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First timer here, cooked down 20 Gal yesterday and when finishing temp hit 219 degrees we stopped and put in pint jars. It is a nice amber color and tastes good but is still (I think) very thin and waterery. My question is what would have happened if we keep cooking to get thicker syrup? Thanks Tink

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If you keep boiling you will eventually get maple sugar or rock candy (depending on how long and high temp you boil). You can add some sap back into the syrup and continue boiling on low to get more water evaporated. The more water you remove the thicker it will get but there is a point where it will crystalize on you.

Maple syrup will be pretty thin compared to other syrups that are store bought. Also, you can do it by temp alone but outcome can be hit or miss, meaning the sugar content may not be just right.

Use a hydrometer and hydrometer cup. Do a quick google search and you can find many suppliers. It is pretty inexpensive as well. I still am learning the process even though I have been doing it for many many years.

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Not an expert either, but it is a lot like making Grandma Jam......the one with just fruit and sugar with no pectin. Grandmas did not need a thermometer or hydrometer...its simply done when it looks and feels done smile

I hear what your saying about the "runny", but am getting used to it. In the past I cooked it till the upper twenties to "thicken" it. Think(don't quote me) you can go into the low thirties, but be careful not get near the mid thirties or you will start to make maple candy. Plus the higher you cook it; the less syrup your going to get, and it is already plenty sweet at 119. I usually go at least 120-121. You can always dip a spoon in and put it in the freezer for a minute to see how thick it is. Thats what grandma's did wink

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Pushbutton, agree those grandmas were pretty smart. That was learned/passed on from generation to generation. I talked to one guy who has been boiling sap into syrup for about 7 years and I asked about his process and how he finished his off. He said, "I keep boiling it and tasting it. When it doesn't get any sweeter I considers it done." smile

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I use the hydro to tell me when to quit, and also have a digital thermometer in the finish tank too.

I've had syrup finish at 219, and I've had it finish as high as 221.5 too. It just depends on the atmospheric conditions at the time.

I can usually tell when its close by appearance and bubbles now, but still use the hydro. So much time and effort go into the process I want it to be as close to perfect as I can get it.

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........ but still use the hydro. So much time and effort go into the process I want it to be as close to perfect as I can get it.

Those thingamabobs are a little too high tech for my simple mind but will have to pop some ritalin and figure them out one day. No doubt though, it is a bummer to put in so much time and effort to have things go sour at the end. My first year, I realized how long it took to get to 214/215 and then how quick thereafter to get to 219. While finishing off on the stove.....dozed off for a little while only to wake up to a ton of smoke and burnt syrup oozing and bubbling in every crevice of it shockedgrin

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There are only two kinds of syrup makers: Those who have scorched a batch, and those who have not had it happen yet smile

It can go south on you in a real hurry.

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Thanks for all the replys. Wife and middle son figured it out. Refinished 1st batch with slow boil and when boiling bubbles changed from large to numerous small and temp went to 219-220 and syrup came off testing spoom like syrup we stopped. 2nd batch last Sunday and 1st batch from Saturday came out super good. Got 15 more gals of sap yesterday from just 8 trees. Makes you wonder just how much sap is going up the tree when you can get that much sap from one small hole?

Tink

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Great stuff! We have some sap in refrigeration that needs to be finished and gallons that need to get cooking. This coming weekend is a big one for us to spend time boiling.

Did you get it to thicken up? by boiling a bit more? I'll +1 cherokee's comment that maple syrup is pretty thin stuff especially compared to fake brown-dyed HFCS syrup.

From my candy making background, it certainly SHOULD thicken up but only to a point before it starts to change on you, the sugars start to crystallize or even caramelize(burn), and the temperature skyrockets in a hurry. My guess is that you can't really thicken up maple syrup, it'll just start to turn into maple sugar and eventually caramelize (scorch/burn).

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Pulled spiles and buckets yesterday, trees are budding, and cooked up 25 gallons of sap. I am finishing up the last 1-2 gallons today. Much admit this has been a fun learning process for my family.

Tink

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Tink, that's great. It is a lot of fun. I pulled all mine this past weekend as well. Got another 5 pints canned. Not a whole lot of sap running this past week in my neck of the woods. Good tasting syrup.

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