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Author Topic: Maple Syrup making help  (Read 1253 times)

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Offline Beavertrapper

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Maple Syrup making help
« on: May 11, 2015, 06:00:21 PM »
Good Afternoon everybody.

I live up in Northern Illinois with a small forest on my family farm and I'm looking into the idea of making some maple syrup on a small scale for my family and I, however I know nothing about collecting and making syrup. So I was wondering if anyone can share some info on the process or point me to a thread that explains it.  I have been reading a bunch of the posts on the forum and have been piecing together how it works but would really like to have it explained a little better.  Any help would be great thanks!!


Offline beenthere

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Re: Maple Syrup making help
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2015, 06:32:56 PM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum.
Assume you have the maple trees on your forest.

Make some plans now so when February, or thereabouts comes around, you have the tools, equipment, and plan to get into your forest, tap some trees, collect the sap, and evaporate the water off to make the syrup.

Tell us a bit about what you have gleaned so far, and what you have, or think you need to get, to make it happen next spring.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline 21incher

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Re: Maple Syrup making help
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2015, 06:36:05 PM »
Welcome to the forestry forum Beavertrapper. Last year I made my first syrup and it was real easy, but time consuming. I purchased 12 taps, collected the sap in plastic gallon ice tea jugs, and boiled it down in a old giant wok. I collected over 120 gallons of sap and wound up with a little over 2 1/2 gallons of syrup. The weather will affect when the sap starts running and I found when it was below freezing at night and warmed up to above freezing during the day the sap ran the best. And I always tried to boil it as it was collected so it didn't spoil. The most critical area seemed to be monitoring the boiling temperature to tell when it was done because I didn't want to buy a hydrometer to test it. Mine does have some sugar sand in the bottom of the jars because I did not filter it, but it settles to the bottom of the canning jars so you can pour the good syrup off and discard it later. You will find old threads about making syrup here that have info from pros that will be real helpful.  :)
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.

Offline Don_Papenburg

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Re: Maple Syrup making help
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2015, 10:36:59 PM »
Where abouts in N. Illinois? I am in N.Illinois south of I80 by Streator. I made walnut syrup this year. 
 check into Vermont syrup suppliers  .My wife's cousin got a lot of things from that area.
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup making help
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2015, 11:52:11 PM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, Beavertrapper, (Paul).
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
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Offline trumpets3u

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Re: Maple Syrup making help
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2015, 03:25:07 PM »
Go here for all the help you will need.

Offline jrose1970

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Re: Maple Syrup making help
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2015, 03:46:03 PM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum. You will love Sappin'! Start two weeks earlier than the book says. (Global warming! LOL) Seriously, I tap around January the 15th. Of course, I'm below the arctic circle. LOL But we do live at 2300 feet elevation. Tip: don't drill over 1.5" deep. It helps it to heal.
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Offline Ford_man

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Re: Maple Syrup making help
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2015, 07:58:23 PM »
There is a lot info on you tube. Check out some of the vids.

Offline maple flats

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Re: Maple Syrup making help
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2015, 08:53:52 PM »
Be careful of U tube videos, some are grossly wrong for learning how to do it.
1st, ID some maple trees, while any maple can make syrup, the best are sugar maple, black maple, red maple and silver maple with the 1st 3 being the most commonly tapped. Then when the winter starts to warm towards spring, when the nights are below freezing and the days above freezing, it is time for the sap to run. You are best on small scale to get plastic bucket taps and tap/then hang a bucket on the tap, or get tubing type taps, use a short length of tubing and have the sap run into a pail on the ground. You can use the 3 or 4 gal buckets bakeries get frosting in, they are usually free and are food grade. As soon as you have enough sap, you need to boil it. On a small scale you can do it on a turkey frier, or get a larger pan, make a fire pit with concrete blocks and have that support the pot or pan. While you can make syrup with no specialized tools o equipment, I highly recommend you get a hydrometer to verify density. You want it to be 66.5-66.9% sugar, and a typical sap sugar for woods trees in those 1st 3 trees can be around 2%. At that you need to remove by boiling 42 gal of water from 43 gal of sap to have 1 gal of syrup.
I must warn you, it is addictive. In 2003 I started with 27 taps and by late that season (which might be anywhere from 10-45 days long) I had 70 taps. I've grown each season and this year I had 1320 taps and I'm planning to have 1500 taps next season.
If you have any other specific questions, just send me a PM and give me your email address. I can answer any questions except how to make a profit making and selling maple syrup.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

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