Best Maple Syrup Supplies

Maple Syrup Supplies (The Best Equipment for 2024)

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.

We’ve been making our own maple syrup at home for over a decade. Our set up and experience is for the backyard set up for maple collection and making syrup. Over the years we’ve tried different spiles, methods for storing syrup and evaporators. Below you can find our recommendations for the best maple syrup supplies based on our experience.

Make sure to check out: Absolute Everything You Need to Know about How to Make Maple Syrup (6 easy steps)

As an Amazon Affiliate I may receive compensation from the links on this page.


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.

  • Maple sap taps, also called Spiles (you can get the tradition looking metal spiles, or plastic spiles with tubing (the metal ones look a bit better, but the plastic spiles are better for your trees). If you get the plastic spiles you will need tubing as well.
  • Drill bits – depending on the type of spiles you will need drill bits that are the size of your spiles to make holes in the trees. A 7/16 drill bit is typically good for the traditional spiles and smaller 5/16 drill bit works well for the plastic spiles, but you should double check with the specific spiles you decide to use for the best drill size.
  • Larger collection container (optional). If you are going to collect your sap everyday but only boil your sap every few days, you will need a place to store your syrup. You can get several 5 gallon plastic bucket with a lid – we use a rain barrel like this one with a open top.
  • Evaporator – this is the most expensive part of making maple syrup, and there are several options. You can make your own evaporator, boil in a stove or grill, or purchase an evaporator.
  • You will need a candy thermometer and a filter for finishing your maple syrup
  • Containers to can or bottle your syrup.
  • Buckets – depending on the type of spiles you get, you will either need buckets that hang from the metal spiles, or you can purchase a 5 gallon plastic bucket with a lid.
  • Evaporator – this is the most expensive part of making maple syrup, and there are several options. You can make your own evaporator, boil in a stove or grill, or purchase an evaporator.
  • You will need a candy thermometer and a filter for finishing your maple syrup
  • Containers to can or bottle your syrup.
  • 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.

    This is a great starter kit with 10 spiles – you will need to purchased a few buckets to go with this kit.

    This is a similar kit that comes with less spiles for tapping your tree, but includes the hanging buckets

    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 hang 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.

    Drill Bits

    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 or 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 ours 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 which means you sap has gone bad.

    30 Gallon Plastic Drum

    5 Gallon Food Grade Buckets

    Rain Barrel Style (this is exactly what we use)

    250 Gallon Tote and Cage

    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 always 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.

    Best Maple Evaporators for Sale or to Build

    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.

    After a few year, we decided to upgrade our maple evaporator set up and built our current evaporator using an old barrel with a long stovepipe (see the image below).

    How to Make Maple Syrup - Maple Syrup Supplies
    Best Maple Syrup Supplies: Homemade Evaporator

    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.

    Maple Syrup Evaporator Pan

    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.

    Marada Maple Syrup Evaporator Pan

    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. You will need to decide on the level of investment you want to make with your evaporator.

    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.

    Cheese Cloth

    Reusable Maple Filter

    Filter Bag

    Thermometer for Making Maple Syrup

    You can use either a digital thermometer to determine when your syrup is done of a hydrometer. We typically use a thermometer. The syrup will only reach the correct temperature when enough water has evaporated and the sugar content is right.

    Digital Thermometer (8 inches)

    Maple Syrup Bottles for Storage

    The last thing on your maple syrup supplies list is something to store your maple syrup once it is completed. 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.

    Small Syrup Bottles

    16.9 Ounce Bottles

    5 Ounce Bottles

    I hope you find this complete list of maple syrup supplies useful. 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.

    While it is possible to add to and improve your maple syrup supply set up as you go, for most backyard maple farmers, you will need to purchase your supplies up front. Since the largest purchase in the evaporator, you can start with teh other supplies and use a small DIY evaporator for the first year and upgrade when you can.

    Learn exactly how we bottle maple syrup.

    Common Questions about Maple Syrup Supplies

    How do I tap a maple tree?

    Tap trees in late winter or early spring, drill a hole, insert a spile, and collect sap in a bucket or tubing system.

    What is the best type of maple syrup evaporator?

    Choose between flat pans, raised flue pans, or steam pans, depending on your production volume and budget.

    Should I use a wood-fired or electric evaporator?

    Wood-fired options provide a traditional flavor but require more attention, while electric evaporators are convenient but lack the smoky flavor.

    What size of evaporator do I need for my operation?

    The size depends on your sap volume; calculate based on gallons of sap per hour.

    Do I need a hydrometer to test syrup density?

    Yes, a hydrometer is crucial for measuring syrup density and quality. See more about the sap to syrup ratio.

    What’s the difference between sap storage tanks and barrels?

    Tanks are more efficient for sap storage due to their larger capacity and ease of emptying.

    How do I maintain and clean my maple syrup equipment?

    Clean equipment promptly after use, remove sap residue, and store it in a dry place to prevent rust.

    What is the typical yield of syrup from sap?

    The sap-to-syrup ratio is usually 40:1, so expect approximately 1 gallon of syrup from 40 gallons of sap.

    Where can I purchase maple syrup equipment?

    You can find maple syrup equipment from online suppliers, local farm stores, or specialty shops.

    What are some common mistakes to avoid when making maple syrup?

    Avoid over-boiling, failing to filter syrup, and neglecting proper hygiene and equipment maintenance for better results.

    Looking for more? See our top tips on making maple syrup.

    3 thoughts on “Maple Syrup Supplies (The Best Equipment for 2024)”

    1. Pingback: Absolute Everything You Need to Know about How to Make Maple Syrup (6 easy steps) - The Backyard Farming Connection

    2. Pingback: Choose the Best Maple Taps (updated 2022) - The Backyard Farming Connection

    3. Pingback: The Best Maple Syrup Evaporators For Sale and To Build - The Backyard Farming Connection

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Get a FREE copy of the ebook: The Modern Homestead and access to our community exclusively for backyard gardeners and homesteaders.

    Just straight up homesteading ideas sent directly to you.

    Learn more about the Modern Homesteading Academy, a low cost series of ebooks and mini-courses.


    This will close in 15 seconds