Our Process – From Sap to Syrup
First tapping the tree:
We take a drill with a 7/16″ or a 5/16″ bit (for buckets). We then drill the tree in a healthy spot of the tree away from previous drill holes. You have to make sure it is at least 6″ away from a pre-exsiting tap hole that was tapped before. You drill it at a 30 degree angle (going down). You then have to clean the tap hole out. Then you hammer the tap in straight, you don’t want to have it at a weird angle or you will have leaks which will result in lose of sap. You then hang the bucket and put the lid on. Then just collect it!!
Collecting the sap:
You have to have a good tank that is food grade tank that hasn’t been washed before with soap or had any contaminants in it previously . You also have to have food grade buckets that are clean and they have to be aluminum or plastic buckets. The buckets just can not a lead level though even very small amounts has been ruled to be stopped. You then collect it to get ready to be boiled to be turned into maple syrup!
Boiling sap (What we do):
You then take the sap and put it into the sap tank by the sugarhouse. Then it runs through the R.O (Reverse Osmosis) which removes about two thirds of the water from the sap to make it sweet and it saves time boiling. Some sugarhouses have R.O’s which just save time it is not a necessitate to have. People may say that R.O’s have a effect on the taste of the syrup but it really does not. After running through the R.O it then goes into a tank to wait until it is time to boil. The sap is then in a tank where it waits to be boiled. Then it is boiled. Then one of the most crucial parts drawing the syrup out of the boiler. This is important because this controls the taste if drawn off to soon it will be to light of a taste, if drawn off to late it will be to heavy. Some sugarhouses have an automatic draw-off this is helpful because it can save somebody from having to constantly check in on it and test it.
After the sap is boiled and then turned into syrup the syrup then goes into holding pots or it can go directly into the tank that then goes into the filter press which cleanses the syrup even more and it is the final step. The syrup will run through the filter press into a drum where the syrup is temporarily stored.
What Happens to the Syrup:
The syrup which is now in a drum can either be sold by selling wholesale to someone else that buys bulk amounts of syrup or it can be canned into containers. If the syrup is sold in bulk it will be sold for a slightly less price. The syrup can also be wholesaled in containers too, that is what you might see in stores! If the syrup is going to be sold in containers it is reheated and put in the canner. It then goes into the jugs which go to be sold to you the consumer!!