HomeRoast Digest

Topic: OT maple sugar recipe (21 msgs / 479 lines)
1) From: John Despres
Maybe it's on topic if you want to add it to coffee -
Thank you for those very kind words, Ed. Wow, even a review of the 
packaging... I'm delighted you like it all.
Here's the recipe. This should be right up the alley of home roasters as 
it requires the same kind of dedication and concentration.
You need:
1. Pure maple syrup - For the sugar, I use what I call "dirty syrup". 
It's still very high end, but not Grade A or light amber - I prefer 
darker. As you boil down grade A, IMHO, the flavor lightens too much so 
I say the darker, the better. 1 quart makes about 2 pounds of sugar.
2. A very deep cooking pan - pasta pots work great.
3. A good candy thermometer _ I use a digital that I can pre-program to 
450 degrees - it gives a warning at 447 degrees at the three minute 
4. Non stick cookie sheet or a regular covered in aluminum foil
5. Pat of butter.
To make it:
1. First off you need to calibrate your thermometer  to boiling. Fill 
your pan with water and set it to boil - once you have reached a full 
boil, note the temperature on your thermometer. Water boils at 212, but 
maybe not on your thermometer - it might register 209 or 215. Not this 
temp - write it down and empty the pan.
2. Add the maple syrup. I work with 2 quarts - 1 quart will work as 
well. Add the pat of butter (this keeps the foam down - you'll see)
3. Boil carefully over high heat until the syrup reaches 32 degrees 
above the boiling point of water on YOUR thermometer- DON'T WALK AWAY! 
Keep a wooden spoon close (I have a dedicated syrup spoon, naturally). 
As the syrup comes up to boil, (about 210 degrees) it will roil in tiny 
bubbles, as it starts to rise up in the pan keep stirring or it will 
certainly boil over - keep stirring. After a few minutes the rising 
syrup will abate (about 220 degrees) and you can drift away, but not to 
far. This much will take about 15 minutes. From here the temp will rise 
very slowly - about another 30 - 45 minutes. During this time prep your 
cooling tray with the foil and place it on a cooling rack and set 
another cooling rack for your pan.
4. Once the temp has reached 32 above, remove from the heat to the 
cooling rack and let it begin cooling. I keep my thermometer in as it 
5. Stir gently - Don't be tempted to throw it in the electric mixer, you 
need to feel it. This part take about 10-12 minutes. I stir and cool it 
to about 214 degrees (easy for me to remember, it's my birthday).
6. Here's the very tricky part - as the syrup cools, it will begin 
stiffening and collecting on the sides of the pan as sugar. First try 
for this part may be difficult DON'T BE DISCOURAGED. If between 216 and 
214 degrees you pour it onto your cooling tray, you should have sugar in 
about 3 hours cooled indoors. Or if you're in the snow belt, cool it in 
the snow by setting the tray right on top of a drift.
7. As it cools you may, if you like, score the sugar with a knife to 
break it up into equal size chunks or just let it cool and break it up 
by hand.
8. If things don't work, simply add some water back to the pan and syrup 
and start the process over again.
A few notes: Try to buy the syrup in glass containers. That way you can 
see the color. If you have to explain what you're doing, the seller (who 
may be the maker) will tell you you need grade A "It's better". They are 
absolutely correct and if you want to argue with them because this guy 
in Michigan says to buy dark... Then the guy may call me a hack, then it 
goes down hill from there. Try not to buy in a metal tin. Depending on 
how long the syrup has been in the tin, it may taste tinny - just maybe. 
If you can find out how long it's been there, that's good. I don't try 
to use molds, because it's a pain and I can't find any I'd like to use. 
Besides, the sugar is hardening as I pour it out of the pan, so little 
tiny molds won't work so good. Besides, I don't care what it looks 
like... Right, Ed?
I have a memory at about age 2 or 3 of my great uncle Marcel, from 
Canada and one of his brothers, I don't remember which, at our front 
door handing me a block of maple sugar. It was huge! Wrapped in paper, I 
had a treasure! I've been a junky since. Turns out it wasn't so  huge, I 
was small. It was about the size of a full half pound bag of coffee... 
My grandpa used to make maple candy for my dad and his family at 
Christmas. I never had Grandpa's candy, but my dad continued the 
tradition and now I've adapted it to sugar.
Now we'll see if this posts or if it's to huge... Eyesight, y'know
John A C Despres
Hug your kids

2) From: Treshell
Thank You, I was just about to ask.  Is the stuff Costco sell in the plastic
jug good enough?  I love the taste but it is light.  Do you have a special
place you buy from now?  What is the average cost we should expect?
I know I want a copy of the home brew espresso maple sugar stout as well.

3) From: Lynne
Thank you, John!! I *love* maple sugar - never had any idea that I could
actually make it!
I actually like dark maple syrup better - these days I haven't been able to
drive around, so I'm not sure where I could locate some at a decent price
(duh - I should go north :>}). But when I do - I what I'm going to do...

4) From: John Despres
I haven't bought syrup at Costco. I purchase in plastic gallon jugs from 
Horrocks. Don't know if it's a chain or local store; I don't stop to 
chat. The syrup I buy is Michigan syrup and from Martin's Maple Products 
in Vermontville, MI.
Typically, a gallon will run $40 to $45.
Treshell wrote:
John A C Despres
Hug your kids

5) From: Ken Schillinger
Thanks for posting the recipe John.
As a side, I like darker maple syrup as well, and buy "Grade B" maple syrup 
from Trader Joes. The price may be a little steep to use it for making maple 
sugar, but it is available.
Thanks Again, Ken.

