We’ve tapped our two maple trees – but I think we started too late. Nevertheless, we got four gallons of sap. It looks like pure water and taste like… water. I expected at least a hint of sweetness or a tint of color.
We set up the outdoor burner, connected the propane tank and got out the turkey roasting pan. I poured two gallons in and started boiling, adding more sap as evaporation would allow. Six hours later, after sitting outside in the cold on the patio, I had two quart jars of lemonade looking liquid.
The next night I emptied those two quarts into a pot on the stove in the kitchen. I figured by then most of the evaporation had already happened, and cooking it down further wouldn’t make my kitchen “that” sticky. I boiled and simmered and boiled and simmered and kept measuring the temperature. As more evaporated, I moved it to a smaller pan, and then to an even smaller pan. And I kept boiling and simmering and taking it’s temperature. Finally, after about three more hours of undivided attention – lest I burn the whole batch, I had SYRUP! Yes, I tested it with the hygrometer and did some fancy math calculations that involve a chart and testing the temperature vs. the Baume scale and the Brix scale – but it was officially at the syrup stage!
I very carefully poured it into ONE of the 8 oz syrup jars (I bought a case of twelve, just to be optimistic) — and it filled it about two-thirds of the way. Yes, four gallons of sap gave us about two-thirds of a cup of syrup. But it’s really AWESOME syrup. It’s thick and rich and tastes like maple syrup! And the kitchen smells like a Waffle House. I can’t wait to make some waffles to go with it!