I thought that the sap had just about finished running back in March when we made syrup last time much to our delight however, a quick freeze and a week of warm days produced a 2.5 gallon encore of maple tree sap!
If you squint just right at this first picture you can see that the bucket is almost exactly 1/2 full. That means we’re starting with 2.5 gallons of sap (this is a 5 gallon bucket).
I think this batch’s sap must’ve had a much higher sugar content. For one thing the sap actually browned as it turned into syrup. It also made a lot more of it! I used a candy thermometer again and took it off the stove when it reached 220 degrees Fahrenheit. It had the desired maple flavor this time instead of the good-and-sweet-but-not-quite-mapley flavor of last time. As I took it off the stove it seemed too thin, but as it cooled it did thicken up.
As the sap was boiling I knew I needed to filter it to remove the particulate that is making it cloudy. The only thing I had on hand was some cheesecloth, so I used some cheesecloth folded over to about 8 layer thick to filter it as I poured it into this syrup jar. It did remove some particulate, but not enough. As you can see, the syrup is still cloudy. After a few days the particulate settled out, but obviously I’ll need to find an appropriate filter for next year.
We cooked this down on April 2. That afternoon we had some friends over and Caroline made scones for us all to enjoy!
That’s it for Maple production in Fridley this year. Join us again next year when we do it again! Except we’ll do it right next time! And make even more syrup!