Maple syrup

Discussion in 'Wild Game Recipes' started by Tritonman, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. Don't know if this is the proper place to post this.

    Anybody tapping trees yet? I decided to today. Early for sure but the weather for the next 10 days looks good. Seen other big set ups already collecting sap.
     
  2. I know this is a year old but same ?. Im trying this for the first time. I tapped two trees today. Sap flowing.....don't know if my timing is right but giving it a whirl.
     

  3. They are doing it right now in one of the Greene county parks. It was on the local news tonight.
     
  4. Just evaporated 27 gallons of sap today. Ended up with 5 pint jars of maple syrup. I hung buckets last Sunday. The sap ran really good this past week. Looking for night time temps below freezing and daytime temps above freezing. I tap in ne Ohio. The temps for the next 5-6 days won't provide much sap. And if you do get some you have to put a fire underneath it so it doesn't spoil. Sap will spoil exactly like milk. So just watch the forecasted temps. When it looks like the temps will be right for a least several days hang your buckets. Good luck
     
  5. Trimmed the yard trees a few weeks back, one of which was some sort of red maple. Then, the other morning I noticed an ice sickle hanging down from one of the cuts on a lower branch. I plucked it off and, being a guy, decided to put it in my mouth to taste it. Don't know why I was so surprised, but it had the weak flavor of maple syrup.

    I tried to get SWMBO to taste it, too, but she just rolled her eyes wouldn't unlock the door until I settled down.
     
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  6. I made a small taste yesterday. It''s great. I'm hooked. I'm not going to drive deep into this bUT for my family and a few friends will benefit....
     
  7. How may taps did you have out?
     
  8. Something I have always wanted to try. Let's see some pics.
     
  9. 4 buckets this year. Usually I hang 10-15 but I don't have much time this season. I hung 2 buckets on a sugar maple and 2 on a huge silver. These are right by the house. Keeping it simple. Here's some pics. Cat you can do a lot with sap. We put it in the coffee or tea maker instead of water, drink it and the kids love the ice. ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1487518207.694625.jpg ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1487518224.546088.jpg ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1487518252.059024.jpg ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1487518282.382306.jpg
     
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  10. I'll post my process tonight
     
  11. So find maple trees, any maple will give you sap but sugar maple sap has a higher sugar content. I tap silvers and sugar maples. Looking for nighttime temps below freezing and daytime above freezing forecasted for several days in a row. Last year myself and others tapped in mid January. No set date. Just right forecasted temps. Need spiles (spouts), buckets to hang with covers and storage containers. I use food grade 5 gallon buckets with lids from lowes for storage. I suggest ordering the starter kit from tapmytrees. It has everything you need including a drill bit. Tractor supply has tapmytree products. I have widdled spouts and used plastic buckets to collect. Not rocket science. But everything that touches sap should be clear of bacteria.
    Tap the east and south side of the trees. Those sides thaw first. On a good run my collection buckets will be full in a 24 hour period. It was great this past week. Once you have your sap in storage containers it's time to keep it from spoiling. Sap needs to stay cool enough so bacteria doesn't grow. You'll know if it does. The sap will get cloudy and smell. It's a waste then. I've been told to throw spoiled sap in the garden for fertilizer. If there's snow you can pack it around your storage containers. Or put it in your walk in cooler next to your aging venison.
    It takes 40 gallons of sap for 1 gallon of syrup. A 5 gallon bucket of sap will generally yield a pint of syrup. When you boil the sap you are evaporating the water off to get to syrup. Very simple process. And maybe a dozen frosty ones. I like a medium rolling boil. Keeping the fire underneath hot and steady. Spooning the foam off the top when it builds up. Evaporating 27 gals took me 7 hours outside and 3 hours on the stove inside. The sap will go from gin clear to tan as you are taking the water off. So I don't burn the syrup I empty my evaporating pans into a copper bottom stock pot and head inside. You have a lot more control on the stove.
    I use both a candy thermometer and hydrometer. The hydrometer is for exact sugar content but you don't need one. It was a gift. With a candy thermometer you are looking for 7 degrees over boiling temp. They say water boils at different temps depending on altitude. So see what water boils at in your neck of the woods. When you have that established add 7 degrees. When you are getting close to syrup it's going to bubble. Stay attentive stir and watch your thermometer. For me it's 217 degrees and it's now syrup. I filter mine right into pint jars. You can buy syrup filters or I use cheesecloth. Filters out the sugar sands and anything else that drops into your pans.
    However you evaporate just keep in mind it takes a while. Wood is cheap just watch the wind and ash. You can build an elaborate arch or one like mine. Just a few bricks and old grill grates. It's probably one of the neatest things that we do and absolutely tastes great. The kids love it and makes for an enjoyable day sitting around a fire smelling maple syrup. And by the way make sure the wife knows the process cause after 10 hours of frosty ones you might not be around to see the finished product.
     
  12. I'll add this. I use stainless buffet pans to evaporate. You can use whatever just keep in mind the more surface area you have the quicker you'll get done.
     
  13. Bawana

    Bawana Staff Member Mod

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    I do mine similar to Tritonman, except I usually do several gallons worth. I started February 8th and did two burns on the 11th and the 18th. I run about 25 taps, I use 2 1/2 gallon jugs and I used plastic spiles and tubing for each tree. I have a 55 gallon barrel and a 30 gallon cooler that I use for the most part, I also have some 5 gallon water jugs and a couple smaller coolers for back up if needed. My first burn I went through 92 gallons of sap for just a little over two gallons of syrup, second one was 155-160 gallons. I've made 1 1/2 gallons thus far with the remainder boiled down to about 4 gallons which is in the basement refrigerator. I get most all my supplies from Sugarbush Supply in Michigan, great people to deal with. I'll post a few pics tomorrow. Except for my actual collection method most of my set up is really close to Triton's.
     
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  14. If you want to get started for cheap, just go to Lowes or Home Depot and buy a few PVC T fittings and some vinyl tubing. Drill a hole in the tree just smaller then your T and push it in firmly, then attach a tube to each side and run it to your container of choice. I now have 5 gallon buckets for each tube instead of the 2 liter bottles, but this is an old picture.

    [​IMG]



    Boiling it down.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. does the diamter of the maple tree matter? would i be ok tapping say 6" diamter maples?
     
  16. I think you want trees at least 12" in diameter to tap.

    Here is a page with some guidelines.

    https://www.tapmytrees.com/pages/tap-tree
     
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  17. I wouldn't go any smaller than 10".
     
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  18. I need to find some maple trees.
     
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  19. thanks for the replies. i might give it a shot. looks like temperatures should be right from what i ve read here sunday through firday around me
     
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