Instructables

Making Maple Syrup in the Back Yard

Picture of Making Maple Syrup in the Back Yard
americanindiansmakingsyrup.jpg
Making maple syrup was a native American tradition. Legend has it that a chiefs wife boiled venison in the sap collected from a maple tree that he was using for tomahawk practice. They enjoyed the sweet flavor and soon the process of making syrup and sugar evolved.

For more information see:

http://jimmar.hubpages.com/hub/Making-Maple-Syrup-in-the-Back-Yard
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: How Much Sap Do I Need?

Sap can be collected from most maple trees, even from Birch or Box Elder trees. The Sugar Maple has the highest concentration of sugar in the sap.

Sap needs to be collected in the spring when the daytime temperatures are above freezing but below 40F. and the nights are frosty.

To make 1 gallon of syrup will take about 40 gallons of sap, depending on sugar content. So if the sap contains 2% sugar you need 43 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. Sap from a Sugar Maple is typically 2.5% concentration, so you would need about 34 gallons of sap.

Shown are leafs from the sugar maple and red maple

Step 2: Collecting the Sap

Picture of Collecting the Sap
Picture 003.jpg
You can purchase taps and other supplies from online stores like

http://www.lehmans.com

http://maplemadness.com/

or you can rig up your own from small diameter tubing or pipe.

I usually collect sap in old 2.5 gallon water jugs tied to the tree under the tap. I use a short piece of plastic tubing running from the tap into the jug. To place the tap in the tree, I drill about a ½ in diameter hole(depending on the tap size) about 1 inch deep into the sapwood below the bark of the tree.

Step 3: Boiling the Sap

Picture of Boiling the Sap
Picture 004.jpg
On my cast iron fire pit I place some concrete block spacers and top them with an old refrigerator grate. I boil and boil and boil, continually filling the center boiling pot from the warming pot, until all the sap is gone. To boil down 40 gallons of sap could take 2 full days.
cleamon7 months ago

Ohhhh I wish I had some trees to milk!!

mosho2279 months ago

thanks man thats such an awesome project im going to try it my self

jimmar57 (author) 1 year ago
The trees heal over the tap hole, it s not a deep hole. The time it takes to fill the jugs depends on how well the sap is running. Weather and timing are key. I'v only use Maple trees, Sugar Maple is the best.
RosyRivet1 year ago
Does the tree heal over the tap hole? Or must you leave the tap in the tree?
RosyRivet1 year ago
Can you list what trees can be used? Also, how long it takes to collect how much from one tree?
Honus1 year ago
Thanks for showing this process! My folks live in Vermont and they send me containers of Maple syrup from time to time- it's definitely my favorite syrup.
Granzeier1 year ago
Nice, I have long wondered about this, but never took the opportunity to check up on this. The amount of sap required is what turns me off, mostly. How long does it take to fill (as far as you go) one of the 2.5 gal jugs, and how many times can you fill one from one tree?

Thanks,