Harvesting Maple Sap to make syrup is a time consuming process. A Maple forest where sap is collected is better known as a “SugarBush.” Currently we have 5 SugarBushes where we collect sap. Maples produce sap from primarily from mid-February to mid- to late March. Each tap may produce up to 2+ quarts each day. It takes approximately 42 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of Maple syrup. Sugar Content is 1.5 to 2% and may be as high as 3%.
Sugarbush ready to produce sap
One Sugarbush that is at about 1/3 capacity has 55000 feet of pipeline moving sap thru 2 Mainlines (1.25”), 15 other Sub main lines of 300 Feet each, and 55000 feet of 5/16”Maple line from 4000 taps. Our plan is to increase capacity over the next 2 years to 100% possibly up to 12000 taps. In total there be 8000 taps this year and over 16000 taps when done.
A maple tree tapped
The sap is collected into tanks in the forest and transported to the Sugarhouse where it is filtered once going in holding tanks. Maple sap must be processed in a timely manner for freshness. Next, it gets filtered 4 more times before it goes to the Reverse Osmosis machine where Sugar molecules (Concentrate) are separated from water molecules (Permeate). This creates a concentrate of up to 22% sugar while the Permeate goes into a holding tank for later use cleaning the Reverse Osmosis machine.
Holding tank, filter and pump
Reverse Osmosis machine (1800 gallons per hour capacity)
The Concentrate is piped from its holding tank to the evaporator where it is boiled to 219 degrees to evaporate any additional water out. It boils the concentrate to 32 brix or 68-72% maple syrup.Once it is boiled, it goes thru a filter press where it is filtered 16 times and finally bottled for sale.
Evaporator in use(Notice the water vapor)
Old Style 1 Quart
1 Quart, New Style
Old Style ½ Gallon
New style ½ Gallon
Old Style 1 Gallon
New Style 1 Gallon
Maple syrup is graded primarily into 4 grades
- Grade A, Golden Color, Delicate taste
- Grade A, Amber Color, Rich taste
- Grade A, Dark color, Robust taste
- Grade A, Very Dark Color,Strong Taste