We've reached the end of our maple season. It's been a wonky one with temperatures see sawing, but now it looks like we're staying consistently above freezing. So that ends the season because the sap gets "funky". There's a kind of slimy-ness to it.
Pennsylvania has gone to a new maple syrup grading system. Instead of Grade A Light, Grade A Medium, Grade A Dark, and Grade B, we now have "A" Golden Delicate, "A" Amber Rich, and "A" Dark Robust
We ended up with a lot of Grade B syrup. My favorite! In the new Pennsylvania grading system it is labeled as "Dark Robust". I like that. I felt that "Grade B" made the syrup sound like it was inferior and oh boy it certainly is not! "Dark Robust" definitely gives a better definition of this wonderfully rich-flavored syrup!
I bottled some of our syrup last night. We put it into the bottles piping hot and turn the bottles on their side to cool. This creates a vacuum seal inside the bottle.
This is pint and quart jugs of Robust maple syrup (and one one-gallon jug).
We also have some Medium Amber syrup to bottle. This is know as Amber Rich now. Some people don't care for the richness of the Dark Robust and like a more mild maple flavor. I don't get it, but everyone has their own tastes. I find cilantro to be disgusting and other people love it. Anyway, Amber Rich will suit people who like a more delicate maple flavor.
Next. using lots of very, very hot water, we'll clean and then wrap all of our equipment in plastic until next year's season. We'll pull the taps out of the trees and bring our tanks out of the forests and clean and seal them. Another maple season will be over.
Next up - beekeeping and gardens!