Today, I tapped 11 trees to make maple syrup. Last year, I made syrup for the first time. I loved it SO MUCH that I could hardly wait for the season to start to do it again. Mike and I spent the last few days getting things ready, and then today, we put the taps in. Dexter helped too, of course! He supervised the entire operation. I wanted to share the experience with you, and I hope you can share in my excitement too!
My friend Nyle converted a 55 gallon oil drum into a maple syrup evaporator. It is SOOOOO cool. I bought a barrel conversion kit which had legs, a door, and an adapter to attach a stove pipe for exhaust. He connected all of those, and then he made a pan tray so my pans won’t get scorched. I then bought the stove pipe, 2 heavy duty catering pans, and fire brick to line the inside for Mike helped me get all this assembled. All set to go, once we get sap! Sap is the sugar water that runs throughout the tree. One the sap is collected, you have to boil it down to get maple syrup.
To tap your trees, first you need to drill a hole in order to put your tap in. Then you pound in the tap into the hole. The tap acts as a funnel to allow the sap to run into your bucket.
Almost immediately, the sap started to flow. I attached a bucket to the hanger on the tap. Collection begins!
It takes about 40 gallons of sap boiled down to make about 2 gallons of syrup. It is A TON of work, but every minute is worth it!!!!!
Here are some of my tapped trees. (Yes, I am tapping in luxury! Mike used the snow blower to make a path for me through the woods. Last year, carrying full 5 gallon pails of precious maple sap was difficult. This year, it will be so much better! Thanks Mike!)
Check out my entire maple syrup Making journey:
Making Maple Syrup- Tapping Trees
Making Maple Syrup- Boiling
Making Maple Syrup- REALLY Boiling
Making Maple Syrup- Finished