Maple syrup is made from sap. It has a clear appearance, just like water only that it is stickier in consistency and very sweet taste. It is liquid running up the Sugar Maple tree as an indication that it is perfect time for the tree to bud.
In its sugaring time, the makers of the maple syrup will tap maple trees as a way of extracting the sap. Maple syrup makers of today use tube system for the sap collection. The tree is drilled with hole and a small spout is place in the hole. The sap runs out of the tap into one long piece of plastic tube that can connect to more than a hundred trees at one time. The sap then runs through the tube and flowing into the main container or tank. Then the syrup makers will go on collecting the sap until the color changes. If the color starts to change, it is an indication that the trees are ready to bud.
Then the maker will take the sap to the sugar house to convert it into maple syrup. It will be strained and poured into a stainless steel cooking bin that is uncovered. In the traditional method, the bins are place on top of a hot fire fueled by wood as it is capable of burning hot and long.
To remove the water content, the sap needs to be boiled, leaving only the sugary syrup. Then the process includes a lot of stirring, testing and skimming off the sugary foam which forms bubbles on top. The foam carries the sap impurities and if the longer you cook the syrup and the more foam will be produced. It actually takes around 30 gallons or more of sap in order to produce a single gallon of maple syrup. The completed syrup is graded and then poured into the container. There is a grade based for syrups on its color, flavor and consistency.
The fancy syrup comes in a much lighter color and has a more delicate maple flavor. A lot of people who make syrup would likely prefer the grade A medium amber that has more robust maple flavor.