06 April 2014

Maple Tapping and Syrup


          Our latest escapade has been tapping our dozen or so Silver Maple trees.  This post will be all about our findings and how we turned (above Picture) to (below Picture) and how you can do it too :)


What You'll Need:
  • A beautiful warm spring day (40 degrees and up).  And a night before which has gone below freezing.





  • About 10 or so  concrete blocks (unless you are doing your boiling inside) and Either a huge metal pot (for inside cooking) or a couple of those barbeque pans (shown in first picture of Where to Start section of post).
        
  • Some Pex tubing, or other tubing (you should research what type you want to use) that can be found online.  (We used 1/2 inche although it is recommeded that you use something smaller since this could damage your tree)

  • Several empty and sanatized milk jugs (you can also buy different types of jugs for the same purpose online at a rediculous price... XD)... this one doesn't look very clean, but it is on the inside (and just got some dirt on the outside from sitting on the ground)















  • A Utility Knife















  • Some copper wire or other string (to keep the milk jugs hung up.)















  • A shovel (again, if your are planning on boiling the sap outside)















  • A Hatchet and Chainsaw (unless your wood is already cut, or you are doing the boiling inside)















  • A lighter & Some twigs, branches, and logs




Where to Start:


          It may be best to begin by setting up your fire pit and making sure your blocks are the correct legth away from eachother, so that your barbeque pans can fit in between.  One thing you may want to research is how to get a stove pipe for the smoke connected.  This may be useful in keeping smoke and ashes out of your boiling sap.
          Make sure your blocks are 2 high so that you can build a fire underneath the pans.


          Once that is set up you are ready to put your buckets up.  You will need to drill a hole about three feet from the ground to put your tubing in (and you can research more about that process online here).  Next take your jugs and cut open a piece to stick the tube through.








          Now you have all the sap you need for boiling!  Most people say 40 gallons of sap to 1 of boiled down syrup, but we did 12 gallons of sap to about 5 pints of boiled down syrup, and its great!  Anyway, you need to strain the sap when putting it into the pans for boiling, because there is going to end up being all sorts of junk in there.



Once that is done, and you are pretty sure you've had your sap boiling for long enough and down to the right amount, you can bring your syrup/sap inside for the delicate testing ^-^
This process pretty much consists of boiling your syrup/sap until it reaches 220 *F
Oh that's something else that might be useful (haha I totally forgot...) a candy thermometer.  You don't need one, but it helps... and that way you don't have to keep testing it... and waiting for it to cool off before you test it ^-^




Once you know for sure that it is as you want it, the you are ready for the canning stage.  Here you pretty much,
A. boil the jars so they are sanatized,
B. funnel the syrup into the jars, and tighten for storing!
C. Take pictures and enjoy your maple syrup!
 


          One thing that I must mention... do not go out making maple syrup only after reading this post (not that anyone would get super inspired by a blog post of mine haha) but first research more about the points I may have been unclear on.  I hope this helped you see how easy it is to make maple syrup!  Enjoy this beautiful spring weather :)




2 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! I love love love love the first picture!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you! I know, I was super surprised when I saw it and how circular the drop is :)

    ReplyDelete

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