Maple Syrup Season Approaching
Posted: February 3, 2011
Pennsylvania is a leader in the production of maple syrup. Maple producers will soon be "tapping" their sugar maple trees to capture the sap and then boiling the sap into sweet maple syrup.
Sugar maple trees are generally tapped as early as mid-February if the weather is right. The sap will "run" when night temperatures are just below freezing and day temperatures rise to about 40 degrees. The sap runs through a tubing system to the "sugar house" (the building where the sap is processed). Processing is simply boiling the sap (at 2% sugar content) until the liquid is a golden amber color and at 67% sugar content. This is done in an evaporator where the sap moves through seperate baffles as it becomes denser until it is at the correct sugar content. It is then "drawn off" (drained from the syrup pan) into another container.
When it is syrup, it is bottled at about 180 degrees. This makes sure the syrup is bottled sterile. As it cools it vaccum seals the container. It is then ready to be sold as pure Pennsylvania Maple Syrup, "a taste of nature".