The last post in this series is going to be about the boiling process and a bit about finishing and filtering it. With the giveaway sign-ups and rules at the end, so hang on until we get there. ☺︎
The finishing process
We’re going to start with finishing it off at home! This is while it’s on the turkey cooker, and my mother and I were checking the BRIX reading. It needs to be up to 59 BRIX before we pull it off. We finished syrup both on our evaporator (larger batches) and some on our propane burner (Also known as a turkey cooker).
Once it reaches 59, we pull it off the heat as quickly as possible and put it back into a bucket, and get the lid on it right away. Once the season was almost finished, we loaded all of the syrup that we had boiled (We’ve done multiple rounds of boiling to finish all of the syrup.) into the car to bring it to our friends who have filtering and bottling equipment.
They taught my dad how to do it and then he filtered and bottled 9 gallons. We also had 2 more gallons that we didn’t filter. Some of it had so much sugar sand that it would clog the filter and once the batch was finished after my dad went and bottled it. Mom finished that herself and filtered it at home the best she could.
Filtering and Bottling
I don’t have many pictures from here because we did this at a friend’s house and I didn’t go because I was babysitting for my cousins, but I asked my dad to get pictures and he did. The first step of filtering and bottling is to heat the syrup up to 185 degrees. There are three reasons for this:
1. Heating thins the syrup so that it will go through the filter.
2. Heating kills all the bacteria so the bottled syrup stays fresh and delicious.
3. Heating makes the foil inside the cap seal with the bottle.
This is the filter that it goes through. It removes any impurities that develop during the boiling process. Sugar sand is the main impurity which is build-up minerals that clump together during the boiling process. There is also a small number of other things like dirt and bark that may end up in the sap.
Now that we use our reverse osmosis filtering system the amount of other impurities is very limited but we are boiling outside so there is definitely some debris that needs to be filtered.
This is the bottler! It has its own heating system and it is set to 190 degrees. The bottle lids come with a foil seal attached. The temperature causes the foil seal to be pulled down and sealed tightly to the top of the glass bottle.
Once it’s finished getting filtered, the final product. Ahh, it looks so good all finished and bottled! It’s crazy to think that just a bit ago, that was all clear and watery looking.
To end the season, we drove around on the Ranger (Well I drove and my mom and Mercy rode!) and pulled out taps. We ended up with about 11 gallons — (if we hadn’t burned our first boil we would have had a huge season but that is the cost of learning!)
We didn’t make the most maple syrup this season but we learned how to do it all on our own and that is priceless! We all really enjoyed being part of the boiling and finishing process. It is really exciting when you see the end of gallons and gallons of sap finally and almost magically become maple syrup.
And now the part you’ve all been waiting for . . .
What the winner will receive:
- A half-pint of this year’s syrup
- Homemade Maple candy.
- A custom magnet with my favorite picture from this year’s season on it!
The rules and instructions before you enter:
- The giveaway is only open to U.S. residents – I’m so sorry, guys! Shipping in the U.S. is already expensive enough as it is. ☹️
- If you’re under 18, please get a parent’s permission before entering since I’ll need your address if you win to send you your prize.
- The Giveaway starts today, the 22nd, and ends at midnight on the 27th. I will announce the winner in my next post, and I will email them. If the winner doesn’t respond by May 6th, I will have to pick a different winner. =D
- Once you enter, there are plenty of ways to earn bonus entries — There is a list on the giveaway page once you enter. ☺︎
Now, go for it! Click the button below to enter!
What was your favorite post in this series? Have you ever made maple candy?
Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day!