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  • Maple syrup.

    Does any one else tap their own maple trees and make their own maple syrup. I have 12 trees tapped so far and I am getting about 7 gallons of sap per day so far. You really don't need any special gear other then the spills or taps. On my land I use both traditional metal buckets or milk jugs for collection. For boiling down you just need a fire and a big pot, I use stainless steel trays. The only down side is here in Maine it takes about 42 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of syrup. I think this would be a great skill for trade and my wife cans it so it has a longer shelf life. I will add pictures later of my little set up.

  • #2
    Not too many maple trees around here, but that's really cool. Would love to see some pics.

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    • #3
      The Amish folks I "visit" have tapped their trees and make their own syrup. I was told the sap is low yield this year due to the warmer weather. They sell for about $40.00 a gallon .... ya gotta wonder what's in those Mrs. Butterworth bottles.

      O.W.
      Things are seldom what they seem.

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      • #4
        It's something I've been meaning to try, obviously not a big yield in TN due to mild winters, but still doable to some degree I imagine. Any pics of your setup and process?
        WHAT IF THE AMERICA YOU KNEW, WAS ABOUT TO CHANGE?

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        • #5
          Living up north I forget that a snowy winter is what helps the sap run, I take it for granted. This sugar season could be really bad as I live in southern Maine and we have had no real snow fall or cold snaps. The days are warm for this time of year and the nights have only been cool not cold. For good sap flow you need 40 degree days and freezing nights. The thing with sugaring is you can make syrup, sugar, candy and even alcohol. When I find my camera I will post pictures of my tools and setup.
          Tools needed:
          hammer
          cordless drill or brace style hand drill
          1/2 or 7/16 drill bit depending on the spill or tap size you use.
          knife
          pliers
          Supplies needed:
          spills or taps ( metal or plastic) I use the stainless steel ones. $ 3.00 with hook
          some thing to catch sap in. I have sapping buckets and milk jugs.
          a strainer to strain bugs and bark out of the sap and to skim foam when boiling.
          some thing to boil of sap. big pots can be used , I use stainless steel 4" deep chaffing trays .
          A heat source ( outside is best ) I have seen people try it in their house and it is so steamy that wall paper pealed. I use a wood fire and burn all of the branches and wood that come down over the winter.
          A candy thermometer.
          Other then the spills most people already have every thing they need kicking around their house. The native Americans did with a knife, spills made from stone or wood and earthen ware jugs. As kids we use to break small branches on maple trees in the late winter. The sap would run and freeze overnight and in the morning we would have maplecicles

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          • #6
            Here is how I boiled off our sap this maple season. I boiled down over 50 gallons of sap this way with a yield of one gallon of finished maple syrup. I made this evaporator using 16 concrete block and two large stainless steel chaffing dishes. The steel plate was just to keep the wind from blowing leaves into the sap but is not needed. I got the block for free from CL and the pans cost $20 each. The fire wood I burned for fuel all came down during winter storms, so it helped me spring cleanup my yard. Next year I will build a bigger stove that will hold 4-6 pans or two custom welded really big deep pans. This maple season was the very short with the wrong weather to make good sap.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by Omegaman; 03-24-2012, 10:54 AM.

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            • #7
              WOW! This is amazing. The North East does come with its perks. I would be more pissed off than I am if I didn't have syrup for my pancakes post SHTF! Ha ha. Tell us? What else you do with the syrup?
              I'm not a fatalist. I'm a realist.

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              • #8
                Great to read that some are still tapping the trees. I use to do that on my families farm on Wisconsin. Still remember making maple candy from the sap!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Omegaman View Post
                  Here is how I boiled off our sap this maple season.
                  Is that a woodsman's Pal machete there Omegama?

                  O.W.
                  Things are seldom what they seem.

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                  • #10
                    Yes it is. It is the one I keep in my truck and it is well used. I picked it up at a yard sale for $5.00 ( such a deal ). We also make maple candy, and maple sugar with the syrup.

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                    • #11
                      I volunteer at a friends when the sap is running. They tap hundreds of trees and use a vacuum system to collect the sap into bulk tanks. This year the season was a total of three days. They were able to only make 48 quarts of syrup. So, buy your pure maple syrup now, because the price will skyrocket soon.

                      Oh, for your evaporator pan do not make it deep. Shallow and wide is much more efficient use of your heat. Of course that means you need to watch it with a bucket of sap ready to pour on to a hot spots to prevent scorching and boil over.

                      Good luck.
                      Last edited by Mangler; 03-27-2012, 10:37 AM.
                      If it was man made it can be man re-made.

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                      • #12
                        Here are my Maple Syrup Makin pics. My pan is custom made by a friend why makes items for hospital use. Its 18 by 24 by 8 high 12 gauge medical grade SS. I never fill it more than half way so I keep a good rolling boil.
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by Bullet-Caster; 04-08-2012, 12:00 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Very nice set up you have going there, great pan. We had such a short poor season this year that we only put up 3 quarts. I will weld up a custom SS pan over the summer and build a more efficient arch. I think I will stick with a wood fired boiler just because I use all of the wood that comes down during the winter storms.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mangler View Post
                            I volunteer at a friends when the sap is running. They tap hundreds of trees and use a vacuum system to collect the sap into bulk tanks. This year the season was a total of three days. They were able to only make 48 quarts of syrup. So, buy your pure maple syrup now, because the price will skyrocket soon.

                            Oh, for your evaporator pan do not make it deep. Shallow and wide is much more efficient use of your heat. Of course that means you need to watch it with a bucket of sap ready to pour on to a hot spots to prevent scorching and boil over.

                            Good luck.
                            Thanks for the info . I will pick some up this week . Why was the season so short this year?
                            Robert W
                            Democracy Will Cease To Exist When You Take Away From Those Who Are Willing To Work And Give to Those Who Are Not.-Thomas Jefferson

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                            • #15
                              I woud also rather use wood but at the time didn't have anything set up.
                              Originally posted by Omegaman View Post
                              Very nice set up you have going there, great pan. We had such a short poor season this year that we only put up 3 quarts. I will weld up a custom SS pan over the summer and build a more efficient arch. I think I will stick with a wood fired boiler just because I use all of the wood that comes down during the winter storms.

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