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It's maple syrup time again! The sweet sap is flowing real well right now. All I use is cleaned milk jugs and some plastic tubing and start tapping.



I drill a 3/8" hole angled slightly up into the tree, drill a hole into the cap of the jug then insert the tube into the jug and into the tree and let the sap flow!



When collecting the sap, just unscrew the cap and pour into another container.



The sap has to boil down and when the temperature reaches 217 degrees, it is syrup! It takes 35 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. It tends to be runny but it's fantastic!
 

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We ran our first batch through our new homemade evaporator last week.........I think we ended up with a sap/syrup ratio of almost 50:1 this year..................with the evaporator, I think we were evap. around 20 gallons an hour, without any kind of pre-heater rigged up yet........we were dumping ice cold sap in the flue pan.....

Dad is gonna run the second batch of sap tomorrow, and then I think e are pulling the spiles...............we should end up with around 15 gallons of syrup this year......which is plenty to last us................
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have not started boiling yet and the sap has not been cooperative the last few days. Great job on 15 gallons! If I get one I'll be happy.
 

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Very informative!


Curious...approx how long does it take to fill a gal jug?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Loggy said:
Very informative!


Curious...approx how long does it take to fill a gal jug?
If it is running real well, it will only take about a day to fill a gallon jug. Last Sunday all of my jugs were full. Then it took 2 days to fill them again then 3 more days. It really slowed up during the week. I took some pics of the boiling today, I'll get them posted as soon as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Now the boiling starts. After storing the sap in a cooler, I start to fill up the boiling pot.



Let the boiling begin!



After most of the water has steamed away and the liquid temperature has reached 217 degrees, it has become maple syrup! The picture below is a result of 2 and half gallons of sap boiled down to syrup. As you can see, the snow really came down yesterday.

 

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Outstanding pics/info!! Thanks for sharing with us all here. I never realized whut all was involved but now certainly appreciate my maple syrup so much more.
 

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Wow this is great! great info and a few questions for you guys, How deep into the tree do you drill the 3/8 hole? can you go too far or not enough? Also is the Outside Diameter of your flexible clear hose 3/8 also? so that it fits kind snug in the hole drilled into the tree? how far in do you push the clear hose? and how many holes do you drill into a tree can you run 2 or 3 lines out of one maple tree? whats the reason you angle the drill bit up? wouldnt it be better angled down? Sorry for so many questions fellas im just trying to learn about this.

THanks for your time! -Russ
 

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The Sugar Shack near my camp uses plastic elbows that push into the drilled hole and made to hold the tubing. They put two on opposite sides and 'T' the tubing together.

They set up (4) lines running downhill from tree to tree to a spot near the sugar shack & run the tubing into the lids on Rubbermaid 50 gal trash cans, one for each tubing line..

The rest of the trees are tapped w/ a metal spout and covered bucket. Each tour group gets to tap another tree during the demo's.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
RedWolf23 said:
Wow this is great! great info and a few questions for you guys, How deep into the tree do you drill the 3/8 hole? can you go too far or not enough? Also is the Outside Diameter of your flexible clear hose 3/8 also? so that it fits kind snug in the hole drilled into the tree? how far in do you push the clear hose? and how many holes do you drill into a tree can you run 2 or 3 lines out of one maple tree? whats the reason you angle the drill bit up? wouldnt it be better angled down? Sorry for so many questions fellas im just trying to learn about this.

THanks for your time! -Russ
Russ,
I drill the hole about 2 and a half inches into the tree in a slight upward angle. The hose is pushed in about 2 inches in and yes it fits fairly snug. The hole itself does not have to be 3/8 inch, that's just the size hose I found works pretty well. Half inch will work just as good. As far as the number of lines that can be run per tree, The smallest recomended tree would be 10 inches in diameter and an additional tap for every 2 inches bigger. Also, any maple tree can be tapped but sugar and black maple have the highest sugar content, any other maples such as the red, silver and norway maple have a lower sugar content and will take more sap to make into syrup. I hope I answered what your looking for but I highly encourage you to give it a try! This goofy weather we are having has not helped but you could try these last few weeks to make a great sweet treat!
 

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trapperrick said:
Now the boiling starts. After storing the sap in a cooler, I start to fill up the boiling pot.



Let the boiling begin!



After most of the water has steamed away and the liquid temperature has reached 217 degrees, it has become maple syrup! The picture below is a result of 2 and half gallons of sap boiled down to syrup. As you can see, the snow really came down yesterday.

Are you sure that syrup is done? it looks really light to me for Pa syrup.........I have found that using a hydrometer is a much better way of checking when it is done vs the thermometer...............I have had the thermometer reading up to 220 and put the hydrometer in the liquid, and it wasn't even floating yet.....
 

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Also is that a pint jar?

If so, that would be a yield of 20:1 sap/syrup which is way too high.........I am just curious, not criticizing you in any way....just trying to help out...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Your right Buckshot, after trying it, it probably could have stood a little more boiling but still tastes great! That jar is a canning jar, so a quart, maybe?
 

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I would say it is a pint, the small canning jars are pints......

You can always cook it down some more......one year, we canned a bunch of it, and then realized it needed cooked some more, so we just opened them all up and boiled it more........my concern with it not being cooked down the whole way to syrup is that it may spoil faster..........per my calculations, you should have ended up with about half as much as you did that was figuring a yield of 50:1..........the last batch of sap we ran ended up being about 70:1......

You may want to consider buying a hydrometer, if you plan to continue with this hobby.....they only cost about 40 dollars for the hydrometer and cup.....well worth it IMO
 

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TrapperRick thank you so much for the reply i found some info on youtube hahhaa when all else fails youtube will show ya hahhaa anyways i got some going in the trees outback and seems to be doing pretty good so far. tho im a long way from 50galons of sap. to get a gal of syrup. my lord it takes a lot. its gonna cost alot in natural gas/propane just to boil off all the water. LOL might need to go with firewood heat hahaha

other question i think i got sugar maple trees they are the ones with smoother bark compaird to the Flaky bark ones right? cuz i tried drilling into the ruff bark ones and no sap came out and the smooth bark ones the sap was running pretty good. Of course maybe they are silver maples or Norways or Reds im not 100% sure ill have to find out.
 

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RedWolf, it does not matter what kind of maple trees that you tap..........they all have the sap that is required to make syrup.....some of it is just less concentrated
 

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RedWolf23 said:
TrapperRick thank you so much for the reply i found some info on youtube hahhaa when all else fails youtube will show ya hahhaa anyways i got some going in the trees outback and seems to be doing pretty good so far. tho im a long way from 50galons of sap. to get a gal of syrup. my lord it takes a lot. its gonna cost alot in natural gas/propane just to boil off all the water. LOL might need to go with firewood heat hahaha

other question i think i got sugar maple trees they are the ones with smoother bark compaird to the Flaky bark ones right? cuz i tried drilling into the ruff bark ones and no sap came out and the smooth bark ones the sap was running pretty good. Of course maybe they are silver maples or Norways or Reds im not 100% sure ill have to find out.
Sugar Maples have leaves that look exactly like the one on the Canadian flag! The ones near my camp are all 20+" and the bark is very rough.
 

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Oh ok thanks fellas!! I tapped 3 trees outback 2 taps in each tree and in 24hrs i got 5galons of sap so far. Im aiming to get like 20 gallons. Now I just got to figure out what to put it into boil it down and figure out how I will boil that much down. either fire wood or propane I've been thinking about getting stainless kegs from my distributer and cut them in half to use as a big pots to evaporate the water off. any ideas?
 
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