Boiling it down to syrup
We tried two different ways:
1) Boiling outside in a chimmea or wood fire with a pot on top. I took all day to boil down and then it wasn't quite ready....adding firewood all day. So lots of firewood, time checking etc.
2) We used a large slow cooker and covered it with a plastic container - don't recommend this as it made the floor all sticky and hard to clean. We let it go on high all day and when we shut it off at 9:30pm (full 12 hour run) it had boiled down only 1/4 of the pot.
Other Uses for Maple Sap
From others we learned that maple sap can be used as a sport's drink - the native Indians used to have the maple sap for strengh and it is loaded with nutrients. Suggest boiling it to remove any bacteria present. That said I drank some before I knew to boil and I'm alive and not ill. It takes like water with a little sugar taste, quite nice.
And we heard from someone who used it to make mead or an alcoholic beverage, if you make your own wine you can certainly consider this.
Overall it was fun and we will likely tap a little syrup each year just to have some sport's drink to have on hand.