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Old 03-21-2008, 07:48 AM
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Default Tapping the Birch



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Tapping the Birch.

BIRCH[Betula pendula]


In England we tap the Birch in spring[March],The sap rises for 14 days.
The sap can be used as a pure source of drinking water in an Emergency,It can also be boiled down to a sugary syrup,used to make beer and wine.
Full of sugar,Vit C and fights Cancer you can see it is a good Tonic.

The tools you will need to tap are:
Bottle.
Drill and bit.
knife.
A length of hose.
String.
Tape.

Now all you do is find a birch tree about five years old,
Once you've Found your birch push your knife into the bark so it go's through the bark and into the inner tree,if the sap flows the tree is ready.

Drill a hole about an inch deep and push your hose in the hole and put the other end into the bottle and tape it to the bottle,Then you tie the bottle to the tree and leave it for 24 hours.
1 gallon per tree is all you should take because you don't want to kill the tree.

Once you have got enough sap you will need to plug the hole,I cut a piece of birch branch and trim it to fit the hole then tap it in with my axe and cut it flush to the tree,You can also plug the hole with clay.

Tools you will need to plug hole are:
Axe,
Saw,
Knife.

Once you have plugged the hole you can drink your SAP no filtering needed it is pure.


I've just got back and here are the results,I only tapped this tree to show the folks here,The tap was left for two hours and a 2 liter bottle is a quarter full,Now if you was in a survival situation you could camp by a Birch and leave your tap in all night and that 2 liter bottle would be full,So id say to everyone who shows interest in this post to put some hose pipe in your pack.


As you can see the hole is plugged so the tree will not bleed out,Please make sure you do plug the hole or else the tree will DIE.

Sticks.
Attached Thumbnails
tools.JPG   to.JPG   drill.JPG   hole.JPG   tree.jpg   DSCI0195.JPG  

DSCI0193.jpg   plug.JPG   sap.JPG   p.JPG  

Last edited by sticks65; 03-16-2009 at 07:06 PM.. Reason: Could not type fast enough.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:00 AM
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Not bad Sticks, keep up the good posts.

This is something everyone should look into. Try it out for yourselves, Sticks just gave you step by step instructions.

This can be used as clean drinking water... This is something you'd wish you had looked at when stuck out there without a drop to drink.

Besides... the sap can be used to make beer... BEER! If that's not worth the try, then I don't know what else is!

But good info, I'd at least copy this post for my own personal use.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:01 AM
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You can also make glue with birch but i've yet to find out how.
It's lucky i did my tapping this morning it's hailing and we've got gail force winds now.

Last edited by sticks65; 03-22-2008 at 08:28 PM..
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:06 PM
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Man, I wish I had my own yard to do with what I pleased.

I'd have planted a ton of plants, trees and have a decent little garden.

One day :D

What'd be neat is to make a video of birch tapping, next time I have the time, I might do so
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Old 03-21-2008, 05:55 PM
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Nice one thanks Sticks, handy to know how to tap a tree properly.
Some of the birches round here have wee hairs coming out of the bark with a drop of sweet sap on the end and as kids we used to lick the sap off, I guess those trees were ready to be tapped!
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
I guess those trees were ready to be tapped!
Hehehehehehe! :D Yep, those trees do need a good tapping huh...

**Edit**
Just don't forget the Barry Manilow CD! :D

Last edited by Duncan; 03-21-2008 at 08:20 PM.. Reason: See **Edit**
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SOLIDUS View Post
Hehehehehehe! :D Yep, those trees do need a good tapping huh...

**Edit**
Just don't forget the Barry Manilow CD! :D
Hahaha, ya funny fella! :D

Seriously though does any one know if you could out a water tap into the tree and leave it there, so you could just turn it on when you wanted?
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:10 AM
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The sap only rises for 14 days so id think it probebly wouldn't be worth it,But if it was all year round it would be a good idea,Like beer on tap but with sap.Not

Last edited by sticks65; 11-09-2008 at 06:00 PM..
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:23 AM
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Question though, if we'd use a sink tap on a tree... Wouldn't the sap eventually harden inside the tap and render it useless?
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Old 03-22-2008, 12:08 PM
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Awesome Sticks! You know, those tools would not take up to much room in a BOV either, good to have! Thanks again!
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Old 03-22-2008, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by SOLIDUS View Post
Question though, if we'd use a sink tap on a tree... Wouldn't the sap eventually harden inside the tap and render it useless?
The simple answer is YES.
I know it's called tapping that doesn't mean you put a sink tap on it.LOL:D,I mean come on lads get a grip.

Last edited by sticks65; 11-09-2008 at 06:01 PM..
Old 03-22-2008, 02:52 PM
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Yeah, I agree about that. The tree would probably eventually grow around the tap after years of growth too. I found a birch once that someone hung an old horseshoe on a branch. It must have been 10 or more years before because there was hardly any of the horseshoe still visible.

My father and I have been tapping maple trees for around the last 8 to 10 years. We only tried birch once. We got about twice as much more sap from the birch than from maple. Unfortunately after all of the work we went through to get it, we accidentally left it boiling too long and the whole batch got slightly burned.

When boiling the water out of it you have to monitor it closely. The more water that is boiled out of it, the sweeter it gets. When it gets to the consistency of syrup, it can very easily burn up.

