Indiana Maple Syrup

2003 Season

200 Producers

Estimated production was 5000 gallons

Value of crop is estimated at $200,000

90% of crop is sold retail – mostly from the sugarhouse

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Jeff Settle, IN Dept. of Forestry

Maple producing region in the United States

Sap flow requires daytime temperatures at 40F or above and overnight temperatures below freezing.

Season begins about mid February and ends by mid to late March.

Opening and closing dates may vary by up to 2 wks from the southern to northern parts of the state

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Maple producing region in the United States
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The average sugaring operation has 400 taps,

and it produces 80 gal of syrup

Jeff Settle, IN Dept. of Forestry

Most producers use buckets to collect the sap,

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but about 30% of the syrup produced is now collected with tubing.

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Jeff Settle, IN Dept. of Forestry

Sap is processed at the sugarhouse. 

Some of these structures may be nearly a century old in multi-generational family operations.

They’re often located in the maple woods.

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The sugar house shelters the evaporator

Sap is processed in the evaporator,

a series of flat pans heated by wood, oil or natural gas

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Raw sap has a sucrose content of 1% to 3% when it enters the evaporator

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Nothing is added.  Boiling removes the water and raises the sugar content to a minimum of 66%.

About 40 gallons of sap is required to produce one gallon of syrup.

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Finished syrup boils at approximately 219F.

Hot syrup leaves the evaporator and passes through an orlon filter to remove insoluble calcium salts that naturally occur in the sap.

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Larger operations use a pressure filter that employs diatomaceous earth to accomplish the same purpose.

Filtered syrup at standard density (66%) is packed at a minimum temperature of 180F.

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Small volumes of syrup may be packed in glass, plastic, or metal containers.

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Larger quantities are packed in gallon, 5 gallon or even 55 gal containers.

Some Hoosier producers are exploring the production of value-added products such as maple sugar and maple cream.

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Demonstration of sugar making during the 2002 meeting of the Indiana Maple Syrup Association

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About 100 producers are members of the Indiana Maple Syrup Association.  Members meet annually to hear from experts and learn more about producing a high quality, natural product from our Hoosier woodlands.

Photos from Indiana Maple Syrup Association (IMSA)