How we make Pure Maine Maple Syrup
We work tirelessly every year in all seasons on different projects that allow us the joy in the spring of making the pure Maine Maple Syrup that everyone loves. In the spring and summer every year we work in the woods cutting trees thinning our wood lots.
We then cut, split, and stack the firewood from our sugar woods to burn in the evaporator. Using trees that are not maple and or thinning our sugar woods promotes healthy woods and promotes growth of our best maple trees. We then work in the fall hiking into the woods walking lines, to replace old tubing, removing down trees on the tubing, checking lines for damage from squirrels, and getting lines ready for the spring when we tap the trees.
Winter time is usually a continuation of fall work on tubing lines, setting vacuum pumps and releasers. Starting mid to late January we begin to tap trees. We drill a 5/16 hole 1 1/2 inches into maple trees then place a new spout that is connected to the tubing lines. Trees with a minimum diameter of 8 inches are tapped once, trees 24 inches in diameter are tapped twice, and trees over 36 inches in diameter are tapped three times. Sap is then collected using tubing lines that connect to main lines and run to collecting tanks. We use vacuum on all of our tubing lines to increase sap production with out harming the trees.
Raw sap generally has a sugar content from 1-2% that is then pumped from three different collection tanks and hauled to the sugar house. The raw sap is is then run through a reverse osmosis system to remove a majority of the water in the sap, concentrating the sugar content. The 5-10% concentrated sap is then boiled in the evaporator producing maple syrup. The boiling process it what produces the caramel color that is associated with maple syrup. The color and flavor differences in syrup are due to sap quality and time of the year as the trees produce different sap as the season progresses.
The syrup is then run under pressure through a filter press that removes the impurities creating a clear finished syrup. The finished syrup is then bottled in glass or plastic containers hot to give a long shelf life and the best Pure Maine Maple syrup money can buy.