When I was kid we used to go to my uncle's "cabane a sucre" (translates as sugar shack) on the outskirts of Sherbrooke to make the stuff. You need 40 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of syrup. Reduce it slowly, the longer you reduce it the darker it gets. I prefer a medium to dark but most of the places sell light. Makes sense as it takes less time. Pouring hot maple syrup over cold snow and eating it right away after it solidifies is one of lifes good things. Also bringing it to a boil and stirring it constantly turns it to sugar. That makes my mouth water.