The ten acre Indiana Certified Forest on our farm contains a grove of 130 sugar maple trees with a circumference of over 60 inches. Their sap begins to rise about March 1, and this marks the beginning of our Farm Year. Last year we collected 1600 gallons of sap from 80 trees.
We only tap 80 of our 130 sugar maples in a given year because our trees produce about a gallon of sap a day at the peak of the season, and our processing equipment (and personnel) can only handle about 400 gallons of sap per week. Since it takes
About 50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, and since one gallon of syrup makes only ten 12 ounce bottles of syrup, we produce only eighty 12 ounce bottles of syrup a week. Some years the sap runs for three weeks, others for four. Somewhere between the third and the fourth week the demands of the rest of the farm take over.
We use reverse osmosis equipment (3) to concentrate the sap from a Brix of 2 to a Brix of 10, collect this 5x concentrate in (4), then add it to a wood-fired evaporator (5) to concentrate the Brix to 60, and a propane-fueled kitchen stove to concentrate the Brix to about 69. The syrup is pumped directly from the stove while still at boiling temperature through a paper filter into a stainless steel cannister, where its final Brix is adjusted with boiling water directly from our farm well to within its legal range of 66.9-67.9 Brix. The syrup is then filled into pre-sanitized 12 ounce bottles (6). The bottles are capped while still hot and stored in our secure food production facility at ambient temperature until sold retail at our farm stand or to local restaurants or grocery stores. We welcome inquiries from all.