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making maple syrup

Old 04-09-2007, 08:23 PM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default making maple syrup

I know the season for making maple syrup is over. I am thinking maybe next year of trying it. My grandpa used to make it but he is nolonger around to teach me. Does anyone else make maple syrup? All I know is they did it the old fashsion way. Had a pan of it over a fire. If anyone give me some tips or any ideas let me know.
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:50 PM
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Default RE: making maple syrup

I'm not to sure about maple syrup but I have made some birch syrup and spring is auctually the best time as the resins are going up the tree. I'd drill about a 1 inch hole on a south faceing birch with a tap draining in a 5 gallon bucket and then plug the tree back up as not to kill it and then boil the impuriaties out of it and depending on how thick you wanted it depended on how long you cooked it. Its nice to say you've done it and can do it if need be but its really a pain in the ass and its a lot easier just going down to the grocercy and buying it over the counter.

Bobby
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:45 AM
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Typical Buck
 
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Default RE: making maple syrup

I have a 20 gallon stainless steel container that I evaporate sap over an open fire with. Boiling point of syrup is 219*F and the specific gravity is between 1.3-1.4 (can't remember the exact #). Basically how I do it is boil the sap down, stirring,skimming and adding more sap constantly.Once it is reduced down, just prior to boiling at 219, I bring it in the house and finish it up on the stove. Some people finish it over the fire, but it is tricky...the syrup can get scorched or just keep reducingdown to a sugar block. Once in the house and it reaches 219, I strain it through cheesecloth and bottle it. You have to bottle it hot or it can spoil...I think the magic temp for sealing is 180*F. I didn't make any syrup this year, crappy sugaring season. I usually make 2-3 gallons a year for friends and family.
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:01 AM
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Default RE: making maple syrup

Doesn't it take 100 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syurp? If it is like cane syrup it is a pain in the butt to make.
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:19 AM
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Default RE: making maple syrup

ORIGINAL: timbercruiser

Doesn't it take 100 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syurp? If it is like cane syrup it is a pain in the butt to make.
Depending on the sugar content of the sap, it's between 41-43 gallons of sap per gallon of syrup. It is a pain in the rump, but it's a good rainy day project as it takes me all day for 3 gallons of syrup.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:58 AM
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Default RE: making maple syrup

My ex wife and a friend of hers have made syrup every spring for years...Most years they make 25-30 gallons of syrup...This spring the last I heard they only had made 6 gallons...real crappy season...

For years they used an open 40 gallon stainless steel pan over a barrel type woodstove...A few years ago they upgraded to a commercially madeevaporator, which speeds up the process considerably...

As kenman said, the amount of sap used for a gallon of syrup varies, from 40-45 gal. sap to each gallon of syrup depending on the sugar content of the sap... EARLY season sap has the highest sugar content..The sap becomes less sweet as the season progresses...
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:18 PM
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Default RE: making maple syrup

I know cant make any money from it. I am sure its a pain in the butt to make it. Gives me something to do. Where I live I have heard season starts around sometime in february but by the middle of march its over. the only reason i want to do it is because there isnt much to do any way during this time of year. if anyone else has any tips and ideas for me let me know. start planning now hopefully by next winter i should be in full swing. when my family used to make it they built a brick fire place shaped like a U. they feed it on the one end with fire. then sat the tub of syrup on top of the bricks. then had a chimmy on the back end.
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Old 04-18-2007, 12:36 AM
  #8  
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Default RE: making maple syrup

My families been making maple syrup long before I was ever born. I've done it since I was a kid. We don't have modern fancy evaporators or tubing method on tree's. We still hang buckets, and boil it pan to pan over a old fashioned fire box. We produce anywheres from 30 to 100qts of syrup a season depending on how it goes. This yr. actually hasn't been as bad as we thought would be. The delayed spring has helped it here. We have 103 buckets out. I don't find it to be a pain in the butt, becasue I actually enjoy it. What else is there to do outdoors this time yr.! Plus the smell of sap boiling in the sugar house is awesome. Its like walking into a chocolate factory but its maple smell instead!
The best thing I can tell you is buy/ make the best boiling system you can. The brick base w/ chimney sounds good actually. Kinda like a permanent outdoor fireplace. I'd suggest you use at least 2 stainless steel pans.1 deeper than the other. First use the smaller pan to heat the sap, and begin boiling it down. Use a deeper pan to boil it to syrup. As it boils down, and you need to add more sap, take it from the smaller pan, that way it has a head start. It won't take as long. Add fresh sap to the small pan to keep it up as well. A syrup thermometer is pretty much a must to know when your at syrup. There's little tricks otherwise to tell when your getting close. Like scooping somesap out, and watching it drip off the end. When it starts toform a ripple across the bottom of the scoop. Its getting close. From there you'll have to constantly check the temp like every couple mins. It'll reach syrup quickly on you. Its like it takes hrs to do, and then suddenly its there. Our setup takes 4-6 hrs to make syrup. All depends on how well the fire is going.Something you must attend tooconstantly, a good constant hot fire helps. You'll use alot of wood too!Once syrup you have to run it through a filter system. Syrup has alot of what we call sand in it. If you don't filter it, it's like drinking a cup of coffee with grounds in it! Filters can also be purchased from syrup supply co's. We filter it into asmall holding tank, thenimmediately put it into canning jars or plastic syrup containers, and seal them tight. Long as it doesn't freeze it'll remain good for many yrs.
I'm not sure what gathering method your thinking of using. Either taps & buckets or tubing style into a container. But I'd plan on using at least 4-5 good sized maple tree's. We don't tap any closer than 24" between taps around the tree. Some like to put more in, but we feel it can harm the tree.
Good luck, theres nothing like fresh maple syrup over pancakes!!
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