Steps to Making Sorghum Syrup
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Sorghum syrup is made from sorghum cane which is grown from seed. It is planted in the spring and nears maturity in early fall. We cut it by hand, strip the leaves and the head off by hand. The result is a 6-9 foot cane of sorghum.
The head and the leaves are removed to trap the juice in the stalk. We then feed the cane through a sorghum press to extract the juice.
This sorghum press is from the Civil War era.
The head, leaves, and discarded stalk can be fed to Livestock.
The squeezed juice is very sweet and green in color. This is due to the plant chlorophyll.
Our sorghum cooker is 2 long stainless steel basins over brick firepits. The cookers hold approximately 50 gallons of juice each. They start out full.
During processing, impurities are peridodically skimmed off the top.
The juice is brought to a boil and simmered for 8-12 hours until the liquid starts to "sheet". The original 50 gallons of juice will cook down to about 5 gallons of finished product.
Then we remove it from the heat and let it cool.
During the cooling process, any leftover chlorophyll will rise to the top. Once its cooled, we can then drain the sorghum off the bottom.
The result is a jar of delicious sorghum. It can be used for baking, for pancakes, put in baked beans and BBQ sauce. It doesn't need to be refrigerated and won't spoil.