When spring arrives, maple trees take water from the melting snow in the soil to “clean” out the sugar reserves. When buds start growing out and the tree gets ready to produce chlorophyll, the crop is finished. Crop usually lasts around 2 weeks.
Not all maple trees are good for maple syrup production. Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharum) and Red Maple provide the best yields. These trees are prominent in the forests of the Eastern North America. The harsh winter weather found in that area is also essential to maple production. Canada produces more than 80% of the world's maple syrup. The province of Québec is by far the world's largest producer (about 75% of the worldwide production).
Traditionally Maple Syrup was harvested using buckets. Trees were tapped and buckets were hung on the spigots inserted in the tap holes to collect the sap. These buckets needed to be emptied everyday (sometimes more than once when the crop is going on strong). This process made maple syrup production work very intensive. Nowadays only traditional small maple sugar producers still use buckets; most maple syrup is produced using a series of tubes. These tubes connect all the trees to a network of tubes which bring all the sap to the sugar shack.
When enough sap is collected, sap is pumped to the evaporator where it is heated to evaporate the excess water. Sap contains 2 – 3% sugar. Maple syrup needs to contain about 66% sugar.
Maple Syrup Grades:
Maple Syrup is graded according to light transmission. The lighter the syrup the higher the grade. Although there are three grading systems, they all refer to the same light transmission spectrum.
Our Spiral Organic Maple syrup is a grade C (No. 2 Amber).