My newest winter season fascination has been with Fresh Maple Water. My son Brian came up with the collection system design to eliminate contamination while collecting.
He drilled a 2 inch long hole in the Maple tree which is widened at the end to allow the hose and a cork to set in there tightly. Then sealing the edges with a hot glue gun to avoid leakage of the water from the tree. Next he assembled a shelf to hold the mason jar which has a hole in the cap for the tube: also hot glue gunned on the cap to seal off any contaminants from entering the jar. My Maple trees are all over 33 inches in diameter so I can put two taps in them, it’s recommended to tap the tree from 3 – 5 feet above the ground.
This system works great and has been giving us half to a full jar each day this week. Maple water is collected each year during the mid winter months for about 3-4 weeks time: depending on the demographic area you live in. The Maple tree takes up water from the ground when its very cold to protect the branches, then releases the water back to the ground when it starts to warm up. The temperatures in which it will flow out is from 26.5 degrees F to 44.6 degrees F. The sap starts to flow after each cold freeze when the air starts warming up again.
Personally, I keep a jar or two in my refrigerator to prepare my coffee or tea each day adding a slight sugary maple flavor to it. I’ve also used it in cooking soup and muffins for just a touch of added maple sweetness. For Maple Syrup you would need 40 gallons of maple water to produce 1 quart of Maple Syrup: I know people here in the mountain do use theirs for that but I enjoy simply the maple water. Read more