How to Make Maple Syrup


By now, can’t you just taste that first pancake breakfast? Before you sit down to those flapjacks, though, you have to get this sap made into syrup. This article will walk you through every step of boiling and bottling. It’s not complicated but it is time-consuming and requires your full attention during certain points. Please remember, you will be handling hot, boiling, sugary liquid – be careful as you handle it and protect your arms and legs from splatters.

Throughout this process, you’ll be relying on your thermometer to tell you when to move onto the next stage. If your readings are even a couple degrees off, you’ll make sugar instead of syrup! Make sure your thermometer is working perfectly by calibrating it before each day’s boil. You can find quick calibration instructions online.

How Sap Turns into Syrup

Pure maple syrup is made by evaporating the water from the sap and caramelizing the sugars through a long and steady boil. The goal of this entire cooking process is to heat the sap to 219 degrees Fahrenheit (or 7 degrees above water’s boiling point). It can take many hours to get to this point but be warned that the last few degrees go quickly and can mean the difference between syrup and candy! The process is broken down into three stages:

First Stage: The Beginning Boil

Once you have a good bed of coals ready with extra fuel nearby (or your cook stove ready to go), pour your filtered sap into the pan and start cooking. Keep back one cup of sap (more on using this later). Leave 3 inches to 6 inches of headspace in the pan as sap can often foam up and boil over. Cook over high heat until you get a gentle rolling boil and then reduce heat enough to keep this boil going.

If you were unable to fit all your sap into one pan, you’ll need to preheat the extra sap in smaller pans. As the sap in the largest pan reduces, continue adding your additional pre-warmed sap until all the sap is boiling in one big batch. Do not add cold sap to this evaporator pan as that will “kill” the boil. Make sure to leave headspace for boil-overs.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters