Friday, March 4, 2016

Maple Sugaring: Spile Free Closed Collection System

I think it was the Farmer's Almanac where I read that this was going to be a great year for the Sugar Bush.

We tapped our 3 trees last week and already have 50 gallons of sap!

Last year we tried this closed tubing system and it worked wonderful! There is very little room for contamination or spilling, and the buckets don't have to be emptied as often as other systems. 

You Will Need:

1/2" drill bit
clear plastic tubing 1/2" (We found this at Home Depot) You will need approximately 3 feet per tap. 
5 gallon buckets, you can get food grade here: 5 Gallon Bucket
5 gallon bucket lids

Begin by washing your buckets and lids with soapy water.

Drill a hole in the lid of your buckets. You will need a drilled lid and a bucket per tap, then more buckets and lids to store extra sap.  

Drill the hole for your tap into the tree about 2 inches deep. Angle the hole about 15 degrees toward the ground. It's best to have a south facing tap under a large branch, or above a large root. Try not to tap under or below a previous tap scar.

Feed the tubing into the tapped hole. No spiles necessary.

Bring the bucket and lid to the base of the tree, making sure it has a flat area to sit.

Cut the tubing to length. You want a little wiggle room, but not so much excess that the tubing sags.

Feed the tubing through the hole in the bucket lid, and place the lid on the bucket.

Now you wait for the bucket to fill. This year, it hasn't been long.

As the buckets fill, remove them from the tap, place a lid without a hole on the bucket for storage, and place a new, clean bucket under the tapped lid.

We also place stones on the empty new, empty buckets to give them some weight against the wind storms we've been having.


Laurie said...

We have been using this same idea for 3 years. It works great. We got our food grade buckets from our local supermarket they even gave us lids.

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