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Maple Sugaring: Making Granulated Maple Sugar

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Maple Sugaring: Making Granulated Maple Sugar

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/vb/../gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/17.jpg

I try to be as self-sufficient in as many areas as possible so I have a backyard Maple Sugaring set-up that I built using some old commercial equipment that I got real cheap. It's a small homesteading operation that provides me with more than enough maple syrup and maple candy for my yearly needs and for those of many others. This year I'm also making granulated Maple sugar to use as a replacement for some of the sugar I purchase each year. I'll be learning how to incorporate it as much as possible into my cooking so that I can one day become self-sustaining in my sugar needs. It's a very easy process and the results are a beautiful and tasty granulated sugar; my own sugar!!!


taken from The North American Maple Syrup Producers' Manual---page 188

Loose Granulated Maple Sugar

Granulated maple sugar (sometimes called stirred sugar or Indian sugar) is prepared by heating maple syrup until the temperature is 45˚ to 50˚F (25˚ to 28˚C) above the boiling point of water.  It is then allowed to cool to about 200˚F (93˚C), and stirred either in the cooking vessel or in an appropriately sized container until granulation is achieved.  Stirring can be done by hand or by using a mechanical stirring machine.  Granulated sugar will "breathe" and ride up high in the pan as it is stirred. A pause in stirring will cause it to drop back down again; after which stirring can be resumed.  Stirring continues until all moisture is essentially removed from the cooked syrup and crumbly, granulated sugar remains, similar to commercially packaged brown sugar.  At this point the sugar is sifted through a coarse screen (1/8-inch or 3mm hardware cloth is commonly used) to make a uniformly sized product.  Stainless steel sieves with handles are available at restaurant supply stores.  Granular sugar absorbs moisture and should quickly be stored in dry, airtight containers.  A quart of syrup will yield about 2 pounds of granulated sugar; a liter of syrup about 1 kg of granulated sugar.  Lighter colored (lower invert) syrup tends to make a "drier" finished product than if darker syrup is used.


Let's start!

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/01.jpg
 
First, heat your Maple Syrup to the boiling point of water plus 45° F. - 50° F.
The boiling point of water here at the ranch is 212° F.
I need to heat my Maple Syrup to be between 257° F and 262° F.


http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/03.jpg

I'm cooking this in my summer kitchen because it can get messy.
I've reached my temperature
target zone: 260° F.

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/04.jpg

Into the mixer...

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/05.jpg

The mixer is doing all the hard work.

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/06.jpg

You can see the consistency of the syrup is really starting to change.

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/07.jpg

It's lightening up and beginning to have that nice maple color.

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/08.jpg

It's about ready to vaporize!

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/09.jpg

When the syrup begins the final phase of turning into sugar
you'll have an explosion of steam as the water begins to evacuate.
The first time this happened to me I thought the motor on my mixer was on fire!


http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/10.jpg

The last of the water is coming out now.
When there's no more steam rising, you're finished.


http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/11.jpg

Done.
Notice the clumpy granulation.

It's about the consistency of store bought brown sugar but not as sticky.

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/12.jpg

Spread out and cooling down.

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/13.jpg

Sifting it into a little finer granulation.

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/15.jpg

A bowl full of sugar...

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/16.jpg

Finally, let your maple sugar cool completely down before packaging.

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/gallery/john/granulated_maple_sugar/18.jpg

Maple Syrup & Granulated Maple Sugar
under the watchful eye of Knutz!

post #2 of 28

That is so great!! I never knew you could do that. I tapped my first trees this year. The sap is flowing smoothly. That will be something else new to try!! Thanks for the pictorial!!

I wish that people would Use Things and Love People....Not Love Things and Use People. (;

NO, I am not bald,  My screen name is after my beloved Black cochin roo Baldie who passed away.
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I wish that people would Use Things and Love People....Not Love Things and Use People. (;

NO, I am not bald,  My screen name is after my beloved Black cochin roo Baldie who passed away.
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post #3 of 28

My only question would be, what is your time worth? Beet sugar costs about 50 cents a lb.... So why not just use maple syrup as your sweetener and save the time that you invested into making maple sugar? Or sell maple syrup in order to offset the cost of granulated sugar?

That being said I enjoy the detailed accounts you post of these experimenents you do smile

You can take a picture of your best laying hen, post it on Backyardchickens and ask what sex it is and somebody will tell you its a Roo....
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You can take a picture of your best laying hen, post it on Backyardchickens and ask what sex it is and somebody will tell you its a Roo....
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post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbush 

My only question would be, what is your time worth? Beet sugar costs about 50 cents a lb.... So why not just use maple syrup as your sweetener and save the time that you invested into making maple sugar? Or sell maple syrup in order to offset the cost of granulated sugar?

That being said I enjoy the detailed accounts you post of these experimenents you do smile


It's quite simple, as I said in my post my goal is self-sustainability. Making money is easy, being self-sustaining goes far beyond any commercial benefits.

BTW, when I post something you can rest assured it's not an experiment.

post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugal 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbush 

My only question would be, what is your time worth? Beet sugar costs about 50 cents a lb.... So why not just use maple syrup as your sweetener and save the time that you invested into making maple sugar? Or sell maple syrup in order to offset the cost of granulated sugar?

That being said I enjoy the detailed accounts you post of these experimenents you do smile


It's quite simple, as I said in my post my goal is self-sustainability. Making money is easy, being self-sustaining goes far beyond any commercial benefits.

BTW, when I post something you can rest assured it's not an experiment.


