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Maple Tappers

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by Peggy-Sue, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Peggy-Sue

    Peggy-Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone have any tips for a newbie maple tapper??? We have 5 maple trees on our property, 2 sugar maples, 2 red maples, and 1 silver maple. 4/5 trees have a diameter over 21'' so they have 2 taps in them... We tapped all but one 2 days ago and our silver and sugar maple have given us a gallon of sugar water. The fifth tree was tapped today... Our red maples have not produced anything yet. The temps here in Pittsburgh Pa has been slightly above freezing but has now dropped below and our taps are frozen. Next week is looking good for sap flow!
     
  2. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have any personal experience with tapping trees but coming from northern wisconsin originally, I am very familiar with the sight of maple trees with buckets or hoses. The only advice I can give you is: Do not boil the syrup down in your house!
    The steam will form a very sticky residue on your ceiling and upper cabinets that is very hard to remove.

    Have fun!!
     
  3. CarolineNH

    CarolineNH Out Of The Brooder

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    I tap several trees on our property - a total of 10 taps or less (big time producer, eh?). I've done this 3 times - skipped last year because the temps were miserable. I am likely almost as much of a newbie as yourself. I found out this year, though, that when the temps don't go back below freezing there is almost no flow. Look at it like a thermometer - if it's too high over 32 degrees, the sap doesn't go back down. Below 32, it goes back down to the roots, then when the weather warms up, the sap goes up to the leaves - and out your taps in the process. I hope you're seeing better results if you're having the above/below freezing spread in temps.

    Last week we had warm weather, and a few of my buckets (previously doing well) were totally dry. Yesterday I got almost 5 gallons from those 4 taps. Two other trees (4 taps) were still almost empty once the good ones were producing again, so I pulled those taps. I tapped right before Valentine's Day (I'm in New Hampshire) so they were about done anyway.

    I don't know the specific kinds of maples for all of these trees; I know of the two in front of my house, the biggest producers, one is a red maple (aka "swamp maple") and one is not. I have one other out in the pasture that is a big producer. All the other trees I've tried over the last few years have been disappointing. So far this year, however, I've gotten 6 pints, and have another 12 or 14 gallons to reduce - and I don't think my good producers are quite done yet.
     
  4. Peggy-Sue

    Peggy-Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So far we have 7 gallons and have had our taps in for about a week! There has only been 4 good flowing day... Tomorrow is looking to be amazing... Low tonight 25... High tomorrow 43 so hopefully its a heavy flow day :)
     
  5. CarolineNH

    CarolineNH Out Of The Brooder

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    Are you boiling yet? I'm using a pan (stainless) from a restaurant supply store that sells new & used equipment; it's 13" by 26" by 6" deep, and I'm using it on a propane burner - a turkey fryer set-up. I use the 5-gallon stockpot that goes with it when I process birds. Right now I have a couple of cookie sheets propped over my rectangular pan, because it's snowing out.

    In general, although it's not exact, you'll get one pint for every 5 gallons or so. I boil until it starts smelling like maple syrup, then transfer it to a stockpot (filter through cheesecloth when I do that). I then filter again (with a milk filter - I have dairy goats) from the stockpot to my 6-quart spaghetti pot. I'll keep filling the spaghetti pot from the stockpot as I go, and I boil until it hits 219 to 220 degrees. As the syrup gets thicker, it will boil at hotter than "water boiling" temps. When it hits 7.5 degrees above boiling for your area, it's done. We're something like 30 feet above sea level, so I don't have to take any altitude differences into account.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  6. Peggy-Sue

    Peggy-Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are not boiling yet we are planning on doing that this weekend hopefully we have 10 gallons by then... Right now we are getting about 1.5+ gallons on a good day from our two sugar maples... We are getting just about a gallon from our sliver maple and our red maples are barely giving us anything... We are kinda disappointed in the red maples but I will say they are on a east facing slop that only gets 3 hours of direct sunlight a day so maybe the temps aren't warm enough for the sap to run... We plan on the same type of set up for boiling, We are going to use a turkey fryer set-up with a turkey roasting pan. We also will use another burning with our canning pot to boil down.
     
  7. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    Im glad I found your thread. I have never done maple tapping before but I love real maple syrup and I always talk about making my own so DH bought me a tap and a bucket to give it a whirl. He bought it back in january and I never got around to tapping anything. I dont even know time to tap and to start lol. I think feb is accurate. SO Im late we just tapped what I think is a maple just a guess. As soon as we tapped the tree it immediatley started flowing a clear water fluid into the bucket. I read maple sap is similar to water in looks. SHould I assume we found ourselves a maple? And any tips would be great or even if you have pics of your maples now in the winter so I can look all over my property to see if I have more. I can post a pic of my tree too if anyone could help me identify it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  8. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Take a taste of the sap - it should taste faintly of maple, like a super watered down maple syrup. If it is an oak or something, you will know right away!
     
  9. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    I tasted it and I feel like it taste like nothing, like water. My DH says he thinks it tastes slightly sweet.
     
  10. Peggy-Sue

    Peggy-Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our sugar water had the slightest sugar taste... We processed this weekend, we had a total of 12 gallons of sap water and when all said and done... We got 1.5 quarts... Probably 1 quart because our syrup was alittle to liquidy but oh soooo sweet!!! The past 2 days have been awesome collection days! With the low temps at 25 and then the high at 67 we got over 5 gallons yesterday and it seems really sweet!
     

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