4H Maple Syrup Club

We hosted our third meeting at Kevin Snyder’s dad farm so we could see the evaporator work as he boiled down sap. Our roll call was to answer the question- what do we have in common with trees and I said we both grow. Some others said, we both need sunshine, water, we have limbs.

We learned about boiling down maple sap into syrup. It takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. Snyder had the fire hot and was busy boiling sap with his father help at this meeting. There was a lot of steam in the shed. The steam smells like maple syrup.

He can boil down 175 gallons in one hour. He transfer the sap from the buckets to a large wagon, to a stainless steel tank, then to the evaporator.  He boils with wood from old maple trees that where chopped down a few years ago. He has to stoke the stove every 25 minutes. He uses a small propane boiler to finish off the syrup.

While its still hot he cans the maple syrup or he puts it into plastic jugs. He cans it when its hot because it sterilizes the containers and seals them.

Snyder has to label each can or bottle with a sticker that has the grade of syrup, his name, number and farm on it. So that if anyone has a problem they can contact the producer, everyone who sells maple syrup has to do this.

Snyder set up a puzzle with five bottles of real maple syrup at various stages and a bottle of brown sugar water and one of corn syrup.

We each had to test the sweetness by using a tester to find out which bottle was which.

Maple Syrup has to be 66.5 to 67 brix sugar to be maple syrup.

Snyder set up a grade display using small little jars which showed various grades for colour of syrup.

We had maple sugar candies and maple syrup upside down cake and water for snack.

submitted by Andrew Grose