Kopp's Crops is a family-run business specializing in maple syrup, honey and fresh vegetables. We are located 45 miles north of Minneapolis in Bradford Township on our 65 acre farm.

*Now Selling at the Cambridge-Isanti Farmers Market!*

Local Orders: For pickup in Isanti, Cambridge, Brooklyn Park or Arden Hills, please email koppscrops@gmail.com or call 763-772-7057 to place your order and arrange payment & pickup. Available products are listed in the shopping cart below.

Outside the Twin Cities: Please use the online shopping cart below. USPS shipping charges will be calculated at checkout.

For questions, please email us at koppscrops@gmail.com


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Finer Points of Finishing, Part 1

So after five or so hours of boiling, our 40 gallons of sap has magically turned into a gallon of syrup, right?  Oh, if only.  To “finish” the syrup to the proper 66% sugar content in the pan would be to risk overshooting the evaporation and scorching the syrup.  Thus rendering the syrup inedible, and leaving the evaporator operator sobbing in the corner of the sugar shack in the fetal position.  Nobody wants to see that.  So the trickiest part of the entire syrup operation might be deciding when to pull the pan off the wood stove and transfer the near-syrup to a large pot to be finished over a more controlled heat source.  Pull the pan off too early, and we waste lots of time boiling off water we could have boiled in the more efficient flat pan.  Pull it off too late and, yup, we’ll be playing “Taps” for our fallen batch of syrup.
Maple Sap Streaming into the Boiling Pan

Since we’ve engaged in a couple of 12+ hour, 180 gallon boiling marathons this season, we’ve faced an even more difficult decision:  when to quit feeding the fire at the end of the night?  Once the last of the sap has left the barrel and streamed into the pan, there’s still quite a bit of boiling to do.  So rather than staying up another two hours to feed the fire and pull off the pan to cool, we stop stoking the fire and let the residual heat of the stove and the sap do a little more evaporating before morning, when we'll fire up the finishing operation.  As you might imagine, estimating how much evaporating happens while we’re sleeping is like estimating how long our kids' good mood will last after the maple syrup sugar rush wears off.  In other words, nearly impossible.  We nearly lost our first batch this way – we woke up to nearly-finished syrup in our pan, just a smidgen away from scorched syrup.  Thankfully, we were still a few points away from the magic 66% sugar content for finished syrup, so we didn’t lose any of our sweet amber goodness.  Sweet dreams, indeed!