This year we started this 10 taps and only collected sap for a week. Since it was a warm winter, the sap in the trees started running much earlier, so we ended up beginning our tapping at the end of the sap run, even though it was only the second week in February.
So, we began by setting 2 taps in each of our large Silver maple trees. We collected morning and night, keeping the collected sap in food safe five gallon buckets and storing them in a large walk in cooler (sap must remain chilled until you process it)
We started with 40 gallons of sap and ended with 1 gallon of syrup! Not bad and was perfect for the ratio (40 gallons to 1 gallon).
We had such a wonderful time and have enjoyed having our own syrup so much, that we are planning on doubling if not tripling the amount of taps and trees we do next year. We also are going to pay closer attention to the weather patterns to ensure that we have a longer sap run to work with! That would provide us with a TON of sap!
Another idea we are going to put into place next year is to put in a sap cistern. We are purchasing a 100-200 gallon water tank that we will bury in the ground. We will then store our collected sap in the cistern until we are able to process it. This will ensure that the collected sap stays at an appropriate temperature.