How We Make The Syrup
Vermont maple syrup is 67% sugar. But, the sap from the trees only contains about 2% sugar. So, to make 1 gallon of maple syrup, it takes about 40 gallons of sap. To concentrate the sap to that level water is removed at two stages. First, we run the sap through a reverse osmosis machine that retains sugar molecules but allows water molecules to pass through. The excess water is stored in a separate tank for post-production cleaning needs. With this first reduction step the sap is now between 12% and 15% sugar and ready to be boiled to the required maple syrup concentration of 67%.
Making maple syrup is the simple process of removing most of the water from the natural maple sap to concentrate the remaining sugar into syrup. However, boiling 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup can take hours and days to complete if it is done on the kitchen stove (not to mention the sticky steam that accumulates on everything in the kitchen). To avoid these pitfalls, many labor and energy efficiencies are built into the processing to consistently produce the highest quality maple syrup.
Making syrup begins by collecting the springtime flow of sap, which is rich with sugar, from a very small hole, in depth and diameter, drilled into the outer surface of the tree. A small spout connected to a pipeline system is inserted into the hole. Sap then flows through the pipeline system to a large collection tank. From there the sap is sent to the sugarhouse to be boiled down to make syrup
Buck Family Maple uses wood to fire the evaporator that generates the necessary heat to efficiently boil the concentrated sap. We choose wood because we can selectively and sustainably harvest it from the trees on our land. Thereby ensuring the soil, water, and wildlife values of the forest are sustained. By first concentrating the sap we significantly reduce the amount of wood and time necessary to convert sap to syrup. As the concentrated sap is evaporated into syrup by the boiling process, it is ‘drawn off’ and then filtered to be free of the accumulating natural solids (niter) that are byproducts of the boiling process. Maple syrup boils at 219 degrees Fahrenheit (water boils at 212 degrees). While still very hot, it is packaged into bulk stainless steel barrels and individual retail containers to ensure it retains its highest flavor quality.