How can I tell when my maple syrup is done cooking down? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 04-17-2009, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've read the 7 degrees above boiling thing, but I'm not really understanding. I don't have a sugar hydrometer or anything like that. Is there some easy, olf-fashioned way of being able to tell when it's done?
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#2 of 6 Old 04-17-2009, 10:11 PM
 
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Scoop some up with a spoon or spatula and watch what it looks like as it drips back down into the pan. When you stop getting separate drops, but instead they start joining together into more of a stream or sheet, then it's more or less done. (It will also just start looking and feeling thicker and more like syrup.) I suggest taking it off the heat when you first start thinking maybe it's close to being done, letting it cool off, and then seeing if it seems thick enough. It will thicken up quite a bit as it cools. If it's still more runny than you like it even after it's cool, heat it up again and boil it some more.
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#3 of 6 Old 04-17-2009, 10:17 PM
 
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We just kept taking the temperature when I did it. I seem to remember that it needed to be 217 or something, but I don't remember for sure--my brother had a book we were using. Also, we knew how much syrup we should end up with from the amount of sap we started with (we boiled 40 gallons of sap down to 2/3 of syrup).

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#4 of 6 Old 04-17-2009, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh thank you so much!

I have one more question: When I let the sap/syrup settle in the pan after boiling, there is a cloudy substance that sinks to the bottom. It's kind of powdery like sugar. Should I try to strain this out somehow before I bottle the syrup? If so, how? Would a cotton cloth or coffee filter work?
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#5 of 6 Old 04-17-2009, 10:44 PM
 
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I think my friend who makes a lot of maple syrup said she and her husband just try to leave most of that stuff behind when they pour the syrup into bottles. That's what I did this year. According to the book I have (Backyard Sugarin' by Rink Mann), you can use filtering felt ("available in most stores selling sugaring equipment") or just water resistant paper towels. I think I've used a coffee filter in the past. Last year I don't recall getting enough of that cloudy stuff to worry about.
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#6 of 6 Old 04-18-2009, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again!
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