Photo Gallery: How Maple Syrup is Made

Great on Pancakes, but Do You Know How Maple Syrup is Made?

Making Maple SyrupSpile?Sap BucketBucket CheckingSap FlowsHomemade EvaporatorSyrup SeasonSap JugsEmptying SapConsistencyFinal ProductPerfection

1 | Making Maple Syrup

Gordon Watson checks the clarity of his finished product: 100 percent pure maple syrup, produced by boiling the sap from a sugar maple tree, and filtering it into the finished canning jar. The general rule of thumb is that its takes 40 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of finished syrup. 

(Craig Watson photo)

2 | Spile?

Fresh sugar maple tree sap runs from a spile into a catch bucket.

(Craig Watson photo)

3 | Sap Bucket

Gordon Watson empties a full bucket of sap to be added to the evaporator and turned into maple syrup.

(Craig Watson photo)

4 | Bucket Checking

Heading out to check on his sap buckets, and replace the full ones.

(Craig Watson photo)

5 | Sap Flows

The catch bucket is set up as the sap begins to flow from the spile. 

(Craig Watson photo)

6 | Homemade Evaporator

Gordon Watson grabs a couple logs to refuel the homemade evaporator system.

(Craig Watson photo)

7 | Syrup Season

Here in Michigan, after months of cold, blustery weather, one thing Lindsey Ruiter looks forward to is the maple syrup season. Here, Lindsey monitors her homemade evaporator system. Fueled by firewood, her system is kept at a consistent boil. The evaporating process is when you keep your maple sap at a constant boil to remove the water, and separate out the sugars. 

(Craig Watson photo)

8 | Sap Jugs

Buckets and jugs bring the sap to the evaporator.

(Craig Watson photo)

9 | Emptying Sap

A full bucket of sap is emptied into the evaporator to be boiled down into maple syrup.

(Craig Watson photo)

10 | Consistency

Gordon Watson checks the consistency of his boiling sugar maple sap. 

(Craig Watson photo)

11 | Final Product

The final product, as it's been produced for decades and decades.

(Craig Watson photo)

12 | Perfection

The perfect, finished product. 

(Craig Watson photo)

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