New Hampshire, and in particular, Calef’s Maple Syrup, is all about the fresh maple sap, and maple season is in full swing. Starting late February you will find New Hampshirites out feverishly tapping their maple trees, some tapping into the hundreds. Sap from maples can only be collected late winter through early spring for approximately 4-6 weeks making tapping of the trees a pressing time.
Most healthy maple trees will produce 10-20 gallons of sap per tap every season. While this is more than you would bat an eye at, it isn’t enough to smother pancakes for long. It takes 40 gallons of maple sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup. Over 160,000 gallons of maple syrup are produced by over 525 sugar makers in New Hampshire alone.
NH Maple & Honey
Some say Vermont, some say Quebec, we say New Hampshire produces the best Maple Syrup and Confections in the world. Local producers with a love for the craft of Sugaring. You can taste the difference
Each year, the New Hampshire maple industry produces close to 90,000 gallons of maple syrup. Maple sugaring time in New Hampshire runs from mid-February to mid-April.
As the frozen sap in the maple tree thaws, it begins to move and build up pressure within the tree. When the internal pressure reaches a certain point, the sap will flow from any fresh wound in the tree. Freezing nights and warm sunny days create the pressure needed for a good sap harvest.
In late February, New Hampshire maple producers tap their sugar maples by drilling a small hole in the trunk and inserting a spout called a spile. A bucket or plastic tubing is fastened to the spile and the crystal clear sap drips from the tree. The sap is then collected and transported to the sugar house where it is boiled down in an evaporator over a blazing hot fire. As the steam rises from the evaporator pans, the sap becomes more concentrated until it finally reaches the proper density to be classified as syrup. It is then drawn from the evaporator, filtered, graded, and bottled. It takes approximately forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup.
If you smell closely in the month of March you will smell the sweet scent of maple syrup drifting out of the sugar shacks all over New Hampshire. Once collected the maple sap is boiled down for hours. When the water is evaporated, and the sap becomes extremely concentrated, a chemical reaction occurs creating what we all know and love – maple syrup.
Depending on when the sap is collected, how fresh it is when boiled, and for how long, all affect the outcome of the maple syrup that is produced. The maple syrup scale breaks it down into 4 categories to help you find the perfect syrup for your own personal wants and needs.
Here at Calef’s Country Store you will find Grade A – Golden color and delicate taste, Grade A – Amber Color and Rich Flavor, Grade A – Dark color and Robust Flavor, and lastly, Grade A – Very Dark and Strong Flavor. Calef’s maple syrup is collected and cooked in a sugar shack in the Littleton, NH area. Stop by today to pick up your fresh local syrup. Can’t decide, try a variety pack that showcases the different types of maple syrup you will love.