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Thread: tapping birch trees for syrup?

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    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    Default tapping birch trees for syrup?

    I've always wanted to tap birch trees for syrup and am thinking this is the year to order the supplies to do it. Has anyone out there done this? Where do you order the tapping supplies? So far, I am only seeing one place online to order from
    http://tapmytrees.com/4spandhowist.html
    But still looking around.

    Just curious if anyone has done this and can provide more info.
    Thank,
    Grandma Lori
    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I tapped a few trees with my students last year, but we didn't move on to boiling it down to syrup. I'll take a look at my taps next week to see if I can figure out where they came from.

  3. #3

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    We tap our birch every year for the sap which we drink and cook with. We haven't made syrup but we used to have some neighbors who did it was OK but not great. Try Lehmans on line for spels or make them from dowels with holes drilled through the center.
    Chuck

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    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Grandma View Post
    Where do you order the tapping supplies?
    I travel down to Minnesota to make maple syrup. I've bought supplies from Anderson's Maple, among other places. The spouts are often called spiles. There are a lot of places to shop. You might check ebay for spiles, also too.

    Be careful about boiling too much in your house or your wallpaper might fall off.

    This forum has lots of good information on tapping birch trees.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, I'll take a look-see today at the links and see what's out there! Need to get an order in soon so it will arrive before my last supplies come in this spring.

    I thought about making homemade Spels, but probably will want to buy a few real ones too.

    Not sure how much of it we will boil it down for syrup or if we will use it straight up. Guess we will see how it goes.

    No worries Buck, My cabin is made of logs. No wallpaper here <smile>

    Thanks again,
    Grandma Lori
    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

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    Member lynch's Avatar
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    Do you guys ever have problems with bears getting your sap?
    "Bark,bark,bark,sniff,sniff,bark,and bark" - Lynchs Blue Roan Lynch E.C.K.

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    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynch View Post
    Do you guys ever have problems with bears getting your sap?
    Hum, now that is an interesting thought. I wouldn't be surprised if you are tapping birch over big area; it could very well draw a bear in. I always carry my rifle when going anywhere out of the yard so that would be a bonus for me...Bear meat and syrup! Yum

    Grandma Lori
    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

  8. #8

    Smile

    I think you will have more problems keeping bugs out of your sap than you will have with bears.
    Chuck

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Did it for several years. never had any problems with bears. Did have to filter out some bugs and on warm days yeast could be a problem.
    We got our taps from the local birch surup maker.
    When you are making it you need to be sure you are using good clean sap. if it has yeast in it it will taste bad. also be sure to cook it slowly as it gets thick it will burn easy.

    I don't know how much you want to make but it takes a lot of sap to make a little bit of surup. We would boil the sap in lobster pots. it will take several sessions to get it down to surup, so we wouldboil a pot then put what is left in the fridge and boil another till you get enough to fill the pot with once boiled sap then boil again.

  10. #10
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    When I was growing up in MN I used to make my own maple syrup.
    I made my own taps from some flexible copper tubing my dad had left over from some project or another.
    I cut a notch in the tubing on one end and used a hammer to make it a little smaller on the one end kinda cone shaped.
    My aunt owned a restaurant and gave me a bunch of 5 gallon buckets with lids.
    I drilled a hole in the bucket lid and set it on the ground. I drilled a hole with a hand drill into the tree and lightly tapped in the tubing.
    Then I connected the tap to the bucket with some clear tubing from the hardware store. This system eliminated all the spruce needles and debris getting in the buckets.
    If it stayed cold at night I didn't have to pull the buckets until they were nearly full.
    I boiled mine in an old copper tub my mom had on a stove in an old camp trailer my dad had.
    I have often thought about making birch syrup up here.
    I hear birch syrup takes substantially more sap to make than does maple syrup.
    Good Luck!
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    I'd like to try to make my own spels from the copper tubing and hose and buckets I have here. The internet site I looked at is like 20$ for only 4 taps! So, if I can make my own it would a lot better for me.

    Right, from what I understand it is 100:1,
    That is a lot of sap to make a little syrup!
    Maybe i'll just cook it down a little and use it for cooking or a sweet summer drink, maybe mix it with some tea. We'll see how it goes.
    i have some excellent wine and mead recipes that don't require it to be all the way rendered down too.

    I've got a lot of learning to do, but i think it will be fun trying.
    Thanks everyone.
    Lori
    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

  12. #12

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    When I was a kid I used to make them out of wood real easy just whittle one end so it fits in the hole that you will dril in the tree and drill a hole through the tap worked great and no cost.

  13. #13
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    Does anyone know about how much sap one could expect from the average birch tree?

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