Sugar Shack & Sugar Camp
The demonstrations are in the building across from Historic Meyers Manor. The building is recognizable by the smoke coming out of its chimney and the sweet smell in the air.
In this building you will learn how maple producers boil-off the water and turn it into syrup and other maple products that we commonly use.
In the sugar camp many interesting things take place. The sugar water is stored in a large holding tank and flows into an evaporator pan by gravity. The sap has a 2 - 2 1/2% sugar content.
The water enters the rear of the pan which has several sectional flat pans and is preheated in each section. One front section is the final stage, where the sap is boiled at 185 degrees and then filtered through pressure to remove all sugar white sand problems.
The sap contains calcium malate in the solution, the same as in hard water. The heat in the boiling process solidifies it.
One gallon of maple syrup weighs 11 pounds, condensed from 40 to 50 gallons of sugar water.
One of the unique foods derived from maple syrup is called Spotza. Spotza is made by boiling maple syrup down to the soft ball stage (about 238 degrees F) and then pouring it over crushed ice. This forms soft, clear taffy which should be eaten immediately in order to obtain its full value. The early settlers learned about spotza from the Indians, who would pour boiled maple syrup on the snow. The name spotza comes from the Pennsylvania Dutch word for "spot on the snow".
You can see spotza being made and taste its sweet flavor at Maple Festival Park.