What equipment do you need for maple syrup production? A few suggestions for a maple syrup startup.
Maple sugaring can be big business, but it is also a wonderful hobby. For as long as there have been humans on this blue planet, there have also been sweet desires. Producing maple syrup is an incredibly long, expensive, and labor-intensive process, however it can be very rewarding. Canada is the world’s biggest producer and exporter of maple products, exporting over 61 million kg of maple products to over 68 countries. The Vermont maple industry is booming even if it is still small comparing with Quebec. Canada’s market is quite a powerful one, Canada is one of the world's top 10 countries regarding final goods and services produced and sold in a specific time. Canada and the United States trade 1.9 billion in goods and services daily.
Maple sugar production started in the late 1700s and early 1800s. French colonizers learned from the Indigenous peoples how to tap trees to obtain sap and boil it to create a syrup or sugar that can be stored for later use. In short, it was the first type of sugar produced in eastern North America and it played the role of main sweetener until 1875, when cane sugar became wider spread and cheaper. The early maple syrup marketing campaigns focused on convincing Canadian mothers to embrace maple products as nutritious and safe for their kids.
Walking on a sugar road
If you are thinking about starting your maple syrup company it's good to know your competitors. Not all maple syrups are created equally but one thing is certain, the process takes a lot of dedication and care. Who are the most beloved maple syrup brands? What customers prefer to buy?
Meet Maple Grove Farms. "Built on maple, grown into more." - since 1915, crafted in Vermont. "When Helen Gray and Ethel McLaren started crafting maple candy on their family farm in 1915, there was no telling how sweet their tale would turn out to be. Their not-so-secret secret ingredient? 100% pure maple syrup sourced from the sap of surrounding maple trees." (source:maplegrove.com)
Some of other preferred brands are: Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup, Parker's Real Maple, The Maple Guild, Shady Maple Farms Organic Maple Syrup or Winding Road Maple Syrup.
One of the brand that invested in a custom, unique bottle that grabs the attentions on the shelf and online is Organic Canadian Maple Syrup. The bottle shape is inspired by a maple-leaf.
Other brands had tried delicious combinations like Trader Joe's Vanilla Bean Infused Vermont Maple Syrup.
If you want go in a high end direction, Escuminac Unblended Maple Syrup is a very good example. It is an Award-winning dark robust maple syrup. It has an extra fine and rich taste. The maple syrup comes from Martin Malenfant's farm in Escuminac, Quebec. It has a very unique taste mainly because it’s never mixed with syrup from other areas and is verified USDA Organic, 100% traceable from forest to the plate, gluten-free, vegan, and free of additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors.
The maple syrup extraction process is a bit more modern these days. Today’s maple producers use electric drills to create a small hole into the tree. A spile is inserted into the hole. Most of today’s spiles have a hook attached so that a container can be hung right from the tree. Bigger producers utilize a series of hoses that run from tree to tree and then down into a larger hose called a mainline. The whole structure is close to a sugarhouse.
So, if you would like to start a maple syrup business and make this Canadian product profitable, What equipment do you need for maple syrup production? Make a list with the necessary maple syrup hobby supplies.
The evaporator is represented by a huge stainless-steel vat. Here the maple sap goes through a condensation process. This elaborate process will determine the color and flavor of the maple syrup. The raw material is boiled for many hours, until enough of the water has evaporated. When sap is 33% water and 67% sugar it has become syrup. We need 40 liters of maple sap to make 1 liter of syrup. To avoid the caramel taste, the maple syrup must cook fast on a high, intense, and regular heat, so find the best hobby maple syrup evaporator to help you achieve a good result.
The electronic thermometer
The thermometer is found at the end of the boiler. This precise tool will control the flow of the maple syrup at the coming out from the boiler valves. These valves will undoubtedly open when the maple syrup is cooked enough.
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The osmosis units
The osmosis unit separates water from sugar. In the maple industry RO systems are used not to obtain purified water, but to concentrate the sugar in the maple sap. The impact of the reverse osmosis technology on the maple syrup production process can be quite significant.
The filtering press
It is used to filter the maple syrup at the exit of the boiler. The filtering process will occur by passing the maple syrup trough several series of special papers. This process will simply be used to take out all sediments from the maple syrup. It ensures the right transparency and brilliance once the product is bottled, so it worth to invest into a good hobby maple syrup filter press.
There are many producers for good maple syrup equipment. CDL is a professional company that develops, manufactures, and distributes maple sugaring equipment. D&G has a proper line of maple equipment and supplies from the tap to the jug. PRUNO is a top maple sugaring tools designer and manufacturer in North America. Roth Sugar Bush is producing maple equipment, evaporators, pans, pumps, buckets, filters, tanks, labels etc. so you can buy all you need from Roth maple syrup supplies. And the list can continue, be sure you do extensive online research before you start buying the equipment for your business or hobby, it should both fit your proposed purpose and your allocated budget.
Q & A
Q: What types of trees can be used for maple syrup producing?
A: Native maple trees that are at least 10” in diameter may be tapped. Type of trees: Sugar Maple, Red Maple, Black Maples.
Q: How much sap can be extracted?
A: Normally, you get 8 to 10 runs per season. For each run, one tap will produce about 3-4 kgs of sap.
Q: What supplies a startup needs?
A: A few things are mandatory if you want to start a small business:
Buckets/tubing for collection
Storage container for sap
Firing gloves & cleaning brushes
Bottles/containers to store the finished syrup
You can also find kits for maple syrup tree tapping.
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Q: What are the best ways to make my new maple syrup brand known?
A: Invest into a quality maple syrup packaging design. This should highlight the natural ingredients to confirm that it's made of 100% pure maple syrup. Create a website to showcase your products and suggest recipes that can use your wonderful nectar: tasty pancakes, glazed grilled meat, etc. Use social media and post beautiful photos to attract loyal customers.
Maple syrup branding & packaging design
Your maple syrup brand should have a memorable, unique logo. Maple syrup branding focuses today on health reasons to market the product, emphasizing its ‘purity’. In fact, it is more nutritious than other overprocessed sweeteners. This means more minerals and producing a lower glycemic index.
New products and recipes are created all the time to attract new customers, innovation and research are key elements in this industry. For example, maple water, yogurt, flavored spirits, baked goods, and savory sauces. It is recommended that the maple syrup packaging design showcases the region from where the product comes from. A special bottle for maple syrup might also influence the buying decision.
So why start a maple syrup business?
Because customers are pushing back against refined sugars and is searching for less processed alternatives like maple syrup. Naturally this is a unique opportunity for startups.
A few suggestions for a maple syrup startup
Attend a few workshops to catch the tricks of this trade and learn about the latest innovations. Create a good business plan filled with your vision and goals, specific manufacture details. Calculate your cost of maple syrup production to determine if your business will be profitable. Purchase some new and some used equipment, arrange your working space close to your beloved trees and start building your little empire.
"Only when you have eaten a lemon do you appreciate what sugar is." Ukrainian Proverb
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