Storing maple syrup
Late March is the time of year to make maple syrup. It is important to properly preserve this tasty treat.
Late March is the time of year we think of making and storing maple syrup. After all the hard work of making maple syrup is done, we need to focus on safe storing. There are several steps to storing maple syrup. Determining what grade of syrup you have also adds value to this product. Syrup is graded by color, the lighter the color of syrup the higher the grade. After your hard work of turning sap to syrup, you need to decide what type of container you would like to use for storing maple syrup.
Typically maple syrup is stored in glass jars so the beautiful color can shine through. Glass containers can be canning jars that are found in your local store or fancy shaped glass jars that can be purchased from maple syrup suppliers. Michigan State University Extension says that many people like to see the true color of pure maple syrup through the glass jar.
Another popular container is plastic. These containers are food grade and can be purchased at maple syrup suppliers. The lids are purchased separately, so make sure that when you place your order you have purchased enough lids for the containers you plan to use.
Metal containers are also a viable option for storing maple syrup. This type of storage container represents a traditional way to store maple syrup. Now that we know what type of containers are options, we can begin the process of storing maple syrup.
Hot packing maple syrup – Once the sap has been processed to become maple syrup, it is ready to filter. It is best to filter syrup while it is hot (185 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit)which helps the filtering process go fairly quick. It is important to remove any sediment through the filtering process. To filter, use white cotton or wool filters that can be acquired from a reputable maple syrup supplier. Contamination of yeast and mold growth can be prevented when the syrup is packed hot in a sanitized container of food grade quality. According to Ohio State University, small containers can be sanitized by boiling them in water for 10 minutes before using them. Filling any type of container may cause contamination so it is recommended by Ohio State University to invert the container immediately after being filled.
It is important to monitor the temperature of the syrup. If it is below 180 degrees Fahrenheit after filtering it must be reheated to 180 degrees Fahrenheit or above in order to pack the syrup hot. Be careful to not go over 200 degrees Fahrenheit because that may darken the syrup, which would lower the grade of syrup. Store your syrup in a cool, dark place for up to two years until it is opened, then it must be stored in a refrigerator for up to about one year.
Enjoy the family time spent making syrup and be careful preserving your syrup so it can be enjoyed on pancakes by all.