New Hampshire Maple Experience

Bethlehem, NH

About NH Maple Syrup

Each year, the New Hampshire maple industry produces close to 90,000 gallons of maple syrup. Maple sugaring time in New Hampshire runs from mid-February to mid-April.

As the frozen sap in the maple tree thaws, it begins to move and build up pressure within the tree. When the internal pressure reaches a certain point, sap will flow from any fresh wound in the tree. Freezing nights and warm sunny days create the pressure needed for a good sap Harvest.

In late February, New Hampshire maple producers tap their sugar maples by drilling a small hole in the trunk and inserting a spout. A bucket or plastic tubing is fastened to the spout and the crystal clear sap drips from the tree.

The sap is then collected and transported to the sugar house where it is boiled down in an evaporator over a blazing hot fire. As the steam rises from the evaporator pans, the sap becomes more concentrated until it finally reaches the proper density to be classified as syrup. It is then drawn from the evaporator, filtered, graded, and bottled. It takes approximately forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup.

The maple sugaring season in New Hampshire usually lasts about six weeks from mid-February to mid-April, depending on the location and the weather.

Grades of Syrup

GRADE A LIGHT AMBER
The first runs of maple sap in the early spring make Grade A Light Amber syrup. This treasured syrup, with its delicate maple flavor, is used to make maple cream, candy and sugar. Many prefer it as a table syrup.
GRADE A MEDIUM AMBER
Gradually, as the maple season progresses, the syrup darkens a shade to Grade A Medium Amber. This product bears a richer maple flavor and is great for pouring over pancakes, ice cream or oatmeal. This grade is also used for making maple cream and sugar.
GRADE A DARK AMBER
Nearing the end of the 4-6 week season, the syrup darkens again to Grade A Dark Amber, which is also a choice table syrup. With its stronger, more robust maple flavor, it can also be used for cooking.
GRADE B
At the very end of the season, some maple producers make a small amount of Grade B syrup, which is darker yet and has a strong maple flavor. Although some folks enjoy it as a table syrup, it is primarily used in cooking.
click to enlarge:
Maple Tree tapping Maple Tree taps Demonstration of Maple sap bolier
Sampling Maple Sap Want to experience the full NH Maple Process with a guided expert? We offer private tours of the NH Maple Experience