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Joneser
02-18-2011, 02:22 PM
I was talking to Chef Schwantz the other day and he was telling me that he taps his Maples for syrup and that this is the right time to do it.
I made a few spiles and tapped the 3 maples in my front yard and as of this morning, I have close to 3 gallons.
Do any of you make your own syrup?

PigCicles
02-18-2011, 02:34 PM
Interesting .. I usually think of tree tapping as an industry (not like BigAl who taps things for hobby)

Show us your set up and how your process works.

chef schwantz
02-18-2011, 02:44 PM
Its one of those things, that, if you like maple syrup, or know someone who does, then there is no reason not to at least try it. If anything, you will have no issue with giving it away....:thumbs up:

Joneser
02-18-2011, 03:07 PM
I love Maple syrup, but I rarely buy it because of the cost.
I was telling Kelli that I went to a Maple Syrup festival when I was a kid and fell in Lust with it. On the way home, I drank a pint of it...needless to say, I wasn't the most popular family member when we got home...Well, they were sampling it in little paper cups to drink, so I thought it was a drink...:shrug:
I'll try to take a pic of what I have. It's not super impressive and my buckets are huge, but it's something to do outdoors after being inside all winter.

SmokyOkie
02-18-2011, 09:58 PM
Sorry you have to be inside all winter Bri!:shrug:

what kind of maples do you have?
I have red maples (soft maples) and I don't think they will produce syrup. Do you know?

My research tells me that you had better keep collecting sap though. Evidently it takes about 10 gallons of sap to make a quart of syrup.

Bbq Bubba
02-18-2011, 10:44 PM
I believe most maples will give up sap but Sugar Maple is the best. I like to find sugar maple trees to cut down this time of year as the sap is flowing nicely and makes for some sweet smoking wood.
Keep up the work Brian as you have enough to make maybe a half cup of syrup. :msn-wink:

You need to find someone that can cook it for ya now. :thumbs up:

Joneser
02-19-2011, 08:59 AM
Tim, you can tap most any maple to get syrup. From the research I've done, Sugar maples give the highest concentration of sugar in the sap. You can tap Black, Red, and Silver Maples in addition to the Sugar Maples.

@bubba...whatchoo talking about...I'm going to cook it down myself.
I may collect for another week to get some more accumulation. I was just watching the news and we'll get down to freezing overnight for the next week, so that will help get things moving.

chef schwantz
02-19-2011, 09:01 AM
I believe most maples will give up sap but Sugar Maple is the best. I like to find sugar maple trees to cut down this time of year as the sap is flowing nicely and makes for some sweet smoking wood.
Keep up the work Brian as you have enough to make maybe a half cup of syrup. :msn-wink:

You need to find someone that can cook it for ya now. :thumbs up:

Red maple works. I have one tapped as we speak, unfortunately the temps have fallen back down to the low teens again, so no sap for me.

And definitely agree with Bubba on the spring sugar maple for smoking wood. Smells like caramel when you use it....

Chargrilled
02-19-2011, 01:11 PM
this is why i love this website!!!!

crimson king maple??? I tap that for sure!!!! :msn-wink:


interesting about the smoking wood too!!!!

thanks!!

cliffcarter
02-25-2011, 07:10 AM
this is why i love this website!!!!

crimson king maple??? I tap that for sure!!!! :msn-wink:


interesting about the smoking wood too!!!!

thanks!!

The 4 species that Joneser listed are the ones used in commercial operations because they have the highest percentage of sugar in the sap. Ornamentals, such as any of the Japanese varieties or those from Norway(such as the Crimson King) are not used. Not to say that you couldn't tap them and see what you get, but I suspect the sugar content in the sap is too low to make it worthwhile.
Generally speaking the sap starts to run when daytime highs get up around 40F and the season will last for 4-6 weeks, in Maine at least, YMMV.
The sugar content is highest when the sap starts to flow and will diminish with time.
If you have a maple and are unsure if it is ready to be tapped just check if there are squirrels up on the branches chewing on the bark, a sure sign the sap is flowing.

O B City
02-25-2011, 08:55 AM
When I was a kid in upstate NY, we tapped our own. It would cook down for what seemed like days (perhaps we just added more to the cooker each day). But my favorite was to take a ladle full of cooked down syrup, pour it out onto fresh snow in ribbons, and eat the resulting maple candy.

Joneser
02-25-2011, 12:36 PM
I cooked down about 5 gallons over the past weekend. I think I may have cooked it down a little too far, but it still eats just fine.
The temps here have been well below freezing for the last few days, but today the sap is flowing really well again.