After 16 hours of boiling on Sunday, I was able to bring the turkey fryer pot into my house on Wednesday and continue boiling on the stove. There was still quite a bit to boil off, so luckily my house was super dry and could really use the steam from the make-shift humidifier. I boiled 4 hours on Wednesday, 2-3 hours on Thursday and finished up this evening with probably another 3-4 hours. Here is a photo of the sap liquid after yesterday’s boiling session:
The liquid boiled down to a point where I was beginning to think it would never turn into syrup. I did some reading online and found out that due to the density, syrup boils at a temperature about 7 degrees higher than the boiling point of water. (In my case, I live at an elevation of about 1,000 feet, so the boiling point of water changes a bit. It actually decreases by a degree for every 500 feet, so the boiling point of water for me is 210 degrees instead of 212 degrees. Therefore, I was looking for the sap to start boiling at a temperature of about 217 degrees.)
The sap started foaming up a lot the closer I reached the syrup threshold.
The thermometer reading hung out at about 214 for a pretty long time. I read somewhere that once the temperature gets past 215 then the process starts to go very quickly, and that it is easy for it to go past 219 which is when it starts burning and creating crystals. Whoever wrote that wasn’t lying. The sap was probably just a few inches deep at the bottom of the pot. I stepped away for about a minute to check something and when I came back, the pot was nearly foaming over (it’s a pretty tall stock pot). I quickly started blowing air on it and stirring it to make it go down. That was when I noticed the thermometer was pushing the 220 degrees mark. I yelled for my husband to come double check me because I was stirring so much and didn’t trust myself to be able to tell that it had reached the line. He agreed with me that it was at least 217 if not over, so we quickly turned off the heat.
Of course I didn’t have my jars ready, so I had to go fumbling around with those while also looking for the maple syrup filter that I bought. Note to self: have everything ready to go once it turns from sap to syrup because the process goes quick.
The liquid is still pretty runny. I’m hoping that it will thicken up more as it cools and condenses. I’m a little worried that I was wrong and did NOT make it to the right temperature. For now I am putting all of the jars in the fridge, so time will tell if I did it right.
If I did do it right, then I have a few jars to give away to friends and family. I decided to decorate the jars with purple yarn and some scrap fabric that I cut into circles. I made these with Cee over the weekend with some fabric from old clothes that don’t fit anymore. It was an idea as part of my new zero waste initiative that I will start blogging about soon.
Check out the finished product: