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This will be my first year attempting to tap a couple maple trees. Someone gave me a kit years ago, as a gift. I am doing it just for the experiment of it more than thinking I am going to make a lot of syrup. I know I am not.

It seemed to sneak up on me but the temps this week actually look proper....40s during the day, 30s at night.... well at least for 3 days.
I took a 6 hour class about it back when I lived in the city, I am going to dig out the handouts and re-learn. I'm excited.
Do you tap? Friends of my sister just built a sugar shack and have the big stainless steel boiler. Very nice set up, they make a lot of syrup.

yay! (almost) Spring in New England!
 

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I’ve always wanted to try this, but alas, now no maple trees on my properties. :(
I’d be the same way, just to try it, and for personal use. I’m a syrup snob,all real maple syrup in my house, but it’s so expensive.
 

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I be always wanted to try this, but alas, now no maple trees on my properties. :(
I’d be the same way, just to try it, and for personal use. I’m a syrup snob,all real maple syrup in my house, but it’s so expensive.
Have you any birch, hickory, boxelder or walnut trees? Though you may need more sap than what a sugar maple would require, it should be possible!
 

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Have you any birch, hickory, boxelder or walnut trees? Though you may need more sap than what a sugar maple would require, it should be possible!
I didn’t know you could do it with those type of trees. I do have a massive birch at a rental up the street. Otherwise it’s all pine and black locusts.
 

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This will be my first year attempting to tap a couple maple trees. Someone gave me a kit years ago, as a gift. I am doing it just for the experiment of it more than thinking I am going to make a lot of syrup. I know I am not.

It seemed to sneak up on me but the temps this week actually look proper....40s during the day, 30s at night.... well at least for 3 days.
I took a 6 hour class about it back when I lived in the city, I am going to dig out the handouts and re-learn. I'm excited.
Do you tap? Friends of my sister just built a sugar shack and have the big stainless steel boiler. Very nice set up, they make a lot of syrup.

yay! (almost) Spring in New England!
Ayuh, so ya want to do some shugerin? Ya didn't say what paht of New England you ah in. New Hampsha? Vermohnt? Mass, or ah ya a Maniac? They don't shuga much in CT or Rhode Island.

My dad loves the stuff. I like it boiled down to maple butter. I've never boiled any but my dad tapped a couple of trees back when he was younger and boiled some down.
  • It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.
  • It takes one gallon of maple syrup to produce eight pounds of maple candy or sugar
  • A gallon of maple syrup weighs 11 pounds
  • There are three shades of Grade A Amber – light, medium, and dark.
  • The sugar content of sap averages 2.5 percent; sugar content of maple syrup is at least 66 percent or more
  • Each tap will yield an average of 10 gallons of sap per season, producing about one quart of syrup.
  • The maple season may last eight to 10 weeks, but sap flow is heaviest for about 10-20 days in the early spring.
Here's a few tips on making the boil:

How to Make Homemade Maple Syrup | Blain's Farm & Fleet Blog (farmandfleet.com)

How To Use a Maple Syrup Density Hydrometer
There are numerous instruments that can be used to check your maple syrup density: hydrometers, hydrotherms, and refractometers. Maple syrup hydrometers are used to measure the maple syrup density at a specific temperature. A candy thermometer can be used to determine the temperature when you’re processing your sap into syrup.

Hydrometer cups are very convenient in determining maple syrup density. They are deep, and the hydrometer can float after each draw off. Make sure the hydrometer does not touch the bottom or the sides of the hydrometer cup. This determines that the reading at the point on the hydrometer stem is level with the surface of the syrup.

Maple Syrup Density
When using a hydrometer, there are two scales to read: Brix and Baume. The Brix scale reads the percentage of sugar in the maple syrup. The Baume scale reads the density of the water related to the density of the maple syrup. Maple syrup must be evaporated to a density between 66% and 67% Brix at 68°F. If you have a density below 66% Brix, the syrup will ferment. If you have a density above 68% Brix, the syrup may crystallize. Maple syrup reaches the proper density at 219.5°F or 7.5° above the boiling point of water.

P.S. They serve the real deal at Cracker Barrel, in cute little bottles.
 

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Friends of my sister just built a sugar shack and have the big stainless steel boiler. Very nice set up, they make a lot of syrup.
+++
Homemade is the most WONDERFUL kind...
With a process like this..... A good mentor is a valuable tool to learn from...
 
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Last time I ate at Cracker Barrel (5 years or so now) the syrup in those little bottles was just flavored corn syrup, no real maple in them.

According to several sites Cracker Barrel uses a blend of maple and cane syrup. That wasn't what we were served on our last visit. The change is a large part of why we haven't been there in years.
 

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...

They're advertising the syrup as being for real:
I edited my post as you were typing this. What they serve now is not 100% maple syrup. But what we got the last time was corn syrup, not even a maple blend. Maybe they were out of the maple, maybe we were part of a test market, I don't know. But the junk we got wasn't even good corn syrup.
 

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I edited my post as you were typing this. What they serve now is not 100% maple syrup. But what we got the last time was corn syrup, not even a maple blend. Maybe they were out of the maple, maybe we were part of a test market, I don't know. But the junk we got wasn't even good corn syrup.
I'm not a Cracker Barrel camp follower, however, my family is. What syrup I've had appears to be genuine in the Arizona market as it is much more fluid than corn syrup and the taste is more like the real deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I’ve always wanted to try this, but alas, now no maple trees on my properties. :(
I’d be the same way, just to try it, and for personal use. I’m a syrup snob,all real maple syrup in my house, but it’s so expensive.
It is expensive, but so tasty :)
I was going to suggest what @altair did - about the birch trees. Are you going to go for it?
The only thing holding me back right now is that I understand I need a food grade bucket with a lid to store the sap until I boil it. Amazon is pricey so I am hoping the hardware store will have one.

Last time I ate at Cracker Barrel (5 years or so now) the syrup in those little bottles was just flavored corn syrup, no real maple in them.

According to several sites Cracker Barrel uses a blend of maple and cane syrup. That wasn't what we were served on our last visit. The change is a large part of why we haven't been there in years.
Gross right? what a way to ruin a pancake.
Sounds divine @wdcutrsdaughter

Maybe you can post a picture of each step. That is such a foreign thing to a southern boy.

The craftsmanship of it is sadly slipping away.
No maples in the south ? Can ya tell I don't leave the north much? or, um, ever.
I have a friend in TN actually and when I went to visit her there around 2002 there was a store at the mall that sold stuff that said "yankee go home." I laughed and laughed. And then I did, of course.

I would like to think there is/will be a resurgence in people's interest in "living off the land" and it won't be a lost art. Even if it is just for the spiritual experience of it. The connectedness.

There are still a lot of people who do it around here.

I prolly won't post pictures here but maybe on Instagram - if you're over there. I'm not that much.

Needs to be below freezing at night for the best flow.
Thank you. In that case next week's temps look better , which is good because I am still getting my act together.
 
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