Maple syrup…Step One! Don’t be Sappy! 

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Maple syrup…Step One! Don’t be Sappy! 

OK, I know I am never going to hear the end of this, but I’m going to try it anyways… We have four big beautiful maple trees on our property, and I have always wanted to try, so we’re gonna make our own Maple syrup! That being said, to make one litre of syrup, you need 40 litres of sap. So, I’m thinking we might end up with about a cup of maple syrup…. If we are lucky! Lol

I have been waiting for the weather to warm up, because you can’t tap the trees until the day time temperatures are above freezing. But, now finally, we have had a few days in a row where the temperature is above freezing! 

So, you can order maple syrup making supplies online, but I found a hardware store right around the corner that sells the taps. I bought two taps, two buckets with lids, and about 5-6 feet of plastic tubing. the buckets were less than five dollars each, and the spigots were three dollars, and the tubing was only a few dollars, so it’s pretty cheap to try. It will probably only cost about four times as much as a regular bottle of maple syrup, plus the countless hours it will take me to make! (Btw -john says I shouldn’t count my time because my time costs us nothing! Lol) 

As you can see in the above photo, I also bought a plastic tube, thinking that I might be able to use that as a tap as well, but I didn’t end up using the plastic ones.

We have two sugar maple trees in the front of our house, and two silver maple trees in the back. I did actually (surprisingly) do a bit of research on tree identification before I started. My plan was to collect sap from one tree in the front, and one in the back. Here is a picture sam took of the trees in our backyard.



The process is actually pretty easy to collect the sap. About three feet up, drill a hole 2-3 inches deep. I used a 7/16 drill bit.



If you wait about a minute after you drill, you should see the sap start to flow. On our first try, we got nothing. Pretty disappointing. But we tried the next tree, and within a minute, we had sap! So, we quickly hammered the spigot into the hole. (didn’t want to lose a drop!)



Look, sap! 

Then we connected the plastic tubing to the spigot, so the sap would flow directly into the bucket. Sam was my assistant and photographer today.

And of course, i had to drill a hole in the top of the bucket to accomodate the tubing.

Here’s what the set up looks like in the backyard!And in the front of our house:



I hope no one comes along and steals our sap! I think all of our neighbours already think I am crazy, so I’m not worried about that, but I’m thinking I might put a Please Do Not Touch sign on it…. 

Anyways, we went to the mall to pick up a present for a birthday party Sam had this afternoon, and by the time we got back, we had a couple inches of sap at the bottom of the bucket! It’s pretty cool, it looks just like water. The kids and I decided we want to try a little bit of the sap to see what it tastes like. I read online that you should boil it for about a minute before you drink it.



I also read online, that the sap should be boiled within a day, and spoils easily, so tomorrow morning, I’m going to try boiling it down into syrup. Apparently it takes quite a while, and creates a lot of moisture in the house, so I’ll have to keep a close eye on it and keep the fan on the stove on. Boy, is it lucky I don’t have anything else to do this weekend! Did I mention already that we are off work and school this week for March Break? I love being a teacher (in the middle of March, and July and August especially!) 

I’ll give you a syrup update as soon as I can to let you know how the next part of our syrup making journey goes!

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4 responses »

  1. Can’t wait to read more! I did this one year as a kid. Some other kids would come by and dump my little javex sized bucket, but eventually I had enough to boil it into a thick syrup. And being an avid reader as a kid, one of my favourite stories involved making maple syrup taffy – pouring the thick hot syrup onto clean snow. It was the most I ever worked for a small sweet treat!!

    Like

  2. Thanks! Yes, at this point I’m wondering how much work this is worth! But I am so impressed you did this as a kid! My kids are really excited, but the process is so slow! I think their interest will peak again once it starts getting close to something they can eat! Lol. One of the trees produced a large amount, but the other one, not so much. Oh, well, we will see what we have by the end of the day!
    I wish we had some clean snow to make taffy, that’s a great idea! I might have to dig out my snow cone machine!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Sappy to Sweet… The Maple Syrup experiment-step 2 | Artzcool's Blog

  4. Pingback: and the Months Passed…. | Laura's Toronto

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