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Before the maple syrup sogs up pancakes, it's just clear sap sitting in sap sacks. Jack Schmidling documents the process, which started last winter (sap flow needs freezing temperatures) and has now entered the boiling and jarring phases. He heats the sap until it reaches half the concentration of syrup, then cools and reduces the liquid to reach actual syrup consistency. This year, Schmidling tapped sap from 23 silver maple trees. [via Neatorama]

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