Each child went home with a wooden tap of hollowed staghorn sumac, in case they wanted to try syruping at home.
Step one: Use a 7/16th drill bit to make a sap hole in a sugar maple. Insert a tap, and hang a bucket.
For home boiling, Jim recommends a turkey fryer. But you don’t want to boil inside your home, he advises. Do it outside.
You’re in for a long haul. It usually takes 14 to 16 hours from raw sap to finished syrup.
A hint: Syrup boils at 219 degrees.
A mother asked if taking sap hurts the maples trees. According to Jim, a tree produces 1/3 more sap than it needs, and we usually take 1/4 of that 1/3. The trees don’t seem any worse for the letting.