Tap Your Trees and Make Your Own Maple Syrup with These Tools
Maple Syrup tapping is a family-fun activity for when winter slowly starts turning into spring. Maple sap flows when days are above freezing, and nights dip below the freezing point. Harvesting the sap is easy: all you need are maple trees, a few simple tools, buckets with lids, and a pan to evaporate down the sap into homemade syrup. The final product is a buttery sweet batch of liquid gold syrup, ready for your next breakfast or brunch.
1Maple Sap Buckets with Lids
These plastic buckets and lids are perfect for collecting sap from your maple trees. There is a hole at the top of the bucket to hang nicely on the spile hook, and the sap drips into the buckets as it flows from the trees. These buckets hold 2 gallons of maple sap, are easy to see through to check how full they are, are simple to clean, and great to reuse year after year.
$59.99 for a 3 pack Amazon
2Stainless Steel Spiles
Spiles are essential for maple syrup tapping: they anchor into the tree, hold the sap bucket, secure the bucket lids, and act as funnels for the sap to flow. I’ve used both plastic and steel spiles, and have found that the steel ones last longer and are easier to clean at the end of the season.
$29.99 for a 5-pack Amazon
3Cordless Drill and Drill Bits
A cordless drill with drill bits is the best way to make the holes into the maple trees — you’ll need a 5/16 inch bit for the spiles in this article. The holes should be drilled into the south-facing side of the tree, and you should drill approximately 1.5 inches into a tree. Only drill into trees that are larger than 8 inches in diameter. If your tree is over 15 inches, you can drill two holes in the same tree, just keep the holes 3 inches apart.
Once you’ve collected your sap, you’ll need to boil it down to reduce the sap into maple syrup. For every 5 gallons of maple sap you collect, it should boil down to about a quart of syrup. Large evaporator pans like this stainless steel model are perfect to keep your sap reducing over a low heat.
5Maple Syrup Hydrometer with Test Cup
Once your syrup has reduced, this hydrometer will tell you when it’s ready to bottle. Pour a sample of your reduced sap into the test cup and allow the hydrometer to float in the sap. The meter will let you know if you need to reduce the sap down more, or if it’s ready to bottle. Using a hydrometer guarantees perfect syrup texture and consistency every time.
6Glass Maple Syrup Bottles
There’s nothing sweeter than bottling up your homemade maple syrup, and these 8 ounce jars are the perfect size. They are great for pantry storage, and also make fantastic gifts. These have little loop handles for easier pouring, so you can smother your next batch of pancakes, waffles, or french toast.
$28.99 for 12 bottles Amazon