Our final video in our Beginner Maple Syrup Maker Series is now available. In this video, you will learn about the different methods and containers you can use to cook your syrup. It is important that you select an outdoor space to cook your sap. You will need to boil off about 95% of the water to make syrup. That is a lot of steam in your kitchen. You should avoid boiling vessels that are not food grade such as galvanized containers.
As the water boils from your sap, you can continue to add sap in small amounts to your cooking container until you have used all of your sap or the container is mostly full of almost finished syrup. Once your syrup starts to thicken you should start checking its doneness with a hydrometer. Safe self-stable maple syrup has a hot syrup reading between 66 and 67% on your hydrometer. To prevent over cooking your syrup, you move your almost-finished syrup (64-65%) to a stovetop for a more controlled finishing.
Filtering your finished syrup will eliminate sediment called sugar sand for your bottled syrup. Sugar sand is safe but may create a visually unappealing final product. It is import to only filter and bottle hot syrup (190-195o) to insure ease and safety during the process.
When you are ready to bottle it is important to only use food-grade containers with sealable lids for safe storage of your syrup. If you bottle your syrup at the 66-67% point, it is safe to store at room temperature in a well-sealed bottle or jar. Labeling you jars is a fun way to display your product for yourself and as gifts for friends and family. If you plan to sell some of your syrup remember to check with you state food safety agency for rules on labeling.
If you missed the other videos in this series, Maple Identification Guide for Maple Syrup Makers, A Guide to Taps and Containers used in Maple Syrup Making and Tapping Maple Trees for Maple Syrup Making, be sure to visit our Maple Syrup Video Library.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Extension Iron County Agriculture Educator, Darrin Kimbler at 715-561-2695 or firstname.lastname@example.org.