when it is above 0 C during the day and freezing at night.
Interesting fact that this only happens for a couple of weeks a year! Apparently this year has been an exceptional year!
Grace emptying the buckets
The sap is actually clear, I didn't know that, did you?
The buckets need to be checked regularly to make sure they don't overflow
Albert giving a helping hand :)
(those buckets were heavy!)

Shar and Jeremy kept a wood stove in their shed burning continuously to reduce the sap down to eventually becoming syrup. Not sure how long this took, a couple of days? Shar went to the shed at regular intervals to top up the sap so that it wouldn't boil dry. As the sap progressed it started to take on some of it's brown color.  

Shar did the final boiling on the stove
which took at least a couple of hours.
Do you see the colour change from the photo above
and how much it has reduced?
Last stage, filtering the syrup to make sure
none of the sugar sand gets into the syrup.
(a time consuming project, I know, I watched her :) )

Final Product!

This is us enjoying the Maple Syrup in New Zealand. I didn't pack many extra things because we were so limited on space. Most of our gifts etc went into the container. I especially did some research as to whether I was allowed to take the Maple Syrup back in NZ and it is totally legal as long as you declare it! The suitcase with the Maple Syrup in it was searched and we did declare it at the border but it came through with flying colors! Thank you so much Shar and Jeremy for sharing this with us! 

Next blog post will be the commercial Maple Syrup version :)

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