Robin collected about 8 gallons of sap from the buckets hanging on the maples in the yard, and is using it to brew some batches of Maple Oatmeal Stout and Maple Amber Ale using maple sap instead of water. She did it last year and it was superb. Robin shoveled nearly a foot of snow out the walk way from the house to the barn and shortly after morning chores it was almost as if she had never shoveled - the blowing snow filled in all of our tracks. It looked like we haven't been out there at all. We spent the day catching up on inside activities like brewing, baking bread and researching rather obscure topics like raising tilapia and how to use a cream separator.
|There's a hole in the bucket dear Robin dear Robin.......|
|Karla and Robin ready for some tapping action......|
|Which way does this thing go again?|
The 7/16" hole is drilled on the side of the tree that is exposed to the south and east. A good run requires days above freezing and nights below freezing.
|Karla records Robin's hole drilling skills......|
|Tap Tap Tap.... I guess that's why they call them taps.|
|The tap (or spile) ready for the next step, hanging the buckets...|
As the sap run progresses, we check the buckets in the yard first. If there is a lot of sap in those buckets, we know to go and collect next door as well. Soon, we'll be getting the sap cooking stove our of storage, setting it up and begin cooking sap down into syrup. Forty gallons of sap cooks down to one gallon of syrup and we can cook about 60 gallons of sap in a day - more if we put in a really long day. Stay tuned for more pictures