The Fun of Making Maple Syrup

Spring is in the air! As the temperatures warm and you see the signs of the earth waking up after winter; birds chirping, things are thawing and softening – Canadians minds turn to maple.

The season came a little early with warm temperatures in February this year, but maple season is upon us. I had the chance to chat with Jill Staples of Staples Maple Syrup, and she gave me the lowdown on the basics of making maple magic.

First you need to tap the maple trees with a spile and bucket to collect the sap. Once you have collected enough sap to boil, then the work of boiling it down to syrup begins. Jill warns that this is an outdoor job; if you boil down in the kitchen, everything will become sticky. Choose an outdoor boiler, or BBQ and big pot. It takes 40 litres of sap to make 1 litre of syrup, and about 4-6 hours of boiling. Be sure not to boil too hard or long, as the syrup will boil over or burn! Finished product is when the syrup is 7 degrees above the boiling point of water or a density of 66. Be sure to bottle the finished product hot (180 degrees), or store in the fridge or freezer to keep from spoiling.

These are the basics of making maple syrup on a small scale, where as the Staples produce on a large scale. They have 3500 taps which produces approx. 3500 litres of delicious syrup per year. They have a fully automated system of pipeline with monitors that send alerts to their phone if trouble arises, and it is boiled on a 4×14 evaporator, then hot packed at 180 degrees requiring all hands on deck for the family during the busy season.

Staples Maple Syrup is a family run business based out of Cavan, Ontario. You can find Staples award winning syrup in local grocery stores, Kyoto Coffee, and gift shops, and also at the Peterborough Farmers Market every week. Visit them on April 2nd for their free open house and experience for yourself how their syrup is made.

Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram

439 Highway 7A, Cavan, ON