The season is over, and it’s time to pull your taps, and clean and store your DIY maple syrup equipment. Here are some tips!
After you are finished making maple syrup for the year, it is time to clean and store your DIY maple syrup equipment.
First, remove your taps from your trees so that the trees can heal between sugaring seasons. This is important! To remove taps, gently tap with a hammer from a few different directions. Then, gently wriggle the tap out of the tree.
When cleaning DIY maple syrup eqipment, do not use abrasives, detergents or harsh chemicals.
You can easily clean your taps for storage by agitating them in a bucket of clean water and setting them on a dishtowel to dry. If your taps are particularly gunky, try boiling them in water for 15 minutes before rinsing and drying. Sap buckets and lids can simply be rinsed and stacked to dry as well.
Cleaning your sugaring pan takes a bit more work. Your pan is likely to have cook marks ranging from brown to black. This is burned-on sugar and mineral deposits. To remove these cook marks and deposits, fill the vessel with a weak baking soda water solution (3 tablespoons of soda per 5 gallons of water). Then, boil the solution in the pan for 30 minutes and leave it to cool for several hours or overnight. The cook marks should wipe or flake off easily with a soft rag.
Rinse, ring and hang your filters to dry. For tenacious gunk, boil your filters for 15 minutes and let them cool before wringing and hangingn to dry. Remember: do not use anything other than water to clean your filters, including detergents of any kind!
Store your DIY maple syrup equipment in a dry place. A barn or garage will work. But make sure your filters are safe from mice and other critters.
When sugaring season is over, and you have cleaned and stored your DIY maple syrup equipment, spring is on its way!