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  1. #1
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    Default Maple syrup ( 2nd or dark stuff )

    Was wondering how the " dark amber " maple syrup is made ? I picked up on how the maple syrup producers cook the sap then sell off the " light grade " stuff to the bottlers. I had a ( daughters X boyfriend ) friend gift us some of what they called or had labeled 2nd. It was the best sryup I ever had. All my kids eat it , regardless of my threats to boot them out of the house.... if they touch it, look at it , ect.... not to mention use it.

    Can I make the dark stuff from a gallon or 2 of the light grade commercial stuff by cooking it ? Can I buy this from someone ?
    Here is a pic, the darkness in the picture does not do the " true " color justice. It is dark brown as I have ever seen.
    Any input is appreciated.

    I'm down to one quart left, might have to lock it up in the safe....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Default

    I dunno how the different grades of maple syrup are made, but I too have always preferred the Grade B, or perhaps the Grade A Dark (or Extra Dark) Amber (State of Maine grading standards) for a much richer maple flavor. The highly promoted Grade A Light Amber "Fancy" seems to have little or at least disappointingly subtle maple flavor.

    I know that the color develops during the later stages of evaporation, and may be due in part to a Maillard reaction, and to some degree, carmelization.
    The difference may also be in the ratio of sucrose to glucose in the sap; sucrose doesn't darken when boiled, while glucose darkens like crazy. On the other hand, excess heating of sucrose will break it down into fructose and glucose. (Maple sap is predominantly sucrose.)

    One Vermont producer also says:
    Fancy Grade (light amber) is produced from the first-run maple sap harvested during early March and has a light color and delicate flavor. Our Grade A Medium Amber is our mid-season product and has identical sugar content but a darker color and stronger flavor. Slightly darker still and slightly stronger in flavor is our Grade A Dark Amber. Our late-season product, Grade B, has the strongest flavor and darkest color of the four grades. It is prized by maple syrup lovers at the table and for cooking.
    Last edited by frnash; 04-21-2012 at 01:52 PM.

  3. #3
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    Door County WI
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  4. #4
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    Default

    Thanks for the info. I watched a couple of you tubes and believe that the good stuff " Grade B " is the stuff for me. Predominantly coming from humble beginnings , in C-NY, i was told that the maple syrup producers sell off the Grade a fancy stuff and keep the " good " stuff for themselves. Not to say that I did not have some light amber that was very good... the dark grade B stuff I recently was given is by far superior for flavor( JIMO ). I don't believe that I can cook down the " fancy stuff " I bought up north, we just will use that as back-up. ( Better to have maple syrup than NOT ) and I will look for some of the " B " stuff to purchase. It literally blows away the light ambers in our house. As frnash had informed... the grade B is end of season stuff. My kids , can attest to the preference. I have never seen anything like it.

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I do believe that the "flow" rate can factor into this process along with early middle and late season supplies of sap.

    Weather and temp can influence both of these with rather short flowage seasons and strong seasons developing both of the "kinds" of surups sold around the country.

    As for the kids sneaking the stuff....give them the light colored stuff and add a bit of carmel coloring to it and they probably will think that they are "stealing you blind"...never let on of course, or it will be game over.

    Hide the good stuff in the garage in large Mobil One oil cans and your secrete will last for a decade or longer.

    Be sure to explain to them that only aging adults can absorb the toxic materials in Mobil One Oils...and they should not attempt to do it until they are at least 30 years old or older.

    Finally here is a thought....why not tap your own trees or neighbor's trees and cook some for yourself? It is fun and a great spring pass time and the sweet stuff can even be taken right down to maple sugar.

    Dark amber honey and Dark amber maple surup are two of natures secrete sweets.

  6. #6
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    I grew up with my parents cooking syrup. I have always been one to use real syrup, not the Aunt Yomama fake stuff. We haven't cooked in years, so now I get mine from a guy at work that cooks. It is the lighter in color, I don't know what grade he calls it. It is some of the best syrup I've had since my parents quit cooking.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by anonomoose View Post
    Dark amber honey and Dark amber maple surup are two of natures secrete sweets.
    Well the maple trees certainly "secrete" the secret sweet! The same could be said for da "bee barf"!
    Last edited by frnash; 04-22-2012 at 05:53 AM.

  8. #8
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    southwest michigan
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    Default

    I too was around when my parents 'cooked' sap--about 70 plus years ago--I will say we now had over 500 maple trees and then we sold syrup-light in color for the tidy sum of 5$ a gallon! It takes at least 50 or 60 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. One thing that will make it really dark is letting rain water get in the sap. There was a time we had no covers for the buckets-later we did-also late in the season boiling down the sap will also make it dark--her in Michigan syrup to be labeled 'pure maple syrup' must weigh 11 lbs to the gallon or you are in trouble--all in all it sure is a lot of work-I quit this project and went into the dairy business-milking cows for 38 years. Now I am into snowmobling and think nothing of spending a week in Ontario-1000 miles-and having a great time.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Cooked sap for the first time this year. First batch we made was light, and the second batch was darker, but not that dark. Flavor of the two was about the same (awesome), the first batch might have been a little "buttery" even. Bad year for sapping everywhere, get your hands on what you can the price is only going up.
    Think Snow! -Dave

  10. #10
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    Default "Cooking"?, "Sapping"?

    All this talk of "cooking" and/or "sapping" sounds a bit like the next season of Breaking Bad, on AMC. (See also: IMDB.) I can hardly wait for season 5, expected in July!

  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by frnash View Post
    Well the maple trees certainly "secrete" the secret sweet! The same could be said for da "bee barf"!
    BEE BARF???

    Hardly pilgram....Bees "process" but never barf! And you could only hope to have food products prepared as neatly and cleanly as Bees process honeyeeee. This is not to be cornfused with the person who brings you tea with your paper and cinneemon bread in the morning.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Just as a follow up, I ordered some " Grade B " form a producer here in MI. It is vey tasty, even has a better taste than the Fancy Grade A stuff that the general population consumes. But is was not as dark and as dirty looking as the stuff from our friends. I might try some A Dark Amber next, but with a couple of gallons of sryup already.... that is alot of blueberry eggo's I have to eat.

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