Looking for a little information from some people with a little experience. I have plenty of walnut I plan to tap, but I want to put in some sugar maple.
Basically I’m trying to figure out if it is worth it or not. I watched several video and it looked like they were cooking for days. After which they really did not get much. I see why it’s expensive. Another thing I picked up on was that several different types of trees can be used, but each took a different amount of time to cook off. Maple being the quickest.
Somehow my search did not show that, but it does have some good info in it. Especially your comment of 40 gal. boiling down to 1. I’m going to try it once, but it’s sounding like maybe the stores expensive price is not so bad.
some tap yellow birch here. they say it tastes better than the white birch they harvest in AK. higher sugar content too. i dont think its as high as sugar maple. yellow birch is a fast grower and likes wet lowlands.
I watched several video on walnut. They say it taste almost as good a maple, but takes longer to cook. I already have lots of walnut trees, so they are a must. I have to admit Clark’s 40:1 ratio is a little bit of a downer though.
@clarkinks That thread gets into the actual tapping, but I was more interested in the cooking. That’s where it gets sticky. How long does it take you to cook it off and how long does what you get last?
Never had any go bad its sugary. Have kept it in the refrigerator for years. As far as cooking it down it can take hours. While your at it you may want to also look at this thread Sweet Sorghum . The thread will give you some ideas for cooking maple syrup.
There are plenty of good books about backyard sugaring. That info would be applicable to any type of sap, really. Like anything, there is specialized equipment you can get to do it efficiently. Some people do it in a pot or outdoors over a fire, usually just to make a gallon or maybe two. Economies of scale being what they are, you don’t do it at this scale to save money. You’ll be into it for lots of fuel and time. It’s fun and rewarding though. And tasty
Ratios of sap to finished syrup vary by species, as does timing of sap flow. Maple is ~40:1 sometimes more depending on the tree. Birches and walnuts I think are more in the 60:1 range, though not positive. I see you’re in zone 6 or 7. That’s probably a little marginal for getting good sap flow from maples, but you want alternating freezing and thawing with warm mild days. Sugaring finished up around here by the 1st or 2nd week of March. I’ve not known anyone to tap birch, though I always wanted to. We have gobs of black (or “sweet”) birch here. Yellow birch also similarly sweet. They both smell like wintergreen (bark, foliage) and I’ve wondered how much the syrup tastes like that. I’ve never even tried it. I understand it yields a lower amount of sap over a longer period. Ditto walnuts from what I understand.
Check out a book. Chelsea Green published a really good one recently.