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Do you have your own maple trees? Do you want to make your own maple syrup? This article is a complete guide to the best maple syrup supplies you will need to make your own maple syrup. Whether you are a beginner or need to upgrade or replace your maple syrup equipment, this is a complete list of maple syrup supplies you will need with options for different budgets and building your own.
Make sure to check out: Absolute Everything You Need to Know about How to Make Maple Syrup (6 easy steps)
Maple Syrup Supplies
Here is a quick list of the best maple syrup supplies to get you started. Keep reading below for more details on each of the different maple syrup supplies.
The Best Maple Syrup Tapping Supplies
The following information share more detail on maple tree tapping supplies for small scale maple production. You can often find maple tapping supplies used through Facebook marketplace or craigslist, just make sure to thoroughly clean all tapping supplies before using them.
Maple Syrup Kits
The easiest way to get all the supplies you need to start tapping your maple trees is to purchase a kit. The two kits below are excellent options for small scale maple sugar production.
Selecting the Best Spiles
One of the most important maple syrup supplies is a set of spiles. Spiles come is several different sizes and are usually metal or plastic although I have seen wooden spiles. A maple spile is designed to be forced into a hole in the maple tree and then the maple sap either drips out into a bucket, or travels down tubing into a bucket, bag, or container. There are some benefits and draw backs to each style. It’s important that you keep you maple spiles and maple tapping equipment clean.
Check out this article if you want more specifics on selecting the Best Maple Taps.
The first option is the traditional metal spile that has a hook to hand a bucket from. This is the best choice if you want the pretty look of hanging maple buckets. We bought and still use these spiles. This design requires you to drill the biggest hole in the tree, thus causing more tree damage then if you used smaller spiles.
The second option is smaller spiles that attach to tubing. This gives you some options since you can run several tubs downhill to a single bucket, making collection easier. Overall this is an easier system with smaller holes and less weight on the trees, but isn’t as attractive. We’ve moved to this system as we’ve added more trees and taps.
Sap bags are a final method for collecting sap from trees. In this method, the spile goes in the tree with a metal hanger that is used to hold a bag instead of a bucket. This is an easy option but not my favorite since you end up throwing out the bags.
Maple Syrup Buckets
Unless you are purchasing the bags, you will need to also get maple syrup buckets as part of your list of maple syrup supplies. Several of the kits above come with their own maple syrup buckets, while others you will have to purchase buckets separately. You will want to make sure you also get lids for your buckets or you will end up with all kids of debris and rain in your buckets. You can purchase either lightweight metal buckets or plastic buckets to hang off your spiles, or purchase food grade 5 gallon buckets with lids that you can run your tubing into.
This is an easy item to miss on your list of maple syrup supplies. You will need the correct size drill bit for your spiles. Most large metal spiles need a 7/16 bit and the smaller spiles need a 5/16 drill bit to make the holes. You should always check with your specific spiles to make sure you have the right size.
Maple Sap Storage Container
Once you’ve tapped your trees and are collecting sap, you will need a place to store your sap for a few days up to a week until you are ready to boil. Finding a container to store your sap in can be hard for the small scale production and isn’t always included on list of maple syrup supplies. You should store your sap below 38 degrees (think of it like milk). We store our in a converted rain barrel in a snowbank in the shade if possible. We place the barrel on some cinderblocks so it is easy to pour the sap off the bottom and then cover the top to keep out debris.
Below are a few options that would work well and are relatively inexpensive. When storing your sap, remember that how long you can store sap before it goes bad depends on the weather. Keep an eye out for a sour smell or a change to the color.
Best Maple Syrup Supplies for Boiling and Making Maple Syrup
To boil your maple sap into syrup you will need the following maple syrup supplies: evaporator, thermometer, filter, and some time of bottle for storing your syrup. Just like tapping supplies, you can find many used maple syrup equipment for sale online, but you should make sure they are clean before using. The maple syrup making supplies take you to links you can purchase them, or you can use them as reference.
Finding the Best Maple Syrup Evaporator
This will likely be the most expensive thing you buy for making maple syrup. You can definitely build your own evaporator for less money and we have built several over the years, but buying an evaporator will save you some work in the long run and has some benefits and is an important item on your maple syrup supplies list. At it’s simplest form, an evaporator is a maple syrup stove that allows you to burn off the extra water in the syrup until the sugar becomes more concentrated. You can use wood, propane, electricity, or other power generation methods to heat your evaporator.
If you do decide to make a diy maple syrup evaporator, the simplest design is to use cinderblocks with trays/pans to hold your sap. Light your fire under the trays. If you can, you should direct the smoke away from your sap. We did this for 2 years and found we had a lot of debris in our syrup and a nice smokey taste. We also built our current evaporator using an old barrel with a long stovepipe (see the image below).
If you are planning to buy an evaporator, you should remember that this piece of equipment will last for years. Below are several options for an evaporator.
This evaporator pan is designed to go on top or a propane or wood burning stove. It is well built and can increase the rate of evaporation compared to a normal tray. IT also comes with a spigot for draining off the maple syrup and a thermometer to keeping tabs in the liquid. You can purchase this in several different sizes as well.
This is a slightly more basic design for an evaporator pan. It comes in many different sizes and can be places directly on an outdoor stove top or wood fire. It’s sturdily built from stainless steel.
You can also find some favorite evaporators for home use here.
Maple Syrup Filter
The next thing on your maple syrup supplies list is a filter. No matter what you will end up with debris in your sap. I like to use cheese cloth to filter out the large materials. Once I’ve finished the syrup on the stove I run it through the cheese cloth a second time, put in in bottles and let it settle for a few days. This causes most of the materials to drain to the bottom and then I run the sap through a maple syrup filter before bottling it. Below are links for the cheese cloth we use and the filters.
Thermometer for Making Maple Syrup
Maple Syrup Bottles for Storage
The last thing on your maple syrup supplies list is something to store your maple syrup. There are many cute bottles you can purchase, and you can also use mason jars or even containers to keep in the freezer. We purchased about 24 empty maple syrup jars and then give some away ever year. If you are simple looking for storage, find large bottles, otherwise we like to have small bottles for sharing.
I hope you find this complete list of maple syrup supplies useful. If I missed something, please share in the comments below. If you are looking to grow your production you may want to consider a few other maple syrup supplies including a full size evaporator or a DIY reverse osmosis system.