Visit a Working Sugar Bush Operation in Michigan's Thumb

a close up of a sign

We learned on our visit that it takes about 40 gallons of maple sap to produce one gallon of high grade maple syrup. The Battel farm have over 400 taps with a gravity and vacuum fed tube system that fills the collection kettles with pure Maple sap. 

On our visit it was a bit of waiting game in the afternoon until the outside temperature got above freezing in order for the sap to start to move to the collection kettles. Once collected, the sap is boiled over roaring hardwood fire in a slow but deliberate evaporation process. The process involves a series of heat and filtration steps to render the light amber syrup that we can ultimately enjoy on our favorite pancakes or waffles.

Besides the wonderful light amber syrup the Battel’s Sugar Bush also make Maple candy, whipped Maple Cream and even Maple Sugar. The granules of Maple Sugar are about twice as sweet as our favorite white sugar so you use less.  

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Stories and fun from the Great Lakes State

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