Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tapping of Maple trees

Over the next few days, we will be tapping a number of our Maple trees to accumulate some sap which will then be boiled down to provide Chef Rob with some Glen Echo natural Maple syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. Trees will produce thousands of gallon of sap in a season and we will be collecting only about 6-10 gallons through the taps from each tree. We will be tapping Hard Maples and some Silver Maples which are in abundance on the course. I'm not sure how much syrup we will make here in our first season but hopefully it will be enough for you to enjoy in a dish that Rob prepares or over some waffles for breakfast this spring. My brother has provided me with some spouts he used a few years ago.
The picture below is a metal spout(spile) and the hook that holds the container which catches the sap as it drips from the spout. A hole is drilled into the tree and the spout is hammered into the tree about 1-2". We will be using a combination of milk jugs, two liter bottles and some buckets to gather our sap. They recommend that the sap be collected regularly. We will be preparing the sap by the batch method which means we will boil it down 20-30 gallons of material at a time until it has reached its proper density.
Hard Maple tree on #8 with a couple of bottles already collecting sap.
Same tree from a different view. This tree is large enough and healthy enough two taps.

I've attached a link below for those of you who would like to read more about the production of maple syrup.

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