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Discussion Starter #1
These couple warmer days put me in the mood to start tapping. I cut a small maple out of the way last Sunday and the sap ran pretty good. Guess it is time to gather up the gear.
 

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My neighbor had his trees tapped and ran sap the last warm spell we had. Don't know how much he got, but I know he got some anyway.
 

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Yea, I"m getting the itch. Almost tapped that last warm spell we had but held off. I heard some guys that did tap the other week had pretty good runs of sap.
 

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We put 14 taps out yesterday morning. We only got a bit over 8 gallons of sap so far but it was only sunny for a short while yesterday. We'll propbably put out a couple dozen taps next week or so.

We only make a few gallons of syrup each spring and probably couldn't do that much if we didn't get free gas from some wells on our property.

I can't go back to the thick artificial stuff and we're down to just over a pint left from last year. It makes great gifts for the friends that apreciate it.
 

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hdt said:
We put 14 taps out yesterday morning. We only got a bit over 8 gallons of sap so far but it was only sunny for a short while yesterday. We'll propbably put out a couple dozen taps next week or so.

We only make a few gallons of syrup each spring and probably couldn't do that much if we didn't get free gas from some wells on our property.

I can't go back to the thick artificial stuff and we're down to just over a pint left from last year. It makes great gifts for the friends that apreciate it.
I appreciate it, friend.
 

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Most sugar houses also sale at least some equipment. It's easiest to buy the taps, but everything else can be improvised with milk jugs, five gallon buckets etc..
 

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clermont said:
hdt said:
We put 14 taps out yesterday morning. We only got a bit over 8 gallons of sap so far but it was only sunny for a short while yesterday. We'll propbably put out a couple dozen taps next week or so.

We only make a few gallons of syrup each spring and probably couldn't do that much if we didn't get free gas from some wells on our property.

I can't go back to the thick artificial stuff and we're down to just over a pint left from last year. It makes great gifts for the friends that apreciate it.
I appreciate it, friend.
hey buddy
 

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I finished up about 1 gallon last night.
This will be our 3rd year making syrup. It is a good start for us. First year we got about a gallon last year we got a little over a gallon. we already have almost that much and I think we should still have a couple of weeks left. We tapped 3 big trees with 2 taps per tree and we boil it down on a turkey fryer. The girls gave some to their grandparents and we finished up the rest about october. My 9 year old wants to expand and sell it but the cost of propane would kill us. we did do a profit and loss statement last year just for fun to see how much we would have to sell it for and to show them how hard it is to make money. I just enjoy the process.
She enjoys being the boss.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You can get most of what you need locally.

I use 5/16 OD vinyl tubing from the hardware store. Stainless steel deck screws, electric fence wire and milk jugs.

Drill a 5/16 hole about 1.5 inches deep into the tree about waist high. Put a screw into the tree an about three inches below. but the tube about 8 inches long. use a wire loop to hang the jug on the screw and stick one end of the tub about a half inch into the hole in the tree and run the other end into the milk jug. A tree can handle one tap for each foot in diameter. I drill 5/16 holes into milk jug caps and run the jug end of the tube through that hole so dirt and other things don't find their way into the sap. Then I carry a supply of empty jugs and caps out to collect the sap. Just unscrew the cap with the tube and replace with an intact cap and hang the empty jug and put the tube cap on it.

On a day when it goes from about 25 degrees in the morning up to 45 in the afternoon, the sap runs in a steady stream and you might have to collect two or three times.

To boil it down, use a stainless steel kettle on a stove. We have a 5 gallon stainless kettle (from dollar general for $10 a few years ago.) I use a kerosene stove on an enclosed porch for the heat. I'd advise against doing much in the kitchen because there is a lot of steam and condensation that can ruin woodwork, etc. Keep the heat low and if you must put a lid on, make sure the lid is elevated above the rim to easily let steam out. 5 gallons of sap will give a quart of syrup. When the amount is cooked down pretty far it requires babysitting to prevent scorching the batch.
 

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We boil ours down in the kitchen and we run a fan beside the stove top darwing the steam away from the stove and pusing it toward a double window fan that is blowing it outside.
If you don't get the steam out your wall paper may come off or the cieling and cabinets will get condensations on them.
 
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