How maple syrup is made

In springtime, when the nights are still cold, water from the soil is absorbed into the maple tree. During the day, the warmer temperature creates pressure that pushes the water back down to the bottom of the tree, making it easy to collect the precious maple sap.

The sap is gathered over 12 to 20 days, usually between early March and late April, according to the region.

Maple tree tapping

Each maple tree is ‘tapped’ – a hole is drilled into the tree to a depth of around three inches, into which a metal spile is tapped. A lidded metal container is then hung from the spile to collect the sap.

Many of today’s sugar houses employ a network of tubing to connect the trees to a vacuum pump inside the building. This exerts pressure on the sap and encourages it to flow.

How many times you can tap a single tree is calculated based on the tree’s diameter, health and growth rate. Any maple tree measuring about 8 inches in diameter or more can be tapped.

Maple sap evaporation

After harvesting in the maple woods, the sap is transported to a sugar house, where it boils down to become pure maple syrup. During cooking, storage tank pipes feed sap to a long and narrow ridged pan called an evaporator. As it boils, water evaporates and becomes denser and sweeter. Sap boils until it reaches the density of maple syrup.

About 40 litres (10.5 gallons) of sap boil down to one litre (about 0.25 gallons or one quart) of pure maple syrup.

After evaporation, the finished Quebec syrup is taken to be inspected and graded before it is bottled or canned, and shipped.

Latest Recipes
11 Feb 2019 Maple Pumpkin Pie

Sweet and decadent with a subtle hint of spice, this classic pumpkin pie is perfect hot or cold.

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A Canadian take on a timeless classic, the Maple sugar in this carrot cake adds the perfect touch to dessert.

11 Feb 2019 Maple Strawberry Chips

This fruity, sweet treat is super easy to make and the end product can be enjoyed by all.

11 Feb 2019 Maple Syrup and Popcorn Nut Brittle

A perfect quick snack, this sweet treat is brilliant for kids – why not try it as a weekend activity?

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