I made maple syrup a couple weeks ago using sap from the trees in my backyard. I boiled it down, strained it and poured it into a glass jar. I put it in the fridge and ever since it has been hard as a rock! I wanted to use it on my pancakes tonight, If I can make it back to liquid is it okay to eat? I placed the jar in a bowl filled with hot water in hopes to make it back into liquid form. What happened that made this so hard?
Maple Syrup Turned Hard? Help Needed.
When the liquid gets hot, it starts the process of changing into a more solid form. If you ever make candy and use a candy thermometer, most of the candy thermometers will have different stages of candy that corresponds with increasingly higher temps like soft ball, hard ball, soft crack, hard crack.
This may have been what happened with your syrup. Not sure that the refrigerator had anything to do with it, but anything is possible.
There should not be anything wrong with the syrup as far as eating it (otherwise I would be dead from all the times I have had to turn honey back after it has started granulating), but I don't know if you will be able to get it back to the original syrupy condition or not. If you had more sap, you might be able to add more sap to the hardened syrup and try to reheat it. Not sure what adding water would do, if it would dilute the flavor or not. But if you can't eat the hardened sap brick, you may have nothing to lose by trying.
You probably boiled it too long, and evaporated off too much water. As more water gets driven off, the temperature of the boiling liquid rises (which is what the stages on the candy themometer reflect). A liquid that is syrupy when boiling will be really thick at room temperature, and even stiffer when chilled. Essentially, instead of making maple syrup, you made maple candy. It is still perfectly safe. You can try heating and adding a little water to it to see if you can re-liquify it, but I can't say whether you will have a satisfactory product when you are done.