|Drilling holes for the tubing|
into the lids of the buckets
Once everything was delivered, I prepared my equipment. I fit the plastic tubing onto the spiles, and I used a drill with a half-inch bit to drill holes in the lids of the buckets, for the tube to fit in.
The hardest part so far has been waiting for the weather to warm up enough to get started! In order for sap to flow, weather conditions need to be just right. You need to have warm (above freezing) days and cold (below freezing) nights. According to the forecast, this is what we have coming up for much of the next week or so (with the exception of one or two colder days) Yesterday it was in the low 40s... perfect day to tap!
|Drilling the hole for the spile|
Next, I inserted the spile into the drilled hole, and tapped it in very gently with a hammer. I put the other end of the hose into the hold in the lid of the bucket. It was neat to hear the sap drip-drip-dripping into the bucket!
|Tapping in the spile|
So now, we just wait for the sap to flow! It takes quite a lot of sap to make syrup... roughly 40 gallons of sap for each gallon of syrup! Later in the season, when the sugar content of the sap is lower, it takes even more sap. We'll be setting up a makeshift evaporator in the yard when it's time to boil. Can't wait!
As of this morning, about 17 hours from when the taps went in, we have between a half inch to 3/4 of an inch of sap in each bucket... not a bad start! Since I have never done this before I have no idea how much to expect, so I'm pretty happy to see any sap at all!
While waiting for the buckets to fill, I'm also starting to plan our garden! I'll share some of that, next post! Meanwhile... stay warm... Spring is on the way!