Birch sap, in a different way "birch" is a liquid that flows out of the cut and broken-down trunks and branches of the birch tree due to root pressure. By itself, birch sap is a very useful product that has a positive effect on the human body.
Selection of juice begins in the spring, with the first thaws, and lasts until the bud breaks. The exact time of this process cannot be established, since it directly depends on weather conditions. For example, if in March the juice began to flow and frost hit again, the juiciness may stop for a while.
But, as a rule, birch trees start to stand out in the middle of March, when the snow melts and the buds begin to swell. To determine the movement of the juice, you need to make a deep prick on the birch with a thin awl; Harvesting is stopped in the second half of April, when the leaves are already blooming.
The most intensive movement of the juice is in the daytime, so the process itself must be started in the morning, at night it simply stops. The best time to collect birch is the interval between 10 and 18 hours, during this period it flows particularly intensively. The number of holes to be made will depend on the diameter of the barrel. If the diameter of the tree is 20-30 cm, then you can make 1 hole, if 30-40, then 2, etc.
Birch sap: how to collect?
The collection of birch trees should be started in places well warmed by the sun, where the tree wakes up, even if the snow has not melted around. Often, from one tree you can collect 2-3 liters of juice per day. With large birch, you can get up to 7 liters of product and more. It is better to collect the juice from the trees that are planned to be cut down, the young plants should not be touched.
The roots of the tree go deep into the ground, because of this, it does not absorb poisons from the surface layer of the soil. It is for this reason that all the places where birches grow are good for collecting birch trees equally, but it is best to choose environmentally friendly areas, because the tree itself is able to absorb exhaust gases and other harmful substances.
The choice of dishes for the storage of birch sap should not be treated carelessly. In ancient times, it was collected in special containers made from the bark of this tree, it was believed that this way the product retains its useful properties better. But nowadays it can be collected and stored in glass or plastic jars.
It is necessary to extract birch wood by making an incision, by cutting or drilling the bark of a birch, the trunk diameter of which is not less than 20 cm and which has a well-developed crown. It is best to make a hole from the north side, so the juice flows more intensively, at a distance of about 50 cm from the ground, 3 cm deep, and if the barrel is thick, then deeper. A plastic or aluminum groove should be inserted into the hole, a birch bark tray or other semi-circular device along which the juice will flow into the container. Often, birchwood is mined by cutting small branches and then attaching a simple package to the cut point.
When traveling in nature, when there are no tubes at hand, and it is inconvenient to tinker with pegs, the following method will do:
- you need to collect a bunch of dry grass last year, clean the leaves and tie up with a thread, from the edges cut all unnecessary;
- make a hole in the tree, close to the root 5 cm deep, insert a bunch prepared earlier and press on top with a small cork made of wood. This whole procedure takes a little time. It is important to know that most of the juice flows between the wood and bark, so you don’t need to make a hole too deep.
Drain all the juice from one tree should not be, it can dry out. It is best to collect 1 liter of juice from 1 plant per day. At the end of the birch harvest, you need to tightly close the holes made with wax, moss or cork so that bacteria do not penetrate into the trunk and cannot harm the birch. After cutting down trees, sap can be collected from the remaining stumps.
Collecting birch sap: rules
There are some rules for harvesting birch trees that will help not only save the tree from rotting or death, but also make the juice extraction process more efficient. You can not extract birch wood, making too many holes in the tree and leave them open, as well as extract the juice from young plants.
If you want to save birch sap longer, then you need to pour it into a glass container and put it in the fridge, so it will not oxidize. But it is better not to keep him in such a way longer than three days, he can simply ferment. Another thing - conservation of birch. So it can be stored for several months. Here are some canning recipes:
- First recipe
Rinsing with hot boiled water glass containers of any volume need to pour in them birch sap. For every half-liter, 1 incomplete tsp should be poured. glucose or regular sugar, a couple of carefully washed raisins, you can also add a little lemon peel. After the container should be closed with a lid or stopper and secure with ties or wire. During fermentation, there is a high pressure of carbon dioxide, so you should not add more sugar. After a few days, it will turn out to be sour, but, nevertheless, a highly carbonated drink pleasant to taste.
- Second recipe
Heat the juice in an enamel pot to 80 degrees, and then pour into glass containers almost to the brim and cork with lids. And then pasteurize, placing the container in 85 - degree water for 20 minutes.
In addition to canning birch sap, it is possible to make kvass from it: heat the birch tree to 35 degrees and add 20 liters of yeast and 3 raisins to 1 liter. Then close the container tightly and leave for a couple of weeks.
Birch sap is not difficult to collect, the main thing is to remember the basic rules. It is important not only to be able to keep a birch tree for a long time, but also to protect those trees from which you collect it. Try to take no more than 1 l. per day from one birch, be sure to gloss over the holes that are made in the bark of wax, to avoid the development of bacteria.