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Discussion Starter #1
I just ordered 30 spiles from Leader Evaporator in VT. They are 5/16" composite spiles. Has anyone used something similar? Any issues with splitting or leaks?
 

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We use all plastic spiles, there are a lot less issues with freezing vs metal ones........they are actually a lot better than the metal ones as far as leaks and such, I haven't broken any yet and we have been using some of them for over 10 years...
 

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I was just thinking this afternoon, that it was time to start.

I use the tube and jug method. Keeps the dirt out of the sap. No leaks, etc. Probken here is that my daughter likes the sap. She drinks it like some folks drink mineral water. She actually mentioned once that a person could make some money selling it as a mineral water in bottles.
 

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zimmerstutzen said:
I was just thinking this afternoon, that it was time to start.

I use the tube and jug method. Keeps the dirt out of the sap. No leaks, etc. Probken here is that my daughter likes the sap. She drinks it like some folks drink mineral water. She actually mentioned once that a person could make some money selling it as a mineral water in bottles.
It is supposed to be quite good for you.......
 

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Buckshot1822 said:
zimmerstutzen said:
I was just thinking this afternoon, that it was time to start.

I use the tube and jug method. Keeps the dirt out of the sap. No leaks, etc. Probken here is that my daughter likes the sap. She drinks it like some folks drink mineral water. She actually mentioned once that a person could make some money selling it as a mineral water in bottles.
It is supposed to be quite good for you.......
I dont know if it's of any real benifit to people, but I've watched a chickadee fly right over a creek to get to the drops of sap coming off a maple twig. I guess that sugar water is like high test for those little guys.
 

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I myself was wondering if the tappers were started yet. My GUESS is that the brutally cold weather, with no real warm-up til now, wouldn't have had the sap running yet. But this little warm-up may change that ?
 

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Always wanted to try my hand at tapping and simmering down to make syrup. Looks like a fun project.

How deep do you drill your holes? Do you just fit your hose line into the hole( in the tree ) the best you can?
 

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I tapped three small 10" to 14" trees yesterday all in my front yard, two had light sap run and third had little to nothing. we'll see. Snow pretty deep for me to go tramping around the breaks and hollows.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You drill your holes at a slight upward angle 1 1/2" deep. You tap in your spile, and connect tubing to that. As was posted by others, We drill holes in milk jug tops, and insert tubing into the jug. It is much cleaner that way. We also hang our jugs by a cord about a foot under the spile. We tapped 8 trees on Sunday, and plan to tap about 30 all together. Will finish up tapping later today when the freezing rain stops. It looks like we should get a run for several days this week, but then we will be cold again where we are.
 

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Ace Archer: If I am using 5/16 OD tubing, I drill a hole 5/16 about an inch into the tree. On a day with highs about 40, it should start flowing within a second or two, even wash out any wood shavings left in the hole. Then I just push the tubing in about a half inch (Just past the bark)and the tree seems to swell slightly around the tubing so friction holds it in.. Nights below freezing and days about 40 seem to have the best flow. You can tap almost any maple, hickory, even black walnut. With Maples, it seems the bushier the tree top the better the flow. I have made black walnut syrup from black walnut sap a few times now. Very buttery tasting and more yellow than amber. Good sugar maple sap gives a ratio of about 40 to 1. So 5 gallons of sap will render one pint of delicious gold. Once you get it boiled down to around about a quart, you must be careful on the temperature or it will scorch easily and burn. Try to use stainless to boil it down. I got a 5gallon stainless kettle at Dollar General a few years back which we use for canning, steaming crabs and boiling sap. I think I have seen such stainless kettles at Wally's. A flat pan works better, but requires a broader heating source than most stoves can provide.

I would not do this in your wife's kitchen. The condensation will be dripping from her cabinets, etc and you will be in the dog house. We have an old kerosene stove on an enclosed porch and I can open an upper window an inch or two to permit the vapor to escape.
 

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May be a dumb question, but is there a need for any type of additive for bacteria (for longer term storage), or does the boiling/evaporation process take care of that ?
 

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I have tried tapping birch trees, but the sap doesn't run until much later, about late March early April here. The jugs have to be scrubbed and the sap coming out of the trees goes bad by the next day if the weather gets nice.

This time of year, the cold seems to kill much of the bacteria that could form in the sap and then boiling kills almost everything in the syrup. I know folks who can their syrup for future use and it goes through an additional boiling water bath for canning. A few others just put the hot syrup into clean canning jars and seal it up while hot. I wouldn't think it as reliable, but the latter method/ process doesn't seem to lose much to spoilage.

It never lasts long enough for storage around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We hold our sap in 55 gallon food grade drums packed to the top of the drum with snow. Sap can spoil just like milk. We will do several batches over the season.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
got most of the trees tapped now, just really hard going with almost 4' of snow on the ground. Hope this warm up for a few days melts alot of it. The trees we tapped today were dripping right after we drilled the holes. Here is a pic of our setup.

 

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4' still on the ground ??? Holy Smokes, where are you at ? We've had 60+ down here for the year, but only have about a foot at the deepest, on the ground now, where the sun hasn't hit the past couple of warmer days. Your Deer can create an entirely new browse line standing on 4' of snow.
 

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Ok, so say most have already tapped their trees and are currently drawing sap. When do you stop and remove the tap? Do you keep going even into the summer? What do you do when you might have a 50-60 degree day (like a sudden warm spell)? Do you just take what you currently have an try to cold storage it the best you can?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
In NEPA, we are having a little warm spell, hope we have some major melting. Here are my kids in back of the house.

 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't think many up here have tapped yet, I am just impatient! We will get sap until Sunday, and the weather will shut it down until the beginning of March from the way it looks. If it is warm, we collect a few times a day. You can collect sap until the trees start to bud, then it is over. If you need taps/spiles, Leader Evaporator has great prices and fast shipping. We paid 37 cents a piece for spiles.
 
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