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Normally here in West Virginia, we tap maples in early February. However, mother nature has moved up the timeline. The weather has been a bit warmer and the freezing / thawing cycle is ripping right along. I've been tapping and evaporating about 5 years now. It's a nice little hobby to get into. Hunting season is essentially over, it gets me out of the house, I'm traipsing around my hunting ground in the off season. I used to evaporate the sap on a propane burner. Last year that shit cost me at least a hundred bucks. This year I cobbled together a wood burner out of cinder blocks. Next year will be better.....
Anybody else boiling sap yet?
 

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The only Maple that grows native here is Rocky Mountain Maple and it grows more like a huge bush than a tree. I might get around to planting a couple sugar maples, just for tapping though. One of my old coworkers tried it once on some sugar Maples we had planted on the property line of one of the nurseries, but the boss put the kibosh on it after one time. They weren't big enough and it stressed them out. She ended up with a pint of home made Maple syrup though after all the boiling.
 

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No maples but I have boxelder and it makes good syrup. Birch is another you can tap. Less sugar content so you need 20 gallons of sap to 1 gallon of syrup. But boxelders are everywhere so tapping a lot is easy. I boil it down in a 15 gallon beer brewing kettle that is surplus since I went to electric brewing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No maples but I have boxelder and it makes good syrup. Birch is another you can tap. Less sugar content so you need 20 gallons of sap to 1 gallon of syrup. But boxelders are everywhere so tapping a lot is easy. I boil it down in a 15 gallon beer brewing kettle that is surplus since I went to electric brewing.
I've heard of boxelder, never tasted it though. I've got friends who talk of tapping black walnut, hickory and even sycamore. I'm old school. I only tap maples. Mostly sugar maple, but also red maple. I guess it "boils down" to what trees where. This is my small mid winter hobby before my late winter hobby (starting garden plants). Anything to get out and about.
 

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No, it wouldn't work. But you could waterproof a Viking ship. So you've got that going for you.
Utah is the 2nd most dry State in America I heard. He has that going against him.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Normally here in West Virginia, we tap maples in early February. However, mother nature has moved up the timeline. The weather has been a bit warmer and the freezing / thawing cycle is ripping right along. I've been tapping and evaporating about 5 years now. It's a nice little hobby to get into. Hunting season is essentially over, it gets me out of the house, I'm traipsing around my hunting ground in the off season. I used to evaporate the sap on a propane burner. Last year that shit cost me at least a hundred bucks. This year I cobbled together a wood burner out of cinder blocks. Next year will be better.....
Anybody else boiling sap yet?
Updating. The weather warmed a bit and the trees shut down. No big deal. It happens. I had enough sap to keep boiling. Neighbor who's been having a large time helping and learning brought his reduced ( near syrup) over. I added it with my stuff. This afternoon, we put up three quarts of nice syrup. He'll stop by tomorrow and get half. It's in half pint jars.
 
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