6) From: Homeroaster
I'll have to create it first!  I do something not many homebrewers do.  That 
is that I roast the unmalted barley and the malted barley myself in one of 
my small hole coffee drums.  I can do two or three pounds at a time and it 
cracks just like coffee.  I don't know if there is a second crack or not, 
because I'm not interested in taking any of it to that dark of a roast. 
Malted barley just out of the coffee roaster is like candy.  Close to grape 
nuts cereal but way better.
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com*********************

7) From: Allon Stern
On Dec 22, 2007, at 4:19 PM, "Ken Schillinger"  wrote:
I'll second the TJ's grade B maple- its yummy.
Funny regarding the foaming - I've made maple ice cream using liquid  
nitrogen and had problems with it foaming there as well. May be a very  
different cause, though; not sure.
In general, I've found that protein froths, and fat inhibits the  
frothing. This is why, for example, that pasta may foam up if you  
don't add a dollop of oil to the water.
More pertinent to the list, it explains the difference in frothing  
characteristics of different milks. Whole milk gives floppy gloppy  
foam, skim yields a firm, lasting foam, with 2% and 1% falling in  
between. I prefer the 2% for my lattes/cappuccinnos, though lately  
I've just been quaffing straight shots.
Anyway, just thought I'd comment on the foaming observations and see  
if anyone had anything to add.

8) From: Treshell
Ed serious on this -- Do keep us in the loop on this one.  I have a coffee
stout that I like BUT it has to set at least 3 months and then its smooth
but before its toilet water, Oh that might not be family reading.

9) From: Aaron Scholten
Wow,  I brew myself, been doing so for close to 20 years and while I 
have read about it, i never roasted the barley.  I might have to give 
this a try.
Homeroaster wrote:

10) From: John Despres
What is the cost of a gallon of syrup at Trader J's? The nearest to me 
is in Detroit area, about 150 miles...
Ken Schillinger wrote:
John A C Despres
Hug your kids

11) From: Lynne
They don't sell it by the gallon. I remember now - I bought it there. Glass
bottle -
I'm sure someone else can tell you - closer to a liter. Last time I bought
it, think it
was about $8. May be regional differences, too.
I bet you could get a better deal someplace online.
On Dec 22, 2007 6:27 PM, John Despres 

12) From: Michael I
I, too, am all about Grade B.  There are lots of syrup makers up here in the
Adks, and I get mine from a farm just down the road, right outside of Lake
Placid.  While we occasionally get Grade A Amber, it's usually B.  About
$40/gal here, and if you know the physical work and amount of energy
involved in making it -- totally worth it.
We go through a good bit of it, but I haven't made maple sugar before --
thanks for the recipe, John.  I'm definitely going to pick up a 1/2 gallon
and try it out.  

13) From: John Despres
Since I've found a great vendor with a syrup that makes an excellent 
sugar, I probably won't shop online. Too many variables. Not all online 
sources are like SM.
Lynne wrote:
John A C Despres
Hug your kids

14) From: Treshell
At $40 would you see if they have a way to buy on line.  Not a lot of maple
trees, well any kind of trees here in Wyoming.

15) From: Michael I
Of course they do -- it's a pretty small place, and they have a little B&B
there, too, but everyone, apparently, sells on the web.  Here's their
address:http://www.maplesugarworks.com/It's actually $42.75 a gallon, and I'm sure the shipping will add to that.
I can absolutely vouch for their quality -- we've been buying from them for
many years, and even gave their syrup-filled glass maple leaves away at our
The building you see on the homepage is the sugar house, which has a little
storefront in it.  It's serve yourself -- you pay for what you take, and
make your change from the cashbox.  Maybe not that big a deal for some of
you, but for me (from NYC and living in Boston now), it's pretty cool.
Anyway, the folks that own it are nice, and I'm always happy to support the
local businesses.

16) From: Treshell
Nice site but I could not email them.  They need to up grade their email
address on their site.  Could you tell them.  I would sure like to spend the
Christmas money my grand daughters gave me for this product.  Then I could
share some very special candy or maybe those maple leaves with the girls.

17) From: Michael I
I'm not sure why you need to email them -- you can buy the products right on
their site (the Maple Syrup link).
But if the sales address bounces, you can try
sales (their older site), or call them at 1-800-523-9369.  If
none of that works, you could try ncorwin, which is the
contact email for the B&B.

18) From: Derek Bradford
Jumping in here...sales didn't bounce for me.  At
least not yet...
On Dec 23, 2007 12:04 PM, Michael I  wrote:
Check out my blog: www.blynic.com
Every path but your own is the path of fate.  --Thoreau

19) From: Derek Bradford
Oh...it bounced.  Just very slowly.
On Dec 23, 2007 12:08 PM, Derek Bradford  wrote:
Check out my blog: www.blynic.com
Every path but your own is the path of fate.  --Thoreau

20) From: Bill Hill
we have trees in Wyoming... we call them sagebrush!!!  I've tapped a couple,
but still waiting for the syrup... but can't beat the aroma after a summer
Bill in Cheyenne

21) From: Barry Luterman
As you may know certain poker hands have names AK= big slick etc. When I
lived in Nevada we used to call a set of 3s a Nevada Forest (tree trees).
On Dec 22, 2007 7:42 PM, Bill Hill  wrote:

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