The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Best type of spile for a beginner?

close up of new spile dripping sap

I had some trouble remembering where I put our old fashioned lead spiles last year so we decided to upgrade to a set of new modern spiles.

The instructions call for a 7/16th bit, but we got by with a 1/2 inch spade bit.

Between the time we installed it yesterday and this morning it dripped out almost a half gallon of sap.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Good lord you folks are fancy! We used PVC pipe, I could buy enough to do ten trees for what you spent on those four!

Good luck syrupin', I love the smell of boiling sap!

Comment by Eric Fri Jan 23 18:44:31 2015
Eric -- Yeah, it did seem pretty pricey. On the other hand, since we're only tapping a very few trees (one at the moment), I figured it was worth it to get something metal that would be nonreactive and easy. I didn't think of using PVC, though --- was comparing it to the plastic taps that I didn't like the look of.
Comment by anna Fri Jan 23 18:49:58 2015

Wow, I cant believe you are already tapping! It will probably be another month for us. this will be our first attempt at sugarin',as its called here. we are hoping for just a gallon or two of syrup.

How do you keep the sap cold until you boil? I am thinking I will use a 55 gallon drum, placed inside a frame made from some old pallets. I can pack snow around it that way.

Comment by deb Sat Jan 24 01:52:25 2015
deb --- Since we're only tapping one tree and we heat with wood, there's no need to store the sap. I put a pot of sap on the stove when I bring it home every morning, and once it's cooked down to about a cup of liquid, I store it in the fridge. Once I have a quart or so of cooked-down sap, I cook it the rest of the way. Maple syrup with nearly no extra work or energy used!
Comment by anna Sat Jan 24 16:54:31 2015
simple 1/2 inch pvc elbows is what we use.
Comment by Sean Epperson Sat Jan 24 18:45:32 2015

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