Learning About the Art & Science of Making Maple Syrup with Kurt Upham

In founding ohDEER 10 years ago, Kurt Upham responded to a need for safe and effective … for all natural … methods to control deer, mosquitoes, and ticks.

Kurt has a vocation and avocation that synchs.  He has a business that naturally and effectively helps people safely share in his affinity for outdoors.

Among the outdoor activities in which Kurt engages is deer hunting, which he has been involved for many years … and another he only started three years ago:  collecting maple sap and making syrup from the sap.

Kurt is finishing up his new hobby for this year, as this is the close of “maple sugaring season,” the time in these parts — roughly from mid February through mid March — in which the sap flows in abundance through maple trees.

“I’m a bit of a novice — and I am having fun, and learning,” said Kurt.  “This year I had 15 spiles drawing sap from maples in my neighborhood, on my neighbors property that my neighbors are nice to allow me access.

“You want to tap trees that have a lot of sunlight, and to insert the spiles on the south side of the tree, for this allows you to tap the area of the tree that is the warmest for the longest, and where the sap flows most freely.

“This year, I did two boils of sap of sap over Bunsen burners – one of 25 gallons which rendered about a half gallon of syrup — and another of 40 gallons which provided about a gallon of syrup.”

Kurt boils the sap at 218 degrees Fahrenheit.  And says that you want a darker and heavier syrup you boil at 220 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Upham family has many culinary uses for the syrup.  As well, the family shares the syrup with their neighbors.

“Pure maple syrup is a delicious natural sweetener — and flavor,” says Kurt. ”

Kurt is looking ahead to next year’s maple season; he is going to take it up a notch.

“Yeah, I am already scouting online for equipment.  I am going to purchase an evaporator — which is sort of a high end boiling apparatus for sap.

“Again, this is fun — and I am learning.”


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