For more information see:
Step 1: How Much Sap Do I Need?
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
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
Step 4: Finishing
Once the syrup has cooled down I pour it through a cloth (a few times) placed in a strainer basket over a clean pot.
The syrup will be dark and have a smoky flavor, which I like. If that is a taste you don’t think you’d enjoy, then let me introduce you to Aunt Jemima.