When February comes to a close, we get ready to tap our trees. For us, it’s a fun experience that our whole family can be a part of, and trust me, not many things are as sweetly delicious as freshly boiled syrup. We finished our last batch as few days ago. If ever you wondered how syrup is made, I’m about to tell you.
#1 Drill the tree and put in the spiles attached to buckets or milk gallons. Collect the sap each night and refrigerate if the night doesn’t get below 38 degrees. Sap will sour just like milk.
#2 Once sap is collected, it can be boiled down. We’ve created an outdoor evaporator. It’s very efficient, however, it still takes awhile to evaporate the water from the sap in order to only leave the syrup. It’s a tedious process and requires constant supervision and skimming off the foam.
#3 When the sap begins to darken and thicken, bring it inside to finish in order to control the boil on a stove top. It is ready when the syrup is 7 degrees above boiling.
#4 Pour syrup into jars and seal. Maple syrup is great as a breakfast topping, ice cream topping, in coffee, and to replace sugar in baking.
I can now look at my maple trees and say, “I tapped that.”
We drilled spouts into four of our silver maple trees and obtained approximately sixteen gallons of sap, and it took more than 15 hours to boil it down to pure syrup. When the process was complete, we were left with almost four pints of syrup. Sure its time consuming, but it’s the sweetest syrup I have ever tasted. It can be used on pancakes, or used as a sweetener in coffee or tea.