When we visited Brian's family last month, I was surprised to find the operation set up on his brother and parent's property to collect maple sap. His brother, Chris, had collected sap before and made up some maple syrup, but on a very small scale. This year they had a few dozen trees tapped, and a huge cauldron of sap boiling down into the sugary stuff.
There are a lot of maple trees in Northern Indiana, so I grew up going to the Maple Sugar Festival and learning all about tapping trees and boiling down sap. But it never occurred to me to actually diy maple syrup! Chris told me the trees he had tapped give about 50 gallons of sap a day. They have a large amount of maples on their property, so he's starting to consider bottling and selling the syrup. It takes a lot of labor and hours and hours boiling down the sap into syrup. But the end result is so delicious.