First time Maple Tappers!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by MichiganWoods, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. MichiganWoods

    MichiganWoods DD (Artistic Digital Diva)

    Oct 6, 2008
    West Michigan
    Hats off to PineBurrowPeeps for posting about her syrup and inspiring folks here on BYC. I know I personally have always wanted to try it, but have just never gotten around to it. Nor did I have any of the proper tapping equipment. So once I decided (last night!) that I was really going to do it, I had to figure out how I was going to tap without having access to the traditional tapping supplies.

    Here's what I came up with. As my father-in-law would call it, the hill billy tapper:


    I had read not to use milk jugs; something to do with the acidity of the sap. When I was at the grocery store, I ran across 1 gallon Arizona Iced Tea jugs. The label listed citric acid and a 25% dose of Vitamin C. I'm fairly confident these will hold up to the sap.

    I brought them home, dumped out the tea (not a fan of bottled teas!), washed them out and proceeded to drill a 1/2" hole through the lids. I then squeezed the 1/2" vinyl tubing through the hole and took them out to the trees. Once my tap holes were drilled, I just squeezed the tubes into the trees and watched them start oozing!

    I started out with two of these, but when I saw how well it worked, I went back out and got five more! I now have seven taps running.

    That first tap I started at around 12:15. I took this picture at about 6:15. As you can see, my 1 gallon jug is already a third of the way filled!


    So is anyone else tapping for the first time? How are you doing? And what supplies are you working with?
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I don't have a maple tree.... I seem to have every other kind of tree known to man, but no maple.
  3. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    How cool! So what do you do once the jug is filled up?
  4. Bullet

    Bullet Songster

    Jan 14, 2009
    Mt. Pleasant
    This is our 3rd year I think , we love it!! We use milk jugs and they work just fine. This year we made our own wooden taps and used chisles to put them in the trees our drill broke [​IMG] but none the less we've got our sap boiling and my son can't eat enough of the syrup. since we started making our own i can't eat store bought syrup anymore. I wish we could tap year round we can never seem to make enough to keep up the with the kid's demand [​IMG]
  5. MichiganWoods

    MichiganWoods DD (Artistic Digital Diva)

    Oct 6, 2008
    West Michigan
    debiraymond, maples make up probably 10%-15% of the trees on our property. I drilled a hole into two different trees that weren't maple; no sap. I'll have to plug them tomorrow. -- If you want any maple saplings, let me know! Once the leaves come in I can dig some up and mail them out. Seriously. I also have oaks sprouting up all over the place. Honestly I don't know what most of the others are. It's very diverse here.

    halo, I have a big bucket with a snap-close lid that I sterilized. I'll empty the jugs into that and then transport it to my mom's for boiling. She's got a good setup for doing that. Hopefully we'll have some maple syrup by the end of next week!

    Bullet, that's awesome! I'm wondering how long whatever we make will last. I should get more jugs and tubing and tap the rest of the trees on our property. There's probably at least 15 of them.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  6. Birch Run Farm

    Birch Run Farm Biddy up!

    Sep 5, 2008
    We started tapping today here in Vermont. It was an extra cold winter so that is supposed to make the sap sweeter! I sure hope so. I have enough taps for ten trees but am probably going to buy a few more. Maybe do 15 or if real ambitious, 20 trees.
  7. smom1976

    smom1976 too many projects too little time!

    May 2, 2008
    Pensacola, FL
    [​IMG] wish we could grow those trees down here.. I would plant plenty.. [​IMG] I will just have to stick with lemon and lime trees and maybe trade for syrup LOL
  8. Birch Run Farm

    Birch Run Farm Biddy up!

    Sep 5, 2008
    I'd barter some syrup for citrus! [​IMG]
  9. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Can someone pleeeease post pics of the right types of sap maples to use? i cant tell my trees apart... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  10. Birch Run Farm

    Birch Run Farm Biddy up!

    Sep 5, 2008
    You can use any specie of maple as well as birch trees.

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