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Old 01-19-2011, 06:46 AM
 
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Anyone who lives in middle TN knows that winters can be very mild. The past 2 winters however have produced very good sap run conditions. Just like jlawrence01 said, you need freezing temperatures at night with 40 degree temps or warmer on the following day to produce a good sap run. In the northern states and Canada, these conditions don't exist until early to mid-spring, but in middle TN these conditions exist all winter long. I made 3 quarts of syrup in december of 2010 by tapping only 2 trees. I have made another 2 quarts in January of 2011 so far, and my taps are dripping like crazy as we speak. Last year I made syrup until mid-march. At that point the trees started to bud and the weather warmed up. So in theory one could actually make syrup from december until march in middle TN. With the right number of taps I believe it is possible to produce a commercial quantity of syrup here. If I had the time I would certainly expand my operation. For now I just make enough for my family and friends.
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:46 PM
 
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I tapped one tree this year and got 7 pints of Syrup. I live about 60 miles west of Nashville, TN. My problem is identifying the trees. I thought the one I tapped was a Sugar Maple but now I believe it is a Black Maple. I have several mature Maples I believe are Black Maples. It's hard to tell the difference. I have located two more Large Mature trees that I believe are Sugar Maples and I may have more but most of my 35 acres is Hickory and White Oak. I am going to tap the ones I believe to be Black Maple and the ones I believe are Sugar maple. I am also doing everything old school. I made my own Spiles from Maple Tree saplings and use food Grade 5 Gallon Buckets. I have a large Aluminum Caldron (about 5 Gallons( and I boil the sap down over a wood fire pit I built with Concrete Blocks and an old Iron Grate I found. I have bought 100% Maple Syrup from the local store and it does have a milder flavor than mine. I tapped the trees in March and did 2 batches. The second batch had a stronger flavor than the first. I expect it was because it was getting too warm and the trees were budding. The Syrup was also a little more cloudy. I should have filtered it more. I had sediment in the bottom of the jar. I hope the weather cooperates this year. I plan to start in December or early January. So yes, you can do Maple Syrup in Middle Tennessee. It might not be as high quality as the stuff from Quebec but I made it and it is very good on French Toast.
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:31 PM
 
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I love maple syrup, But i never tried to make my own.
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
39,236 posts, read 18,774,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitt_transplant View Post
What does it taste like strait from the tree? I always wondered that...
It tastes like slightly sweet woodsy water. When I was a kid we used to drink some from buckets hanging on trees near our house on the way to school.

In NH they sometimes brew coffee with the maple sap...before it is boiled down. This isn't a regular thing...but for special events like a sugaring off party.
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
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For successful sugar making you need sunny days but nights that drop below freezing. That keeps the sap running and doesn't rob the emerging leaves....since the frosty nights keep the buds from popping open. The maple season is defined by this ratio of sunny days and frosty nights....that is the pump that drives the sap up the tree.

Maple Sweet

by P.B. Fisk

Chorus

Oh, bubble, bubble, bubble goes the syrup in the pan.
Making sweeter music try to top it if you can.
See the golden billows; watch their ebb and flow.
Sweetest joys indeed we sugar makers know.

1.
When you see the vapor pillar lick the forest and the sky,
You may know the days of sugar making then are drawing nigh.
Frosty nights and sunny days make the maple pulses play,
Till congested with their sweetness they delight to bleed away.

Chorus

2.
When you see the farmer trudging with the dripping buckets home,
You may know the days of sugar making then have fully come.
As the fragrant odors pour through the open door,
How the eager children rally, ever loudly crying, "More!"

Chorus

3.
If for love or for sickness or for any sort of thing,
Take in allopathic doses and repeat it every spring.
If at home or on the sweet, anyone you meet,Will be half a mind to bite you, 'cause you look so very sweet.
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