View Full Version : Tapped 1/23

Ben King
02-01-2018, 09:29 AM
I'm a first time tapper living in the City of Chicago. I put 3 taps into 2 silver maples last Wednesday 1/23 after an unusually warm few days prior. I'm aware that I am starting early, but couldn't resist! I got ~10 gallons over the next 4 days, reduced it over the stove top in steamer trays and got a bit over 3c of golden syrup with a distinctly butterscotch flavor. Taps froze up until yesterday's warm spell which yielded an awkward 1.5 Gal before re-freezing for the foreseeable future. Thoughts on what to do with that 1.5 gallons?? I'll toss it on the stove and boil it down to a few Tbsp sugar tonight unless anyone has a better idea.

I live in the city proper in the neighborhood of Logan Square and am tapping just a block from a major public subway stop. Green space in the city consists largely of 10' of space between the sidewalk and roads. Growing there are lots of catalpa, ash, and silver maples planted back in the 50's or earlier. I have an odd setup with stakes and burlap screens to protect my few buckets from road spray and other pollutants (dog pee and curious tampering from passers-by). It's utterly ridiculous, but there's not a lot of good options for a city slicker. I'm in the process of negotiating with a local community garden to tap their trees (a vacant building lot with 4 hulking silver maples and some raised beds with veggies) but I'm not yet sure how that will go.

maple flats
02-01-2018, 10:27 AM
If the weather remains cold, just save it. You will gain some benefit if once you get an inch of so of ice on top, remove the ice and toss it, the sugar is in the unfrozen part. You can actually repeat that a couple of times, each time throwing the ice away. However it you look at it and it's all frozen, save the ice, someplace in the ice is a pocket of sweet.
Another way you could do it, is to boil the 1.5 gal down to about a qt. and save that in the fridge until your next boil. It would be too difficult to reduce 1.5 gal to syrup without burning it in the process.