(This post was last modified: 03-02-2016, 02:02 AM by PhilNH5.)
It is "Sugaring Time" in NH. Time to tap the trees and make maple syrup. I have posted threads on another shave forum and thought I might continue the tradition here.

We have many trees on our property but only 5 sugar maples. Sugar maples have the highest content of sugar in their sap at approximately 4%. To make maple syrup you simply collect sap and boil off the water until the sugar content is 66%. If you use sugar maple sap you will need to boil 40 gallons of sap until you have 1 gallon of syrup. You can tap any type of maple and wind up with syrup but will need to boil away more water as their sap's sugar content is lower.

You also need cooperative weather. Daytime temps of 40 plus and night time lows below freezing. This causes the sap to run or flow.

Enough science. On to the pictures.

This is my lovely and talented daughter, Amy, with the few items required: A drill for making holes, taps or spouts to channel the flow, a hammer to insert the spouts, buckets to collect the sap and lids to keep out debris.
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She is using my father's brace or drill to make a hole for the tap.
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Then hammer in the spout.
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Hang a bucket.
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This is Amy heading for another tree. The bucket in the background has a lid on it. In this grove we have 3 sugar maples. The sap was running as soon as we drilled. It "pings" as it falls into the galvanized bucket. A very satisfying sound.
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I will update with pictures as the season progresses.

JustinHEMI, DavidJames, JaysClay and 6 others like this post

Philadelphia, PA
awesome! I love pure maple syrup!!!!!!!!
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
I always enjoy these "outings" on your property, Phil. Smile

Chazz Reinhold HOF

That is fantastic. Maple syrup is the nector of the gods.
Life has a melody.

Austin, TX
So very cool and interesting- thanks for sharing PhilNH5 . Is the "S" on the tree to call out that it is a Sugar Maple?

Yes the "S" is for sugar maple. We started this 15 years ago. I spent a summer and fall looking for and identifying the sugar maples. I spray painted the "S" so we could find them in the dead of winter. I thought we would have lots of sugar maples. But only were blessed with 5.

Now they are like old friends and we know the location of each intimately.


JustinHEMI likes this post

Southern Ohio
Very cool - heard someone else talking about tapping their Black Walnut trees for the syrup.

Freddy and kwsher like this post

My daughter and I collected sap today.

This is Amy at the first tree.
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She is pouring the sap into a 5 gallon bucket we use to collect and store the sap in.
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There was ice in the sap buckets. This is generally a good thing. As the sap freezes the sugar is forced from the ice. The ice is almost pure water. The remaining sap in the bucket is therefore more concentrated than the 4% it contained in the tree. This will reduce the required boiling time.
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We will continue to collect the sap all week. We store the 5 gallon plastic buckets in a snow bank to keep it cold. We will boil down the sap this weekend weather permitting.


JustinHEMI and Freddy like this post

Do you do this for your own consumption, or do you purvey on the side as well?
Life has a melody.

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