How To Make Your Own Maple Syrup – Part 1
Tis the season the begin the process in harvesting that amber gold, otherwise known as maple syrup.
I used to tap for maple syrup almost every year but for the past five seasons I have taken a break. It's not as terrible as it sounds, we only finished the last of our syrup last year but there was just something about this year, perhaps the 40+ degree temps with plenty of sunshine this past Sunday wooed me to the call of the sugar maples.
I'm lucky enough to have a fairly large stand of sugar maple trees on my property, sure you could tap any maple tree but the sugar maples have sweeter sap and I believe make better syrup.
Having everything you need to get tappin' makes things easier. I used to only go old school with the metal taps and metal pails with metal tops however, I have since moved on to plastic taps, buckets, and lots of tubing.
I always start off by sanitizing everything, boiling water from the spring always works well.
You'll need taps, a hammer, a drill and bit, tubing, buckets with covers, and you are in business. When the kids were smaller and I was ensured more help collecting the sap, I would often have 50 or more taps in. This year I was a bit more conservative with about 18.
Once you identify the maple trees on your property, it's as simple as drilling the hole, pounding the tap in, connecting the hose and securing the bucket. I will check my bucket every few days depending on the weather, sap flows the best when the nights are below freezing and above freezing during the day.
In part two of this feature we will take a closer look at transforming the maple sap into maple syrup and maple candy.
Now get to tappin'