Storing Maple Syrup
Late March is when one thinks of making and storing maple syrup. When the hard work and making maple syrup is done one needs to focus on storing it safely. This can involve several steps. Determining what grade of syrup you have adds value to the product. Syrup is graded by color and the lighter of the color the higher the grade. This will help you decide what type of container you will use for storing maple syrup. (see also How to Make Maple Syrup)
Typically syrup is stored in glass jars so the beautiful color can shine through. Canning jars can be found at your local store. (learn more: Can You Reuse Grocery Store Jars)
Another popular container is plastic. They can be purchased at Maple syrup suppliers. Make sure you have purchased enough lids for the containers you plan to use.
Metal containers are also a viable option for storing maple syrup.
Hot packing maple syrup - once the sap has been processed and becomes maple syrup, it is ready to filter. Filter syrup while it is hot at 185 to 90°F. This helps the filtering process go fairly quickly. Be sure to remove any sediment and a filter, use white cotton or wool filters that one can purchase from a maple syrup supplier. Contamination of yeast and mold can be prevented when the syrup is packed hot in a sanitized container that is food grade quality. You can sanitize any container by boiling it in water for 10 minutes before you use it. It is also recommended that you invert the container immediately after being filled.
It is important to monitor the temperature of the syrup. If it is below 180°F it must be reheated 280°F or above in order to pack the syrup hot. Do not go over 200°F because that can darken the syrup which then lowers the grade of the syrup. Store your syrup in a cool, dark place for two years until opened. Once it is open it can be stored in a refrigerator for one year.
The entire family can enjoy time spent making syrup just be careful in preserving your syrup so it can be enjoyed on the pancakes by the entire family.
Where to Purchase Canning Jars
1. Garage Sales
Very often you will fail to find what you are looking for, but occasionally you will come across nice canning jars in good condition. Just be sure to examine the jars carefully for scratches or cracks.
2. Thrift Stores
Typically the jars offered for sale in thrift stores are not in the best condition, however sometimes you can find a great number of canning jars there.
It is an excellent source to get some good canning jars if you don’t mind haggling.
4. Word of Mouth
This method is not very popular but extremely effective. Just tell your friends and acquaintances that you are looking for jars. Who knows maybe they or their relatives might have lots of jars they just don’t need in a basement.
You are really lucky if you have a WinCo in your area because they typically feature a nice selection of canning jars at the prices that are lower than at most grocery stores. Since the jars are available all year round, you can purchase several jars every time you shop at the store. By the time the canning season starts, you’ll get pretty many jars and the cost will be spread out over the time.
Consider checking out Amazon prior to and during the canning season for really great special offers on jars. The popular online retailer even features higher end specialty jars, such as Weck, at the best prices. If you regularly shop at Amazon this is the best way how you can get them. Not only will you get them delivered to your doorstep but if you take advantage of special deals it is going to be quite affordable.
7. Hardware Stores
Although shopping at hardware stores is not the most cost effective way to get the canning jars, during the canning season the stores usually have great deals not to be missed.