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, May 1, 2013

99 Bottles of Syrup on the Wall… And 99 Stockpots to Wash

May 1 and it’s snowing again in Minnesota.  We only wish we were joking.  About the only thing this weather is good for is finishing out the Maple Syrup Blogging Season.  So let the bottling summary begin!

There are few tasks here at Kopp’s Crops that dirty more dishes than filtering and bottling maple syrup, which is why we save up a few days’ worth of boiling output before we bottle.  That means we’ve got three or four pots dirtied up before we even start – the pots in which the syrup was finished & stored.  The full syrup pots go back on the stove to heat, partly as an additional pasteurization step, partly just to make the syrup less viscous and runnier so it flows through the filters more quickly.  Our filters are housed in a straining pot that started its life as a regular old stockpot, but now has holes drilled in the bottom so the filtered syrup can drip through the holes into yet another clean pot (or three) waiting below.

We use the double filter method for our syrup, with a disposable pre-filter inside our reusable cone filter, which is made of Orlon.  Orlon filters are the gold standard for syrup straining, because they filter out even the smallest bits of concentrated minerals, called sugar sand (harmless, but annoyingly gritty on the tongue).  But the tight weave of the felt-like fabric clogs up easily, so the pre-filter removes larger debris before it has a chance to gum up the Orlon and slow down the filtering operation to “molasses in January” speed.  When the pre-filter collects too much gunk, like larger granules of sugar sand and small bits of leaves and bark, we just swap in a new filter to speed things along.  At this point in the season, patience is not our strong suit.   

Finally filtered into a second round of clean stockpots, the syrup is once again heated to 200 degrees to ensure that the syrup will be hot enough to make our tamper-proof plastic caps seal properly.  Then we pour the steaming hot syrup carefully….carefully… carefully into an insulated coffee pot with a spigot for easy bottle filling.  Quite the upgrade from last year’s “ladle & funnel & try to keep the spilling to a minimum” method!  Each bottle is filled, wiped and capped, then set aside to cool before labeling.  We’ve been blessed with a bumper crop of syrup this year (99 bottles just in the first bottling batch!, so we’re swimming in beautiful bottles of sweet syrup.  The sidebar on the right shows the sizes and grades we have for sale.  When you’re ready to order, just give a yell – we’ll be in the kitchen washing out the mountain of stockpots!