First of all, make sure that you’re tapping a sugar maple, as other maples produce sap that can be used but it doesn’t work as well. Then, once you’ve collected it, you boil it (outside for preference). Check the temperature when it first boils and then check again occasionally until it is 7 degrees Farenheit hotter than it was when it boiled. It should be around 219 degrees. Strain the syrup, then store it. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but you can if you want to.
This University of Maine tutorial provides great step-by-step instructions on turning maple sap to syrup. Assuming you have a big bucket of sap already collected, you need an outdoor gas range or outdoor fireplace to boil the sap (don’t do it inside!). You then fill the pan with the sap, but not so much that it will boil over. When boiling, you need to check the temperature of the sap when it first hits a boil. Remember that temp. Use a candy thermometer to judge when the sap hits 7.1 degrees F above that first boiling temperature. This is when the syrup reaches the right sugar content. Next, you should filter the syrup through a wool or Orlon material to get rid of hard particles left in (See the pdf for an alternate option to filtering). Then, you should be ready to can the syrup, which should be done while it’s hot!
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