Maple syrup is often seen as a topping for pancakes or waffles, but its production goes beyond what meets the eye (and taste buds). In Quebec, Canada, making syrup is not just a skill but also a longstanding tradition. Today, we will explore the world of syrup and uncover the art behind it.

Understanding Maple Syrup Grades

Before we delve into the DIY process, understanding the grades of Canada maple syrup is important. The grading system may differ depending on the region. Generally, there are four grades: 

Golden Delicate Taste (Grade A)
Amber Rich Flavor (Grade A) 
Dark Robust Taste (Grade A) 
Very Dark, Strong Taste (Grade B)

Each grade has a unique flavour profile and can be used for multiple culinary purposes.

Tapping Maple Trees

The initial step in creating your maple syrup involves tapping into maple trees. Ideally, this should be done during winter or early spring when temperatures alternate between freezing and thawing. To maximize the sap flow, it's important to take advantage of temperature changes that cause the sap to rise from the tree's roots.

To tap a tree you'll need a few tools, like a drill with a sized bit (around 7/16 inch) and small metal spiles or taps that act as channels for collecting sap from the trees. It's essential to note that if you plan to tap trees on land or outside your property, be sure to obtain permission from the authorities beforehand.

Collecting Maple Sap

When collecting maple sap, it's time to gather that liquid once you've successfully tapped into your maple trees. Gather the sap using food collection containers such as buckets or food-grade plastic bags attached to spiles.

During the collection process, make sure to check on your containers to prevent overflow or contamination. Filtering the collected sap immediately is crucial to remove any impurities, like bits of bark or debris, that may have ended up in the containers.

The Evaporation Process

The real magic happens during the evaporation process when you transform maple sap into that sweet syrup we all adore. When it comes to making maple syrup, there are methods you can use. Traditionally, people would use boiling pans called evaporators that were heated by wood-fired stoves. If you want, you can also make an outdoor evaporating stove. However, nowadays, you can achieve results using evaporators designed for home use, commonly known as flat pans or evaporator units.

While you're in the process of evaporating the sap to make syrup, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and ensure ventilation in your workspace. It will help maintain an environment. 

Reaching the Desired Consistency

Keep in mind that maple sap contains an amount of water that needs to be evaporated before you reach the desired sugar concentration for syrup production. As you approach the desired sugar concentration needed for syrup ( 66% sugar content), you must be attentive and closely monitor the process to avoid overcooking or burning. Once your DIY maple syrup reaches the desired consistency, strain it more and allow it to cool before bottling. Now, you can try out multiple maple syrup recipes and make use of the concentrate all year round!

Storing the Syrup

Properly storing your maple syrup is crucial if you want to maintain its freshness and quality over time. It is recommended to use glass jars or bottles with lids that create an airtight environment. Make sure these containers are sanitized before filling them with syrup.

Store your maple syrup in a cool and dark place like a pantry or refrigerator to ensure quality. When refrigerated, it can last for months without losing flavour or quality. It can last up to a year if stored under freezing conditions while maintaining its taste.


By crafting your homemade maple syrup, you develop a deeper admiration for this delightful topping and connect with nature through this time-honoured practice. Exploring the classifications of genuine maple syrup unveils boundless culinary and baking opportunities. So why not embrace this cherished custom? Endeavour to create your very own homemade maple syrup? Delight in the process of collecting sap, simmer it down and relish the fruits of your labour. Enjoy tapping!