Monday, February 4, 2013

Maple Syrup Time

Round about this time of year, it's time to start watching the night/day temperature patterns.   For the best sap flow, you want below freezing temps at night and above freezing temps during the day.     We've got that starting this week, so we're tapping the trees a bit early.     If it gets cold again, the sap will be fine.   If it warms up fast this year again, then at least we've got a head start, too.  

You can tap any kind of maple, but sugar maples give you the best syrup.

Here's a link to a basic How To Tap.

If a tree is big enough, you can put more than one tap in it. If the diameter is 12-20 inches, then 1 tap; 21-27 inches, two taps; greater than 27 inches, three taps. That's diameter, not circumference.

If you've tapped the tree before, you need to put your taps in  a new spot.     These two articles suggest only 2 inches over and up:  Here and Here.    More conservation minded folks suggest moving the tap at least 6 inches over and 4 inches up.

Want to know how the whole sap thing works in the tree?   Here's a link.

Here's a link to a post on how we boil the sap down.   We boil over an open fire most of the time, without the fancy arch.   Small pieces of wood make hot fires, but you literally burn through a lot of wood.   Shoot for a lot of wood the size of your forearm with some big logs in there around the edges to hold the heat.

There are other links to great information in those two posts, so make sure to check them out.  

1 comment:

  1. We wish we had enough sugar maples to do this, but maybe we'll try it on our other maples or hickories. :)


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