SUGARING TIME: Sap to Syrup

It takes about forty gallons of sap from a maple tree to make one gallon of maple syrup. Well in the next few minutes, we’ll tell you how it’s done. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont.

“You’ve got the sap into the tank, now we’ve got to get it boiling. You’ve got to get a good hot fire going. ”

We’re at Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, talking with Joe Parrot, who overseas the harvesting of this year’s local crop of maple syrup.

“It takes alot of firewood because that sap’s got to boil at 219 degrees. And at 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, 39 gallons goes up in steam. It takes a long time to evaporate 39 gallons excess water, but we eventually get it done. And we come up with sweet rich syrup. I check it with a hydrometer. A hydrometer checks the solids in any fluid. This is calibrated for maple syrup. It checks the sugars in there for the sweetness.

ambience: Sap dripping in bucket

In this container I have a hydrometer. When it floats at a redline, I know it’s 67 percent sugar solids then it’s ready. It’s got to be put in bottles at that point while it’s still hot, at least 180 degrees. You seal it and it’ll keep indefinitely as long as you don’t break that seal. ”

It varies every season according to the weather, but typically it’s this time of year that a maple tree’s sap begins to flow.

To hear some of your favorite Pulse of the Planet programs online, please visit nationalgeographic.com Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I’m Jim Metzner.

SUGARING TIME: Sap to Syrup

Find out how to make maple syrup out of a whole lot of sap.
Air Date:03/22/2000
Scientist:
Transcript:

It takes about forty gallons of sap from a maple tree to make one gallon of maple syrup. Well in the next few minutes, we'll tell you how it's done. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont.

"You've got the sap into the tank, now we've got to get it boiling. You've got to get a good hot fire going. "

We're at Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, talking with Joe Parrot, who overseas the harvesting of this year's local crop of maple syrup.

"It takes alot of firewood because that sap's got to boil at 219 degrees. And at 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, 39 gallons goes up in steam. It takes a long time to evaporate 39 gallons excess water, but we eventually get it done. And we come up with sweet rich syrup. I check it with a hydrometer. A hydrometer checks the solids in any fluid. This is calibrated for maple syrup. It checks the sugars in there for the sweetness.

ambience: Sap dripping in bucket

In this container I have a hydrometer. When it floats at a redline, I know it's 67 percent sugar solids then it's ready. It's got to be put in bottles at that point while it's still hot, at least 180 degrees. You seal it and it'll keep indefinitely as long as you don't break that seal. "

It varies every season according to the weather, but typically it's this time of year that a maple tree's sap begins to flow.

To hear some of your favorite Pulse of the Planet programs online, please visit nationalgeographic.com Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I'm Jim Metzner.