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Hillegas Sugar Camp

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How Our Maple Syrup is Made

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  • tree tapping

    Trees are tapped

  • tap is gathered

    Sap is gathered

  • sap is filtered

    Sap is filtered

  • sap is boiled

    Sap is boiled

  • syrup is bottled

    Syrup is bottled or made into other products

  • maple leaf icon

    Tree Tapping

    In mid-February, we set out approximately 4,300 taps. Since 2010 the Hillegas Sugar Camp has been using the Leader Check Valve adapters on the trees (www.uvm.edu). Along with the check valve adapters, all 4,300 taps are on a vacuum system which promotes maximum sap flow and reduces the amount of backflow of sap into the trees.

  • maple leaf icon

    Boiling of Sap

    All sap that is collected is run through a reverse osmosis system which first increases the sugar content in the sap by removing some of the water that does not contain sugar, then the RO unit helps remove small particulate matter from the sap.

hillegas sugar camp
hillegas sugar camp

After the sap has passed through the RO unit it is moved to a holding tank to await boiling. The Hillegas Sugar Camp uses a 5 foot wide by 14 foot long Leader Evaporator that is heated by wood burnt in a Leader Vortex airtight arch. The combination of reverse osmosis and the Leader Evaporator allows us to process 350 gallons of sap per hour. For those not familiar with maple syrup it takes approximately 50 gallons of maple sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.

Once the sap has reached the proper temperature (7º above boiling point) and the correct density, it is removed from the evaporator and run through a filter press. The filter press removes any sugar sands or impurities that might be present in the syrup. From the filter press, the syrup is pumped into barrels and heat sealed until bottled.

Grades of Maple Syrup

  • golden color syrup

    Golden Color

  • amber color syrup

    Amber Color

  • dark color syrup

    Dark Color

  • very dark color syrup

    Very Dark Color

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Maple Syrup

Popular topping for pancakes, french toast, waffles, and more

maple candy

Maple Candy

Sweet taste and somewhat creamy texture

maple walnut topping

Maple Walnut Topping

Similar to the walnut sundae topping

peanuts

Maple Peanuts

Dry roasted and coated with maple sugar

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