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Discussion Starter #1
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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I tapped about 30 trees a week ago. This is my first year trying so I'm kind of winging it. :laugh:
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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Discussion Starter #9
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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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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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.
Thanks to your post i spent two hours on youtube last night learning how to make my own Maple syrup. I'm not really sure why since I have no maple trees.:unknown: But hey...if the time ever comes I'm educated. :good2:
 

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Thanks to your post i spent two hours on youtube last night learning how to make my own Maple syrup. I'm not really sure why since I have no maple trees.:unknown: But hey...if the time ever comes I'm educated. :good2:
I love learning all things for homesteading. But when we were doing it all and living off-grid there was no public internet and things like youtube - all learned from books and trial and error.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We moved to "the country" from the suburbs two years ago and are getting into the whole experience. Even reviving over-grown apple trees left over from when the property had a functioning orchard. Hopefully add some syrup to the mix this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed.


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We moved to "the country" from the suburbs two years ago and are getting into the whole experience. Even reviving over-grown apple trees left over from when the property had a functioning orchard. Hopefully add some syrup to the mix this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed.


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We've been making syrup in our neighborhood for the past 5 years, we made 32 gallons of syrup last year, It gets addicting. A great source for information is the forum Mapletrader.com.
 

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Years ago when I worked for a millionaire (billionaire?) on his hobby farm we had an entire commercial setup including dedicated buildings for all the cooking equipment. We used a piping system. It was sure neat to work with all that huge dedicated equipment but just not the same for me as doing it by hand.
 

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Did it last year and again this year.

I got half gallon of the dark good stuff so far this year. Will boil again this weekend and get another 1/2 gallon or so.

Here is the set up:

I use two banquet serving pans for evaporator. The front pan is the main boil off pan while the back pan serves as the pre heater and boil off.
As the front pan boils down I transfer sap from the back into the front then refill the back.

Once the boiled is done for the day I transfer the "almost" syrup into the house to finish off and bottling.

These pictures are from last year. Didn't take any this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This is my first year doing it and based on the forecast in my area it looks like a short 10 day season with temps in the mid-60s next week. I'm boiling on Saturday and we'll see what I get!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Looking good Deere Ol Man. I don't have any hotel pans just going the stock pot route over an open fire like you have there. Any general tips?
 

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The hard way

Looking good Deere Ol Man. I don't have any hotel pans just going the stock pot route over an open fire like you have there. Any general tips?
OK looks like you are going the hard way but a good way to learn.

Tips:

1. Enclose the fire so only the bottom of the pot is exposed to the fire. Else you can burn the sides.
2. Fill the pot to about 1/2 full and get boiling. Keeps from over-boil.
3. Pre-heat sap you are adding to the pot. Keeps boil going and reduces the time to boil off.
4. Keep a small chunk of butter at hand. If you start to get foam on the boil add a VERY small bit of butter. It's a surfactant and stops the foaming. Don't worry it wont change the taste as it will boil off. you may have to do this several times.
5. Don't start with less than 10 gallons of sap. Any less and you will have a hard time finishing off the syrup.
6. Once all the sap is gone stop the process. Don't boil down below 1/2 pot. Take the pot inside to finish off the boil.
7. Before you start to finish take a sauce pan of water and bring to a boil. Use an electronic thermometer and measure the temp of the boiling water. Write the number down.
8. Start the sap in the pot to boiling. measure the temp once in a while. And watch the sap level in the pot. DO NOT LET the level go below 1 1/2 inches or you may burn it. Put it in a smaller sauce pan if needed to keep the depth and continue the boil.
9. When the Sap reaches 7 - 7 1/2 degrees above that of the boiling water you are done. The sugar content should be close enough.
10. You will have to filter the syrup to remove the solids that precipitate out of the sap.

12. Enjoy the taste. You may find it has a slight smoky flavor as you are open boiling on a wood fire.

Hope this helps and good luck.


Steve
 
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