Just a little note for anyone who wants to give it a try. For around a quart of maple syrup, you'll probably need at least 5 gallons of sap, maybe more. We tap between 20 to 30 maples and usually get enough syrup to last ourselves most of the year. That's not a large amount but even that much takes a lot of time and effort to get it to the final product. That's why real maple syrup is so expensive.

The method we use for tapping is very similar to the one mentioned in the original post. It looks like we will have to wait a few weeks yet, way too much snow. Hopefully it won't be too late, March is the usual time for us, too.

It's a very rewarding and enjoyable experience to be able to produce your own syrup. Personally, before we started it, I didn't even realize that the taste of maple syrup could vary so much in sweetness and flavor. I was only used to the artificial syrup that comes from a factory.

I do have a question about birch syrup. I've only tasted the birch syrup that had a strong burnt taste. It wasn't that good. I was wondering if you could describe the way it should taste. Should it get as sweet as maple syrup?

Last edited by sticks65; 11-09-2008 at 06:03 PM..
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Old 03-22-2008, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
Yeah, I agree about that. The tree would probably eventually grow around the tap after years of growth too. I found a birch once that someone hung an old horseshoe on a branch. It must have been 10 or more years before because there was hardly any of the horseshoe still visible.

My father and I have been tapping maple trees for around the last 8 to 10 years. We only tried birch once. We got about twice as much more sap from the birch than from maple. Unfortunately after all of the work we went through to get it, we accidentally left it boiling too long and the whole batch got slightly burned.

When boiling the watter out of it you have to monitor it closely. The more water that is boiled out of it, the sweeter it gets. When it gets to the consistency of syrup, it can very easily burn up.

Just a little note for anyone who wants to give it a try. For around a quart of maple syrup, you'll probably need at least 5 gallons of sap, maybe more. We tap between 20 to 30 maples and usually get enough syrup to last ourselves most of the year. That's not a large amount but even that much takes a lot of time and effort to get it to the final product. That's why real maple syrup is so expensive.

The method we use for tapping is very similar to the one mentioned in the original post. It looks like we will have to wait a few weeks yet, way too much snow. Hopefully it won't be too late, March is the usual time for us, too.

It's a very rewarding and enjoyable experience to be able to produce your own syrup. Personally, before we started it, I didn't even realize that the taste of maple syrup could vary so much in sweetness and flavor. I was only used to the artificial syrup that comes from a factory.

I do have a question about birch syrup. I've only tasted the birch syrup that had a strong burnt taste. It wasn't that good. I was wondering if you could describe the way it should taste. Should it get as sweet as maple syrup?
Thanks for posting this great information,Please do a post on the maple syrup when you make it im very interested.I've not tried to make the syrup,Something for the future.

Last edited by sticks65; 11-09-2008 at 06:05 PM..
Old 03-22-2008, 05:46 PM
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I don't know if we'll get a chance this year. We are just digging out from our last snow storm. There is around 3 or 4 feet of soft heavy snow in most places. It's very hard walking around, even with snowshoes. The area that we use is not accessible by snowmobile. We chose the spot because not many people go there.

We have lots of birch very close to our house. Maybe we'll try that instead.
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Old 03-22-2008, 05:49 PM
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All you have to do to make the syrup is keep boiling the sap until it gets to the taste or consistency you want.

Edit-- little bits of bark and wood might be in the sap. These can be filtered out with a piece of clean cloth.

Last edited by Lynx; 03-23-2008 at 04:44 PM..
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
I don't know if we'll get a chance this year. We are just digging out from our last snow storm. There is around 3 or 4 feet of soft heavy snow in most places. It's very hard walking around, even with snowshoes. The area that we use is not accessible by snowmobile. We chose the spot because not many people go there.

We have lots of birch very close to our house. Maybe we'll try that instead.
It sound's great where you are,the kind of place id like to be right now.
Im going to give that syrup making a try.
Thanks for the info.:D
Old 03-22-2008, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sticks65 View Post
The simple answer is YES.
I know it's called tapping that does'nt mean you put a sink tap on it.LOL:D,I mean come on lads get a grip.
Haha. was all a bit of laugh mate! :D
Gotta consider all the angles!
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:15 AM
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I've been thinking about tapping a birch and in an Emergency situation you can take a small twig about 5"by 5mm,Split it,Scrap out the pith so you have a gutter,Take you axe and do an upward chop low on the tree and push your twig in the slant and the sap will run down the twig in to a collecting reseptacal,After you have collected you sap push the flap back together ,It will heal as long as you don't chop to deep.
If you've not got an axe you can also do the same process with your knife,Stab low on the tree,wiggle your knife about so you open up the hole and do the same as above.

Last edited by sticks65; 11-09-2008 at 06:09 PM..
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:22 AM
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Now that's some useful info mate! Easy to remember as well.
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:53 PM
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Is there any certain species of Maple and Birch you need to use. Here we have 2 species of each.

Red Maple
Sugar Maple
and
River Birch
Sweet Birch
(I guess my paying attention to my dad when I was younger and helping him in the log woods payed off )

So would either of these species work. Also I would like to learn more about making the syrup and extracting the sugar from it. This is interesting to me since I am getting ready to buy a farm and I could plant these into a grove to extrat it from for sugar to make wine. Since we have been making some here latly.
Also I love me some good maple syrup


*EDIT* Also are there any other trees you could extract from.
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