Making Maple Syrup | Où se trouve: Garland Sugar Shack
Hi, my name is Ivan Garland. Beside me is my son James. We’re here today at Garland Sugar Shack to demonstrate how maple syrup is made! Maple syrup has been a childhood dream — an adventure for me, especially. I started making maple syrup when I was 13 years old, and it grew apart of the family farm. Behind us here, we have the first building that I started making maple syrup in. This was one of my Grandfather’s first buildings on the farm. A century farm I may add, I’m third generation. Hopefully you’ll enjoy seeing how maple syrup is made today! The first step to making maple syrup is tapping the trees. This is the traditional way to do it, with a spile and a bucket. In 2002, we got to having around 850 buckets. So that got a little time consuming going to collect the buckets once or twice a day. So we decided to modernize our operation and install pipelines and vacuum systems. These blue spiles here are actually called Tree Saver spiles, the hole is much smaller than a traditional spile. The tree ends up healing that same year instead of scarring over the years and causing damage to the trees so. This is a much friendlier way to tap the trees. So what you’re looking at is a pipeline system. We currently have 4200 taps. We’re going to be expanding to 10,000 taps. All these pipes lead up to a main line, which brings the sap down to a storage tank. So the main lines I was showing you earlier all end up in this storage container here. We have a storage tank, our vacuum system and an extractor. The vacuum comes in through this PVC pipe here down to the extractor This basicaly just keeps the vacuum contained and pulls it through the main lines I was showing you earlier.l The sap comes in through the main lines, fills these guys up, then dumps it. At this point, the sugar content is at 1% to 3.5%. It still needs to be refined before it turns into maple syrup. Now that we have the sap home and unloaded… It goes back downstairs — the sap coming from the bush is approximately 2%-3% sugar… …and what we like to do with the reverse osmosis is bring the sugar level up to 8%. So that takes a considerable amound of water out of the system so there is a lot less time to boil. Just a quick explaination on how the reverse osmosis works — there is a feed pump that pushes the sap… …through two sets of filters to have it as clean as possible before it goes to what we call the membrane. The sap is pushed through the membrane at 400 pounds per square inch. So it’s very high pressure. On average it takes 40 litres of sap to make 1 litre of maple syrup. And this is where the reverse osmosis comes in very handy. Last years numbers… we collected approximately 160,000 litres of sap to make 4000 litres of syrup. So a lot of evaporation was saved by cutting out a good part of the water before the evaporation process. We keep the pure water we remove from the sap, and we use it to clean because that water is… …how can I say it, perfect water. Clear, clean, there are no minerals. There is nothing in it. It’s just a liquid. Water needs minerals so it’s like a magnet, when we use it to clean, it’s so much better than tap water. It cleans all our facility, all our equipment a lot better than regular water. Now we just let today’s fire boil down some sap into sweet maple syrup. This stove here is just about the most energy efficient on the market. As you can see it’s wood burning, but the way it’s made — it’s a gasification system. Air tight. We’re taking the gasses out of the wood, and we’re burning them on top. That’s why you see in the flame it’s like a rolling effect on the top. So instead of the conventional evaporator where you’d have to put wood in every 10 minutes to be effecient… …in this case, as the gasses burn, we watch our chimney temperature. And as our chimney temperature… …and as our chimney temperature goes down, there is still a lot of wood in there. So we just increase the speed of the fans… …to get more gasses out of the wood to keep that intense heat for almost an hour. The sap as it comes from upstairs is first circulated into the hood… …where it’s pre-heated before it hits the pans so we’re not putting cold sap in the pans that will cool things down. So as we’re boiling along, the sap moves down these three pans. As the sap moves down, more and more of the water gets removed. As it goes more towards the front, it turns more into syrup. As the density gets higher, the automatic draw off is set to a certain level and it pulls a batch of syrup out when it’s ready. Then we adjust the sugar levels in the syrup with hydrometer readings. I don’t know if you can see, but the red line is right level with the top — or just come out a little bit… …so our setting was right and our syrup is coming out at the right density. So now that the maple syrup is ready, it’s about to be filtered. The syrup passes through this press filter here, it takes out any kinds of natural sands in the maple syrup… …and then passes it along to the bottling unit. There is a little bit of natural sands that gets carried out through the sap… …throughout the whole process. The sand is too fine for all the other filters to catch. So that’s why we pass it through these sets of filters. And you’ll see why. There is quite a bit of sand that pushes through. So those are the natural sands that get caught in the filters in this process. If we didn’t filter it through, it would end up in the bottom of your bottles, of the jugs. So it’s a very important part of making maple syrup. This concludes our day at Garland Sugar Shack, I hope you enjoyed watching. Here in my hands I have the final product, some good sweet maple syrup. And we also do a multitude of other products, maple butter, sugar, candies. If you’re ever in the area, stop by and see us. You can also check us out at www.garlandsugarshack.ca, you can like us on Facebook or follow us to keep up to date on everything we’re up to. Thanks for watching!