Sorry I guess I don't get it....Sugaring requires a lot of investment so how is it self sustaining? You have to buy the cans every year or recycle jars. taps get broken, buckets and pans spring leaks and need replacement or repair, lines get chewed by rodents or torn down by moose and fallen trees. Firewood must be cut and hauled requiring gasoline for chainsaws and tractors or trucks.........you see my point?

I haven't ever intentionally made maple sugar, but how many lbs can a gallon make? Maybe 5lbs tops at a cost of probably 8.00 a lb.


Edited by sugarbush - 3/20/09 at 7:45am
You can take a picture of your best laying hen, post it on Backyardchickens and ask what sex it is and somebody will tell you its a Roo....
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You can take a picture of your best laying hen, post it on Backyardchickens and ask what sex it is and somebody will tell you its a Roo....
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post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbush 
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugal 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbush 

My only question would be, what is your time worth? Beet sugar costs about 50 cents a lb.... So why not just use maple syrup as your sweetener and save the time that you invested into making maple sugar? Or sell maple syrup in order to offset the cost of granulated sugar?

That being said I enjoy the detailed accounts you post of these experimenents you do smile


It's quite simple, as I said in my post my goal is self-sustainability. Making money is easy, being self-sustaining goes far beyond any commercial benefits.

BTW, when I post something you can rest assured it's not an experiment.


Sorry I guess I don't get it....Sugaring requires a lot of investment so how is it self sustaining? You have to buy the cans every year or recycle jars. taps get broken, buckets and pans spring leaks and need replacement or repair, lines get chewed by rodents or torn down by moose and fallen trees. Firewood must be cut and hauled requiring gasoline for chainsaws and tractors or trucks.........you see my point?


No I don't.

I have enough extra equipment so that my great grandchildren will have everything they need to produce their own sugar. In addition, most of the items I use sugaring were handmade long before Sugaring became commercialized and I have the knowledge and tools to fashion more equipment.

All my firewood is harvested on my own 300+ acres, most just blow downs from the winter storms or clearing land for gardens and grazing. In addition, I have all the tools and materials on site to build a methane gas generator should the need arise. I should have enough head on my pond overflow to run a mini turbine if needed and I do have enough wind to generate power if required. My solar system will be fully operational by the end of the summer. I also have plenty of hand tools should fuel became a problem.

There's more to life than ease and money. I've chosen to make my own way much as possible. That means I'm becoming more and more self-sufficient each day and will one day be self-sustaining. That's who I am and what I do, I'm free.

smile

post #7 of 28

beet sugar... is it anygood I would never buy dog food with beet pulp in it so this is something I wouldnt be interested in.
Frugal
Do you bake with the maple sugar? I bet that it has a great flavor
Mary

post #8 of 28

Wow,  Im really impressed with the whole process.  I thought that making sugar would involve long drying times and stuff like that.  I never suspected that the primary work was in a mixer. 

Very interesting thread.

Thanks,

Chel

post #9 of 28

Frugal,

Thank you.

Over here we only get Maple syrup in tins.   Baldie said he has tapped his first tree?

Please excuse my ignorance, lol... it is where I live....lol...

I think that is amazing.  How interesting. 

now where can I get a maple tree....lol....

I loved following your pics... tht is so good.

I understand your drive to do this I have been considering just giving up on sugar.  I guess we are all hoping that it doen't get that bad,  but it so magic that you can be that self sufficient.
Keep posting your ways to live like this, it is inspirational.  I was jumping up and down yesterday because I have grown my first artichoke plant from a seed.   Bit like hatching an egg.....lol.... this is my first.

It is such a good buzz to do it yourself.

Many many thanks,

Jena.

The Welsh Witch, mother to one insane Border Collie, 2 Comets(Goldfish) and 4 Black Rock Beauties, and now 3 Copper Blue Marans and 2 White Splash Marans.  Ohhh and 2 sons (all grown up so I need something else to keep me busy).
Official Member of the Sir Opa/Sam (The Great Knight) Fan club..
www.LilacCottage.etsy.com
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The Welsh Witch, mother to one insane Border Collie, 2 Comets(Goldfish) and 4 Black Rock Beauties, and now 3 Copper Blue Marans and 2 White Splash Marans.  Ohhh and 2 sons (all grown up so I need something else to keep me busy).
Official Member of the Sir Opa/Sam (The Great Knight) Fan club..
www.LilacCottage.etsy.com
Reply
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickaadee 

beet sugar... is it anygood.


You have probably had beet sugar and don't even know it...half of this nations granulated sugar is produced from sugar beets. Some stores in this area don't even carry cain sugar anymore. From a chemistry point of view there is no difference between beet and cain sugar. From a humanitary point of view it is a huge difference.

People move to Vermont all the time and work towards self sufficiancy, and for the most point I understand that, but what is different between producing it yourself and trading it for something from a self sufficiancy standpoint? You can get 50 lbs of granulated sugar for 25.00. You could trade a single gallon of syrup for 100lbs of sugar or you can turn that syrup into a few lbs of sugar. If you can stock pile tools and equipment and call it self sufficiant, why not just trade for sugar? With some good food grade barrels you could stock pile 100 year supply of sugar. smile

Not trying to be contentious; just trying to understand the logic..


Edited by sugarbush - 3/21/09 at 4:50am
You can take a picture of your best laying hen, post it on Backyardchickens and ask what sex it is and somebody will tell you its a Roo....
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You can take a picture of your best laying hen, post it on Backyardchickens and ask what sex it is and somebody will tell you its a Roo....
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