Now that you have boiled your sap down into syrup, it is time to put it in containers for storage. If you bottle your syrup correctly, it will be shelf stable indefinitely. However, if you do it incorrectly, you can get mold growth in your bottles or crystals forming. Here are some tips to help ensure you successfully bottle your syrup.
Make sure your syrup is at the right sugar content. Mold or crystals forming in syrup is a result of the sugar content being too low or too high, respectively. The optimal range is 66% to 68.9% and is best determined using some kind of measuring device. Hydrometers and refractometers designed for use with maple syrup are readily available and relatively inexpensive.
Filter your syrup. During the processing of sap to syrup, other compounds within the sap will form solids called sugar sand or niter in the syrup and these need to be removed. Cloth filters for maple syrup are inexpensive and easy to use. Make sure to filter the syrup while it is hot.
Bottle it hot. Reheat the syrup to 190 degrees after you filter it and before bottling. This will ensure the container will seal properly.
Use the right bottles. Only use food grade containers, with a sealable lid, and ensure they are clean.
Seal the containers quickly after bottling.
That’s it. It seems like a lot of additional steps, but really doesn’t take too long to complete and you will be more satisfied with the syrup in the end.