Maple Syrup




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.

You need:

- 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.

Hunter-Gatherer Contest

Third Prize in the
Hunter-Gatherer Contest



    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest
    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest

    12 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! A couple simplifications and mods:

    - Taps aren't necessary. You can use 3/8" OD vinyl tubing from the hardware store. Drill a 5/16" or 11/32" hole in the tree and push the tube 1/2" into the hole. It will be a snug fit; you may want to cut a small wedge out of the end of the tube to make it easier to jam it in. Experiment with a 2"x4". Some amount of leaking is pretty common regardless of how you do it.

    - Drill the hole slightly tilted town, so the sap flows out easily

    - Favor the southern side of the tree, preferably under a big branch.

    - If you've tapped the tree before, offset the new hold to the side of the old hole, so the scar tissue doesn't interfere with the flow.

    - Use gallon jugs

    - Buy some screw-in hooks at the hardware store. The hook should be big enough for the handle of the gallon jug. Screw it in to the side of and below the tap, so it doesn't interfere with the flow to the tap (which is vertical).

    Thanks again!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is an insctructable I know I'll remember next time I see a maple, which means it's a great instructable. Thanks for sharing !

    Where did you buy the taps and tubes ?

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    We found the taps and tubes on eBay. The challenge was to find a supplier who sells them in smaller bunches - we needed just half a dozen.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Been to a maple syrup farm, they had over 100,000 trees and each pipe ran into a bigger pipe until there was a 4 inch pipe going into a six part boiler, the process was amazing!

    You are showing people the same thing as what the companies use and you have explained it well.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Only Sugar, Black or Red maples are to be used. Use other species of maple tress and you'll get bitter syrup.

    2 replies

    Wikipedia: "Maple syrup is a syrup usually made from the xylemsap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species."

    The syrup tasted great, we did not notice any special bitterness. Honestly, I can not say for sure which ones grow in our backyard - they are just standard Canadian maple trees.


    Most likely Red Maples then. Southern Ontario (my location) is mainly made up of these. I didnt know where you were posting from and have seen to many southern Americans come up and tap any tree they see.

    TL;DR just making sure people get good sap is all, not harping on your post in any way.


    4 years ago

    I tap two silver maples here in PA and the syrup is fine


    4 years ago

    Sap is clear? Wow. I will be tapping all the trees on my mothers land this spring. Time for some syrup!

    Woah I didn't know that the sap was clear when it first leaks out! That means there is way more boiling involved than I previously thought... Awesome job explaining the process, thanks for sharing!


    4 years ago

    I had no idea that the sap had to be cooked down that much. Great information! I've always wanted to make my own syrup.