Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tap My Trees

Back at the beginning of fall I talked about me and the girls marking maple trees. Our hole jungle adventure was for this review.  We discovered a company called Tap My Trees if you have maple trees on your property you are going to want to check them out. Tap My Trees is a company that offers maple sugaring supplies. They have books on how to get started. They have kits with everything you need to tap your first maple tree. They even offer pictures and directions on how to identify different types of maple trees. This is our winter science project so you will see a few post on it between now and the time the sap stops flowing.  Maple Sugaring is a science experiment that taste yummy.

The basic idea of sugaring is turning sap into a yummy syrup you can eat.  You must do this during a specific time of year. The night time temperatures must be below 32 degrees and the day time temperatures must be above 32 degrees. Sap generally flows for around 4-6 weeks. You drill a hole in a Maple tree (you can tap several varieties of trees) In this hole you insert a spile and hang a bucket from it to collect the sap. The sap will run out of the tree into the bucket once you collect a large amount of sap it must be boiled down. Sap has a lot of water in it and you must remove this extra water from the sugary part of the sap.

For this review we received a tap my trees starter kit with aluminum buckets it sells for about $109.95 you can go directly to it by clicking this link This kit it includes the Following:

3 Aluminum 2 gallon buckets to collect the sap as it drips from the spile.
3 metal lids to prevent leaves and bugs from falling into your sap once it has left the tree.
3 spiles or taps that you put into the tree so that the sap may exit the tree into your bucket.
3 hooks so that you can hang the bucket from the spile.
1 drill bit that is 7/16 so that you can drill the perfect size hole for your spile
Cheesecloth: for filtering any solids you use this when you transfer your sap to the storage container.
1 Maple Sugaring at Home book: this little gem tells you everything you need to know including identifying maple trees and how to boil down the sap to turn it into maple sugar.

It has almost everything you need to get started. It has enough buckets and spiles to tap three trees. In addition to the kit you will need a cordless drill and some clean empty food safe jugs to put the sap in when your buckets need to be emptied. You will also need a large pan to boil your sap down in. You will want to boil the sap down out side. Boiling the sap produces a large amount of moisture and it can peel the wall paper off your walls. So its best to do it out side.

The weather is not quite right for tapping trees yet but I want everyone to say tuned because me and the girls will be documenting our sugaring experiment as soon as the weather is right to begin tapping our trees.

I am very pleased with the kit from Tap My Trees. The buckets are nice and heavy, and they came with lids to help keep leaves etc out. I also love that it includes the correct size drill bit for the spiles. I never can find the bit I need and I spend 20 minute digging in my giant bucket of bits looking for the right one. The Maple Sugaring at Home book is great! It helped us to identify the correct trees easily. It also has great directions for tapping the trees and it leaves nothing to be confused about. It is really a great book to have around if you are going to try maple sugaring. Just about everything in the kits is reusable for years and years as long you take care of it. The only thing you might need to replace is  the cheese cloth and after a while the drill bit as those do get dull after a while. Both things are affordable and easily replaced when needed.

The only thing I think is missing from the kit is bottles, to bottle you syrup after you have boiled it. We are planning on processing it in mason jars.

Now we wait for sugar snow. For us that's typically mid January to late February. Stay Tuned to Updates!

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