Well, the 2022 maple season is over — I think our taps have dried up because we’ve had a few freeze/thaw days and haven’t really yielded an appreciable amount of sap. We only got like 2.5 gallons of syrup this year — much less than expected … and we need to be ready to tap in January next year when the first week of freeze/thaw hits. While I love the flavor of late-season syrup, we’re getting way too many warm days in March for good sap production.
We’ve been running the reverse osmosis system at about 95 PSI and concentrating the sap from around 2 percent to 7-8 percent. That’s a lot of water being pulled out (and the water tests at 0 … so we’re not wasting a statistically significant amount of sugar in the filtering process).
We collected nine gallons of sap with SG of 1.009 = 2.3 Brix
We ran all of the sap through the reverse osmosis system at 60psi and had sap with SG 1.011 = 2.8 Brix
We ran the concentrated sap through the reverse osmosis system a second time, this time at 80psi and had sap with SG 1.022 = 5.6 Brix.
The “pure water” output SG was about 1.003 — we re-ran this through the RO as well.
At the end of the day, we have about 4 gallons of sap at 5.6% sugar, another gallon from the “pure water” run that’s a lower SG, and four gallons of water that’s removed.
Notes for the future:
- We want to see what a single pass at higher pressure does — is it multiple passes that farther concentrated the sap or the higher pressure?
- We took SG readings and converted to brix using an online converter. Next time, we should just take the readings in Brix 🙂
- We might need a different refractometer to get accurate readings near 1 … not sure how accurate our tool is at the low end of the range.
The maple butterscotch topping I made for Scott’s cake was quite simple — 2/3 cup of heavy whipping cream, 4 Tbsp butter, and 1 cup of maple syrup. Melt the butter in a pan, then mix in the whipping cream. Add maple and boil until it’s really bubbly — sauce will thicken on the back of a spoon when it cools.
I made maple sugar for cinnamon rolls — pour a bunch of maple syrup (a pint, in this case) into a pot. Preferably a pot with high walls so the whole thing doesn’t bubble over in a hot, sticky mess. Over medium heat, boil for 15-20 minutes. It’ll foam up a lot, and all of a sudden it will crystalize on top. Pull it off the heat and stir to break up the hardened maple.