In the spring when temperatures get above freezing, the sap starts to flow from the sugar maple trees. Sap flows when the temperature is below freezing at night, then thaws during the day. In Northern Minnesota, the majority of the sap flow usually occurs during March/April. The sap is collected, then boiled down in an evaporator. When it reaches the perfect temperature , it is drawn off, filtered, and bottled.
The flavor and color of the maple syrup can significantly change throughout the season. In the beginning of the season the first sap produces syrup very light in color and flavor. During the mid-season the syrup has more flavor and is darker in color. At the end of the season syrup can become a deep brown and has a strong maple flavor, generally used in cooking.
The first step in the maple syrup process is tapping the trees. This is usually done every year when the snow is very deep. Each tree has at least tap, depending on the size of the tree it may have more. (Tapping maple trees does not cause any permanent damage to the tree, if proper care is taken) The taps are then connected to tubing system (our maple system has 8 miles of tubing), which is connected to a vacuum system. The sap then flows down to a collection tank. When the collection tank is full, the sap is then pumped up to another tank and then it goes to the reverse osmosis machine (which takes the water from the sap and concentrating the sap). It takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.
After the sap has been concentrated it is then brought into our evaporator (2’x10′ wood fired) which boils the sap to maple syrup. The temperature at which the sap becomes syrup varies depending on the barometric pressure, but it is basically 7 degrees higher than the boiling point of water. When the sap has boiled to the point of pure maple syrup, it is drawn off of the evaporator. After the syrup is drawn of it goes to a finishing pan, where the density is tested. Now the syrup is ready to be filtered using a filter press along with a filter aid called, diatomaceaous earth. The last step is to bottle the syrup in glass, or plastic containers. Generally, the syrup is stored in barrels until it is needed.
Our maple syrup is free from additives or preservatives.