Tapping Maple Trees Using Natural Sumac Spiles, Part 2

| 11/14/2016 9:36:00 AM

maple syrup and pancakes

Part 1 outlined the beginning steps to tapping maple and birch trees using natural sumac taps, including how to make sumac taps and how and when to tap the tree. This post will tell you what to do with your sap to boil it down into maple syrup.

What to Do with Maple Sap

We usually start boiling down sap when we get at least 7 to 10 gallons of sap. Note: It takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. If you don’t have enough sap to start boiling, you can freeze the sap until you have enough to boil. Boiling should be done outside, because it can cause sticky walls! We use a very basic/rustic pit fire. Never use propane — fumes can cause an “off” taste.

Some people are using the sap as a health drink and the birch sap is also being used in the making of beer. This is where you can “tap” into another market. We have an order for our sap to be used by a brewery this winter. We also have our bottled "sap" water. In the state of North Carolina, it is suggested to have samples of your proposed "sap" water tested before selling to market.

bottled sap water

The Boiling Down Process

Time and temp. With the maple or birch sap, you do want a hot and rapidly boiling fire. You want to burn off the water content to get to the “sugar." Boiling 7 to 10 gallons of sap can take up to 10 or 12 hours. This depends on the water content. Although you don’t have to use Sugar Maples, they do contain less water and more “sugar”.

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