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How Maple Syrup is Made

At Milligan's Maple Syrup, we pride ourselves on the traditional yet sustainable methods we use to produce our maple syrup. Here's a closer look at how we transform sap into the delicious syrup you love.

Milligan’s Maple Syrup Process

1. Harvesting Maple Tree Sap

Our production season at the Athens Farm typically starts in the middle of January and runs through the beginning of March. The ideal weather conditions for maple production is for freezing temperatures at night (sap is created in the roots of the tree under freezing temperatures) and above freezing during the day where the sap will run throughout the tree. The process starts with drilling a small hole into the tree and inserting a tap. We only tap maple trees with a 10” diameter (which usually takes 30 years from planting to achieve).  Each tap collects sap without harming the tree, ensuring the longevity and health of our maple groves. Our tapping process respects the natural growth cycle of the trees, allowing us to harvest sap year after year from the same maple trees. We utilize a tubing system that spans hundreds of miles across our forest to collect our sap and maximize our yield. We sanitize and clean our tubing system every year before and after our harvest.

2. Sap Collection and Filtration

The collected sap is stored in large stainless steel tanks and carefully filtered to remove impurities. This step ensures that only the purest sap proceeds to the next stage. The sap flows through a series of fine filters and removes water through reverse osmosis, which capture any debris or natural impurities, resulting in a clear, clean liquid ready for boiling. On average it takes 40-50 gallons of sap to yield a gallon of pure maple syrup. With removing a significant amount of water from the sap through our reverse osmosis machine, we are able to make pure maple syrup faster and utilize less wood to fuel our evaporator.

3. Boiling Sap into Maple Syrup

Once the sap has been filtered and run through our reverse osmosis machine we run it through our wood fired evaporator (a 4x14 Creekside evaporator with a steam-away that can boil 225 gallons of sap per hour). We use wood from fallen trees in our forest as our fuel source for our evaporator. The sap moves through the evaporator utilizing a series of floats and compartments to make sure all of our sap is processed in a uniform manner. Once the sap has been boiled to a brix content of 66.6 to 68.9 it becomes pure maple syrup (typically when the temperature is between 214-219* Fahrenheit). A significant amount of water is generated through the boiling process which is then used for cleaning purposes once the days boil is completed.

4. Grading and Bottling the Maple Syrup

After boiling, our syrup is run through a filter press to ensure any impurities are removed and to ensure our syrup is transparent in appearance.  The syrup is graded based on color and flavor profile, then bottled in eco-friendly packaging, ready to reach your table. We offer different grades to suit various culinary needs, from amber and dark robust to Grade B very dark/strong maple syrup. We offer gallon jugs and buckets with pour spouts for high volume customers.

What Makes Our Maple Syrup Process Exceptional?

We are very thorough and dedicated in making our pure maple syrup, we don’t cut any corners. Our Athens operation is powered by a significant source of renewable energy while utilizing solar panels. Sustainability and product consistency are critical to our operation.

 

We utilize the most advanced and efficient production practices including a tubing collection system that utilizes vacuum to enhance yield, reverse osmosis to remove water from maple sap, and a wood fired evaporator to boil our maple sap to become syrup (using fallen trees in our woods as our fuel source compared to other producers who utilize oil and natural gas fueled evaporators) The small-batch production guarantees premium taste and purity in every bottle. By blending age-old techniques with modern technology, we produce the finest maple syrup.

Nutritional Benefits of Maple Syrup

Milligan's Maple Syrup is not only delicious but also nutritious. It contains essential minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Additionally, it's a natural source of antioxidants, making it a healthier alternative to refined sugar.

Nutritional Highlights:

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  • High in natural antioxidants

  • Contains essential minerals and calcium

  • Lower glycemic index than refined sugar, your body can naturally digest pure maple syrup.

  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory and provides a natural energy boost.

Why Choose Milligan's Maple Syrup?

  • Pure and Natural: Our syrup is 100% pure and organic, without any additives or preservatives.

  • Sustainably Harvested: We prioritize the health of our maple trees and the environment, ensuring sustainable harvesting practices.

  • Versatile and Delicious: Perfect for pancakes, baking, and even savory dishes, our syrup adds a unique, natural sweetness to any meal.

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Discover the full journey of our syrup from tree to table. Visit our farm or contact us to learn more about our sustainable practices!

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