Maple syrup is a Native American alternative to honey, all natural, healthy and delicious.
Step 1: Trees, Equipment and Timing
Any maple tree would perfectly do. One hole per every foot of the trunk diameter yearly would make no harm.
- taps, one per hole;
- containers to collect sap (we used clean plastic bottles from orange juice);
- tubes to direct the sap into containers, fit to taps;
- a drill, a bit should be the same diameter as the taps.
Sap collection is taking place in spring, when the temperature is above 0°C during the day and below 0°C at night.
Step 2: Tapping Trees
Drill a hole and insert a tap. The tap should be fit tightly with some effort.
Step 3: Set Up the Containers
To protect our sap from animals and dirt, we used containers with lids. Every lid was drilled to accommodate a tube. Clean and safe.
Step 4: Collect the Sap
When the containers are full, you can empty them and close the holes with stoppers made from wood chips or twigs if you wish.
Step 5: Evaporating
To produce one part of syrup you would evaporate forty parts of sap. Just imagine how much vapor there would be. The best way to do that is an open fire outdoors. When the sap is getting thick and intense in colour, you may complete the process in your kitchen, because it will require all your attention - you must stop right before the syrup turns into caramel.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Very Own Homemade 100% Maple Syrup!
This is what we got in about a week from our three maple trees. There were 4 liters of sap that yelled 100 milliliters of syrup.
The product was way tastier than anything from a store, and our home smelled with maple syrup and a hint of smoke like those of pioneers, nice and cozy.