Halfway through collecting maple sap to make maple syrup, I made this video on tips on tapping maple trees and how to collect sap to make maple syrup. Shot on the iPhone, it looks pretty good.
I use tree saver plastic taps and plastic lines to collect sap, i'm finding that buckets at each tree work pretty well. I have one large barrel that collects from two trees, and its kind of a pain to get the sap out. The benefit is if the sugar maple sap runs really well, the bucket can handle the sap. One time my smaller 5 gal buckets overflowed.
There has been some discussion on how much sugar gets trapped in the ice that we remove from the sap buckets. My neighbors, old time maple syrup experts, remove the ice from their maple sap buckets. But then I was asked how much sugar is lost with the ice, and I don't know. The questioner brought up Popsicles, and the fact that they are made with sugar that seems to freeze with the ice.
It helps when hauling buckets of sap to have them only half full, its easier on your back and you splash a lot less. I store our sap in a big new trash can on the shady side of the house that has been surrounded with snow to keep the sap cool.
Check out all of our how to make maple syrup videos here
Here is a great PDF from the Univ of Maine on how to tap trees and boil sap
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