Sunday, January 23, 2011

Get Ready for the Big Stack

It's getting close- almost there. Get ready for that tap, tap, tap when the sap starts running, drip by drip into the collection buckets. Then it's hours and hours of boiling until the sap becomes thicker, watching carefully so it's just this side of sugar, unless sugar is your goal. A 40 to 1 ratio, you need a lot of sap to make a gallon. We collected a little already but the temperature dropped too low so we are back on stand by.
The tap is inserted into the tree using a drill to prepare the hole. This allows sap to flow into the covered collection buckets that hang from the tap. We will transfer the sap from those smaller buckets into larger containers and then set up the boiling area to evaporate the water that is in the sap.

My husband designed a fire pit to boil the sap with added grates for cooking on the side. Most times it's eggs for breakfast and brats for lunch due to the hours sitting- truly watching a pot boil.

In the end you have some nice, freshly made syrup without any chemical additives, all for the one time price of a bucket and metal tapper. You can do this in your own backyard. Just find a nice maple, at least 12 inches in diameter and wait until daytime temps are above freezing while nighttime temps are below freezing.

See Tap My Trees for detailed information.

I froze some of it from last year only to discover that it does not freeze solid but separates the ultra sweet syrupy goodness from the little water that was left. If you spoon down to the bottom you get the sweetest of the sweet! I had the great idea to drizzle some of it over ice cream.



Manny said...

Looks interesting. But what kind of trees do you have to tap? Or does it matter?

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

We tap maples, ours are hard sugar maples but they have orange leaves in the fall, not the red leaves. All trees will have sap but maples have the highest sugar content so they are normally the tree of choice. Of all the maples, the silver maple has the least and the sugar maple the highest sugar content.

Mary Christine said...

Love, love, love maple syrup. There are very few maples in Colorado.