Pure Vermont Maple Syrup comes directly from Vermont's state tree, the Sugar Maple. Only mature trees, at least 12 inches in diameter, are tapped. Bigger, healthy maple trees can have multiple taps. In order to preserve the health of our trees, taps are placed in different locations every year to allow the previous year's tap holes to "scar". Keeping the trees healthy is very important for sap production in future years!
When temperatures rise above freezing, the sap inside the maple trees begins to flow. Saps natural function is to flow up the tree, giving nutrients to produce leaves. The sap is drawn through our plastic tubing system via vacuum pump and into a collection tank inside our pump house.
The raw sap is run through a reverse osmosis machine, which removes 75% of water from the sap by pushing it through a semi-permeable membrane. The removal of water reduces boiling time and energy consumption. Our concentrated sap is then trucked to the sugar house to be boiled in our 6x16 oil-fueled Leader Evaporator. Between the reverse osmosis processing and boiling sap goes from 2% to 66% sugar, which means it takes about 45 gallons of raw sap to make 1 gallon of pure syrup.
Once the boiled sap has been drawn off the evaporator it is pressurized through a filter to remove solidified minerals called niter. Filtered syrup is stored in 40 gallon stainless steel barrels. When sealed in retailed jugs the syrup is reheated to 190 degrees.