Making maple syrup

March 2020

Below is a photographic description of the slow process that is making 12 trees' sap pancake-friendly .

1- Tap the trees

I had 12 maple trees. It's important to not tap two years in a row for recuperation purposes.

2- Collect the sap

Depending on the tree, a bucket can fill up in less than a day! Trees drip fastest at the beginning of spring.

3- Build the sugar shack

Complete with filtering station, gas-powered hot plate and the biggest cauldron available. I had to build it far from any house, since the sweet vapour can stick easily.

4- Filter

A paper or coffee filter does the trick. Watch out for bugs!

5-Bring to boil

It took about an hour to being boiling a litre of sap.

6-Simmer for about a day

And now the long part begins: evaporating 40 parts of water for 1 part of syrup.

7-Finish evaporating

To get exactly 104° C, I used a candy thermometer. It's also important to check viscosity with a spoon (not super quantitative but a satisfactory approximation for a physicist).

6-Store well and enjoy

To delay rotting, I used sealed mason jars. Best enjoyed with pancakes!