The Sugar Maple
Where to Get Sugaring Supplies
Excerpt from page 1
A Beginner's Guide
The basic process of making maple syrup is extremely simple. All you do is boil maple sap down to about 1/35th of its original volume.
If you intend to sell any of what you make there are some further steps such as getting the syrup to precisely the right density. And filtering it through a good felt strainer. And grading it. And hot-packing it at a temperature of at least 180 degrees F. Many people do all these things with syrup for home use as well. But they don't have to.
The equipment for making syrup can be as simple as two or three spouts some large tin cans and a kettle. Or it can be as complicated as a full-scale sugarhouse with evaporator finishing rig holding tank and so on through twenty or thirty other pieces of equipment. At that point you have an investment of $10 000 or $20 000.
This bulletin will tell you how to make syrup on the three simplest levels. The first level is for people who intend to tap only a couple of trees to make only a couple of quarts of syrup and to spend no more that $20 on equipment. The second level is for people who may have a dozen trees to tap who may make five or even ten gallons of syrup and who will put $300-$450 into equipment. (If they make ten gallons they'll recoup the entire investment in two years. They'll also put in a lot of time.) The third level is for people who want to be small commercial producers. If you're one of these you will get the smallest size of true evaporator make anywhere from 60 to 200 taps and produce from fifteen to fifty gallons of syrup each spring. And you will have to make an initial investment of at least $1 750 unless you can buy used equipment from another small producer who is quitting.
Note: These dollar figures and all others in the book apply to 1988-1989. After that inflation will have outdated them. For some years sugaring equipment has been going up at the rate of about 8% a year and the manufacturers expect this rate to continue.
Copyright Storey Books