The maple taps near our house prompted a visit to a sugar house to see how maple sap becomes maple syrup. We visited Lamothe’s Sugar House in Burlington, Connecticut, a short drive from Hartford. Here is some of what we learned:
- Sugar Maples have the highest sugar content of any maple trees.
- Temperatures for optimal maple sap collection are 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 22 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Temperatures are in this optimal range for just 1 or 2 months per year.
- As soon as the trees start to bud, the maple sugaring season ends. The trees still produce sap, but it has a bitter taste and a lower sugar content.
- 40 gallons of sap are required to make 1 gallon of syrup.
- Lamothe’s has 15 miles of tubing to collect the sap in their sugar maple grove. The deer and squirrels like to nibble the lines.
- Diatomaceous earth, multi-stage filters, and UV lights are all used to purify the syrup.
- All collected sap is turned into syrup within 24 hours after collection.