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Thread: Maple syrup!

  1. #1

    Default Maple syrup!

    Anybody here tap trees? The sap is running.

    I might try to tap a few and see what I end up with. never done it before, so I'm not sure what's involved.


  2. #2
    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    Come on down to my area this weekend rwc,the neighbor is having their syrup festival again this weekend,and I plan on visiting tomorrow,they have a pretty elaborate set up,most people around here though usually just drill the hole,insert a peice of tubing or pipe,and place a hook over that from which to hang either a bag or bucket.

    Watched an Amish gentleman take a 250 gallon tank full of sap,to sell to the neighbors a few minutes ago.

    http://www.lmsugarbush.com/ourfestival.html
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  3. #3

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    Mmm! Sounds good. I'm gonna give it a try tomorrow. I just have to find some trees that won't be disturbed by people.

    I cut down an ole aluminum arrow shaft in 2 1/2 " lengths and have a portable drill I'm gonna use to tap em. Might see about getting some tubing instead though and some gallon milk jugs.

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    Senior Member huntermj's Avatar
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    I work with a couple of guys who suger.
    ill be getting a half gallon soon

    sprinkle on bacon
    oooohhhhh bacon candy
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    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    i have to wait til sonora pass opens up for the year, but then the lady and i will be headed to our favorite wilderness area. then it's a couple days of simmering up maple and alder syrup and catching trout. i miss the mountains in a bad way.

    it's as simple as simmering down the sap slowly til it thickens slightly with a spoon test, then finishing it off even more slowly in a wide, shallow container to the consistency you want.
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    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    I REALLY REALLY want to do this, this year. anybody got a good link with instructions, or can somebody put up a simple how-to with a pic or two? I don't want to kill the tree if I can help it (you know, the delicate balance of nature.. don't offend the tree spirits, etc.) but I feel like it is an essential self reliance skill that would bring more comfort to any given wilderness undertaking. Fun Camp project for the kids too. Might make a nice demo type thing for taking out the boy scouts! Heck, It's springtime and what do kids love more than video games? SUGAR!!

    and later this year an old fella whose family used to run a sugar cane mill is supposed to show me how to get sugar from that. The stuff grows like bamboo so It could prove to have a lot more uses besides sweetener. Stay tuned for that!
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    Senior Member Ted's Avatar
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    Going out to do it for 1st time right now!

    YCC, Pertersons says 1/2 inch hole 2-3 inches deep, angled upward. I'm going to use 1/2 in. pvc for spigot.
    I'm a simple man, of simple means, turned my back on the machines, to follow my dreams.

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    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    going over to my folks place this afternoon and I think me and dad are gonnan try to make the tap and stuff and try it today. found a decent link here
    Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. Helen Keller

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    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    drill the hole with a clean bit, use a clean tap and when done, plug it snug with fresh cut green wood [showing no signs of fungal infection] and the tree will have as good a chance of survival as a person with a minor cut.
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    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    How many trees are you going to tap??? How much syrup are you wanting??? It takes 50 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup!
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  11. #11
    Senior Member ClayPick's Avatar
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    And that's with Sugar Maples.

  12. #12

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    Nell, how do you store the sap before boiling down?

    here's another good link YCC. http://www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/PDFpubs/7036.pdf

    I tapped a box elder, and a red maple today. Looking for black and sugar maples, but I'm not finding any locally.

    I'm amazed how quick the sap flows.

    I've got close to two gallons already from today's taps. I have a cooler that I'm gonna store the sap in short term.

  13. #13

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    Found another real good link with all kinds of info about making maple syrup at home and lots of recipes and such too. http://www.mi-maplesyrup.com/Activit...s_homemade.htm

    At the bottom of the pages is a lil left and right arrow to scroll thru the pages, like a book.

    I've got about 3 1/2 gallons of sap in two days. Getting about 1/2 to 1-1/2 gallons a day from each of my 3 taps. It tastes pretty good just drinking it straight from the tree, like sugar water. Mmmm!

    My taps are just 1/2" OD plastic tubing running into 1 gallon plastic ice cream buckets w' lids and a 1 gallon water jug. The tubing is a loose fit in the tree and some sap leaks out down the side of the tree, but they're fillin up quick. Yee haa! This is fun.

    Hopefully by wednesday I'll have 10-15 gallons of sap and can start boilin it down. I noticed the guy up the street is tapping the trees in his yard. Supposedly he uses it to make beer.

  14. #14
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    That's great rwc! I really wanted to tap one this weekend, but never got around to it. maybe one of the rainy days this week. I'm following along so keep us posted!
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  15. #15
    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    RWC,they store the sap in large tanks,but not for long,their sap is running hard right now,and the Amish neighbor just hauled another 250 gallons of sap down to them yesterday,I am thinking about getting some tubing at work today,and trying tapping a few myself.

    I do love fresh maple syrup.
    Last edited by nell67; 03-08-2010 at 06:51 AM.
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  16. #16
    Very interesting... mcgyver's Avatar
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    If I may offer a word of caution.
    Boiling down sap to make syrup should not be done on the kitchen stove.
    Unless you would like to be reminded for years and years of that time you "Glazed" the entire kitchen.
    Can you guess how I know this?
    .
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  17. #17

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    Thanks a lot Nell. I'd like to know what they filter out the sugar sand with too if you happen to know.

    I'll be at 5 days wednesday and will start boiling it down "outside". The links are iffy on times it can be stored. One says indefinitely if kept under 40 F, and another says 5 days max or the quality gets affected.

    Problems I'm trying to work out.

    1) Not having a shallow and wide enough pan to boil down efficiently and an outside burner. I have a small one burner camp stove and will be using that and a large SS kettle hoping for the best. Once I get it down some I'm gonna bring it in and finish on the stove in a smaller shallow pan.

    2) A way to filter out the sugar sand. One site said use wool or orlon, and another said you don't really need to.

    If this works out halfway decent I might break down, rig up an evaporator and do more next year. I'm just hoping to get a quart this year.

    BTW, I moved all 3 taps to the big maple today. I emptied the 2 maple taps out last night and this morning there was almost another gallon, half of which was frozen slush. The box elder had almost zero and the tap tube was frozen solid.

    I have a 2-1/2 gallon jug that I'm packing it out in. It's about a mile from the house.

  18. #18
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    Checking in my tree field guide, it appears that true sugar maples don't occur much this far south. I'm sure there are some around, but short of beginning a "maple quest", what are some alternative trees that can be tapped to make sugar? Anybody have a list?

    a few are listed here, but I was looking for a longer list.
    Last edited by your_comforting_company; 03-09-2010 at 11:14 AM. Reason: linking
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  19. #19
    Senior Member ClayPick's Avatar
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    You can tap any tree but most have such a low sugar content that it just ain't worth it.

  20. #20
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    around here [though not at this elevation] you can get a fair amount of sugar from bigleaf maple and green alder.
    Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice - Grey's Law.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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