Got Maple Syrup?
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    Got Maple Syrup?

    Anyone make their own maple syrup? I just bought a kit and tapped a few trees this past weekend. First timer here and we'll see how it goes.
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    Hi Big Cat,

    I've been making syrup for myself for quite a few years. Usually make a gallon or two a year with 12 to 15 taps. Be careful, it becomes adictive.

    Rich
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    I tapped about 30 trees a week ago. This is my first year trying so I'm kind of winging it.
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    We did it for many years at our previous home. A lot of work but worth it - good project for this time of year since there isn't much else to do outside.

    Still amazing how many gallons you need to cook down to get a quart of syrup. I had set up an old large double burner propane type cook top. Tried it with a wood fire but couldn't regulate the temperature enough. Days and days of cooking down.

    Some years there was a lot of snow on the ground when we tapped. Then looking at the trees in the summer it was kind of amazing - the tap holes in the trees were so high you couldn't reach them from the ground as we were standing on 3'+ of snow when we tapped.

    I always think about this around this time of year. With the weather like it is this year it wouldn't be a good year for a sap run. Need those cold crisp nights and warm days with crisp clear skies for it to run properly.
    Last edited by coaltrain; 03-01-2016 at 07:10 AM.
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    We'll see how it goes. Right now I've got three taps running, more arriving this week, and I have maybe two gallons of sap since Saturday afternoon. I plan to boil down on Saturday with a wood fire to start, since I don't have a propane burner yet. Any advice otherwise?


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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Cat View Post
    We'll see how it goes. Right now I've got three taps running, more arriving this week, and I have maybe two gallons of sap since Saturday afternoon. I plan to boil down on Saturday with a wood fire to start, since I don't have a propane burner yet. Any advice otherwise?
    2 gallons? Do you know that the average ratio of the cook down is 40:1?

    The problem with doing such a small amount is when it is cooked down to near being syrup it will burn easily especially if using a large pan or trough. You should have at least 1" of liquid in the bottom of the pan when it is done.
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    All the books I've read say it takes approximately 10 gallons of sap to make a quart of syrup. I've collected 2 gallons in the fist day and a half , so I figure I should get about 10g by this weekend. Once I receive the additional taps and buckets I figure I should have approximately 15 additional gallons the following weekend.

    The books say not to keep the sap for more than 7 days before boiling so this weekend will be my first run.


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    2009 JD LA105 Tractor
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    2010 JD 1028E Snow blower

    Huskee 28 Ton Log Splitter
    Agri-Fab 12 cu. ft. dump cart
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Cat View Post
    All the books I've read say it takes approximately 10 gallons of sap to make a quart of syrup. I've collected 2 gallons in the fist day and a half , so I figure I should get about 10g by this weekend. Once I receive the additional taps and buckets I figure I should have approximately 15 additional gallons the following weekend.

    The books say not to keep the sap for more than 7 days before boiling so this weekend will be my first run.
    I've read difference ratios also - but as I remember it takes a whole bunch of sap to get even 1 quart of syrup. We had 30 taps/buckets and a normal run for us lasted 7-10 days. With all that we ended up with 4-5 quarts of syrup.

    Just be very careful toward the end like I said above. When it is close to being ready it will burn instantly if you stop stirring for a second or two. If need be start transferring your cooking sap to smaller vessels as it gets close so you don't have just a thin amount in the bottom of your pan.
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    Once the bulk of the boiling was done, I was thinking about bringing it inside and finishing on the kitchen stove for better control. What do you think?


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    Huskee 28 Ton Log Splitter
    Agri-Fab 12 cu. ft. dump cart
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Cat View Post
    Once the bulk of the boiling was done, I was thinking about bringing it inside and finishing on the kitchen stove for better control. What do you think?
    Yes - that's what we did. Much easier to regulate the heat to finish it without burning. Once it gets burnt for even 2 seconds the whole batch is useless - yuck! Don't ask me how I know.......
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