What You Need to Make Maple Syrup
Before you can even consider making maple syrup, you will need to look at the types of trees available to you. Maple syrup is derived from sugar maple trees or from red maple trees - the sugar maples will produce a popular of variety syrup, while the red maple is also quite sweet.
In terms of how much sap you can get per tree, this will depend on the size of the tree, the way you tap the tree, and what season it is. The average amount of sap you can extract from a tree is about 5 to 15 gallons. However, some trees have been known to produce up to 80 gallons of sap in a year.
The person who wants to make enough syrup for their own consumption will also want to keep in mind that it will take 10 gallons of sap to create one quart of syrup, after the full process of syrup making has been completed.
For those who want to have plenty of syrup throughout the year, it can be helpful to have at least 2 maple trees available to you for tapping as the season is short and you need to collect a lot of sap in order to make more than one bottle a year.
In addition, you will also need a power drill with about a ½ inch diameter bit at the end and a length long enough to drill into the side of a tree for about 4 inches, depending on the thickness of the tree's diameter.
To help the sap flow out of the tree, you will need a spout, which can be made of metal or of plastic. Or you can purchase a special syrup spout at a specialty store.
You will need multiple spouts for multiple trees as well as buckets to catch the sap in. If you can find lids for these buckets as well, that is the best way to keep other items from flying into the sap liquid. Metal buckets are best as they keep the sap cool and protected.
You will also need some large buckets and a holding container when you collect your sap at the end of the tap. A few large pans will be necessary as well for the top of the stove. To measure the progress of your syrup, you will need a candy thermometer.
You will also need a filter of some kind or a pan that will filter out any particulates before you bottle up your very own homemade syrup. And for the end result, you should have a glass bottle available.