Making Maple Syrup - Maple Syrup Production

Only mature maple trees are tapped, meaning the tree must be 30 to 40 years of age and at least 12 inches in diameter. Once at a mature age, the trees may yield sap for 100 years or more.

A healthy tree can accept multiple taps without permanent damage being done to the tree. Each year new taps are put in new locations on the trees. Keeping the tree healthy is very important so that it will produce maple sap for many years to come.

Plastic spouts/metal spouts if you are using buckets, like the above picture, are put into the previously drilled holes at a slightly upward angle to allow the sap to flow out of the tree and into the pipeline tubing/bucket. The tubing is either pumped or gravity fed to holding tanks or tanker trucks. Here Wayne is gathering a bucket and will dump the sap into the wagon behind him.

From the holding tank and the tanker trucks the sap is pumped to the sugarhouse into separate holding tanks. The sap remains there until it runs into a filter and the reverse osmosis machine. Sap usually begins to spoil or ferment within 24 hours so the sooner it can be processed the better the quality of the maple syrup.

Here you see the vacuum system at the sugarhouse where the sap has passed through to the storage tanks. Maple sap is reminiscent of water with the exception of its slightly sweet taste. It takes 55 gallons of maple sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup.

"The Twins" 2 - 8 Membrane Lapierre Reverse Osmosis Machines

The reverse osmosis machine separates water from water-soluble solids and can reduce the boiling process in half. From the reverse osmosis machines the sap concentrate goes into the boiler. At this point it only takes approximately eleven gallons of the sap concentrate to create a gallon of maple syrup. Between the reverse osmosis process and the boiling, the sap goes from 2% or 3% sugar to 66% sugar in the final syrup.

6' x 16' oil fueled Leader Evaporator
with steam away and steam hood

Maple Pro 20” Filter Press

Once the sap has been boiled down it is sent through a pressure filter to remove the solidified minerals, called sugar sand. The syrup is then packed into 55-gallon drums for storage. When packed into retail containers the syrup is reheated to 190F.

Vermont Maple Syrup Grades
Grade A
Grade A Medium
Grade A
Grade B

Grade A Light Amber/ Fancy Syrup is usually made from the first sap run of the season. The maple flavor is a mild and delicate bouquet. Excellent syrup to be appreciated on foods such as ice cream which allows its flavor to be enjoyed.

Grade A Medium Amber is slightly darker than Fancy and the maple flavor is more evident. This is the most popular grade of syrup for the table and all around use.

Grade A Dark Amber has a much more robust maple flavor. This hearty flavored syrup is very popular for table use and is often used in cooking.

Grade B syrup is the strongest and darkest with a very hearty maple flavor. It is used mainly for cooking and is sold for commercial use in other products.

Please contact us if you are looking for organic grade b maple syrup.

More information of Maple Syrup Grades:
Grading standards are the same for most of the United States. Maple syrup is divided into two major grades, Grade A and Grade B. Grade A is further broken down into three subgrades: Grade A Light Amber (sometimes known as "Fancy"), Grade A Medium Amber, and Grade A Dark Amber. Grade B is darker than Grade A Dark Amber.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets uses a similar grading system of color and taste. The grade "Vermont Fancy" is similar in color and taste to U.S Grade A Light (Fancy). The Vermont grading system differs from the U.S. in maintaining a very slightly higher standard of product density. Vermont maple is boiled just a bit longer for a slightly thicker product.
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