It's about that deep. Can't remember the bit size, but it's big enough for my spile and that's all that matters.
Here's that elderberry growin by my barn. Warning! You better be sure of your plants before you do this!
If you don't have a barrel that is food grade, you can use any container that is food grade. Some people use 2 liter pop bottles or 5 gal water jugs etc.
I like the simple cut but I did do a couple that fit as below.
Here's a couple of them set up
What about frozen water on in your bucket?
Here's some frozen syrup that is in the finishing pan. Do you think the ice has no sugar in it????
I've seen TV shows on maple sugaring where they throw the ice out because they say "It's just water. the sugar stays in the liquid" They then dump the ice out on the ground and keep the liquid. I've also been told by others that the ice doesn't contain hardly any sugar so it's ok to get rid of it. However my picture of near finished syrup above tastes just as sweet as ice cream! So I think the frozen water in the bucket at left still has sugar too.
I am a chemistry teacher so here are some opinions of mine to fact check if you wish. Sugar in water is a homogeneous solution. That means that the sugar is spread evenly throughout the solution. I tell students that homogeneous solutions are when every drop would taste the same (but also say don't taste your solutions in chemistry!!). So the bucket should contain equal sugar everywhere.
Also, when you add sugar or other solutes to water, the freezing and boiling points change depending on how concentrated they are in the solution. This is called a colligative property. The solute molecules disrupt the crystal lattice formation of the ice crystals. Basically I can calculate how concentrated the solution is by measuring boiling and freezing point changes.
How concentrated are the solutions in the pictures? If finished syrup boils at 4 C above 100, the concentration would be about 7.8 M. This divided by 25 would give us a best case concentration of sap. That would be .31 M How does that effect freezing point? -.58 C. In other words the water in the bucket should freeze at 30.98 Fahrenheit. Only one degree less than regular water!
Without the calculating all I have to do is boil some fresh sap and put a thermometer in it. It's not much any different than 212 and therefore it wont freeze any different either.
So maybe you're thinking that there is some sort of irregularity. Or perhaps the sugar slowly separates from the water as it freezes because of this 1 degree. Then what happened to my sweet as ice cream sap that froze? Huh?
The sugar in fact may separate into less frozen pockets of water. But even if they do, I think they are still in the ice . Lets compare it to sea ice. Multi-year ice is drinkable. But that's multi year ice! Fresh sea ice can't be used for water. It takes years for those pockets to find each other and drain out. My bucket froze over night. I'm not waitin years, and I want the sugar. I'm keeping all my ice.
To summarize my opinion. Keep the ice! You're throwing out good sap if you chuck it.