Bentleyâ€™s Maple Syrup
Hi, my name is Bentley Gibson and I live in New York State in the United States of America. I like to do silly things, go on fun adventures and learn fun stuff. In late winter and early spring I like to make maple syrup, you can read about my maple syrup adventures in this book.
Ideal Maple Syrup season is in late winter and early spring when the nighttime temperatures are below freezing and the daytime temperatures are above freezing.
Tapping Trees Find some nice big Maple Trees on your property. Use a drill with a 7/16 or 5/16 bit and drill a hole 2-2 1/2 inches into the tree about 2-4 feet off the ground. Clean out the hole so there are no wood chips in it. Depending on the size of the tree you can probably put two or three holes in the tree spaced out around the trunk.
A spile is like a faucet on the tree, you can get them from places that produce maple syrup or order them specially. With a hammer gently tap a spile into each of the holes you made in the tree.
Depending on your method, either hang a bucket from the spile and cover the bucket OR connect hoses to the spile ends and run them to a covered bucket sitting on the ground.
Wait for it...
Sit back and wait for your sap to drip out of the tree. Read a book, climb a tree, play some games.
While your waiting would be a good time to make sure you have a pan to boil your sap in. A wide shallow pan outside over a fire works best.
Once your trees start dripping make sure you check your buckets daily. Collect any sap and filter it using a wool filter - if you do not have a wool filter you can also use cheesecloth.
Boiling it Down
Syrup is made by boiling the water out of the sap. Before you begin to boil your syrup you should check the boiling point of water for your location. The boiling point will change due to altitude and weather conditions.
As you begin to boil your syrup the water in the sap will evaporate. You can add more sap to the pan if you have more collected. When it starts to boil you may see foam start to form on top, you can skim this off as you do not need it.
You will notice that as the water evaporates the boiling point of the sap increases. You want to boil your syrup until it reaches 7 degrees Fahrenheit above what you found the boiling point of water to be. As it gets close to this point you may want to take it inside to finish it on the stove as you need to monitor it closely at this point so you do not burn it.
Once it reaches its boiling temperature filter it again to remove any sugar sand or sediment that may be in the syrup.
After it is filtered you can package it in clean, tightly sealed, air-tight containers to store it or enjoy it on whatever you would like!
Enjoy your syrup!
Maple Syrup adventures with me - Bentley!