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Why and How to Check your Hydrometer’s Accuracy

Hydrometers are a critical tool for making high-quality, legal density maple syrup. A $20 to $30 investment in an accurate hydrometer can yield a valuable return in income for the producer. This article explains how to use and test a hydrometer for accuracy.

Reduced Sap Yields When Tapping Into Non- Conductive Wood

According to a recent survey of more than 300 maple producers in the northeast United States, nonconductive wood was hit during tapping on average 4.5% of the time and the responses ranged from 0-41% of the time (UVM Extension 2019 unpublished). Previous research has explored factors that impact the likelihood of tapping into NCW. Significant factors include but are not limited to; dropline length, taphole diameter, tapping intensity (number of taps/tree) and stem growth (van den Berg and Perkins 2014). Other work touched on the relationship between the amount of conductive wood exposed while tapping and yields (Wilmot et al. 2007). But to date, there has been no direct investigation as to the relationship between the percent of NCW is intercepted while tapping and sap yield. The present study sought to understand the relationship between the amount of NCW in a given tap how and the amount of sap collected, as well as understanding if other factors (sap sweetness) might impact total yields between treatments.

Managing Invasive Plants in the Sugarbush

The history of introduction of invasive plants into the US is varied, but there are many examples of species that have become interfering after introduction in the middle 1800’s. In most cases the introduction was intentional because of the expectation of a benefit for humans or wildlife. Following are several invasive shrub species common in many areas of the maple syrup producing region of North America.

Maple Sports Drink Fills a Niche in Performance Beverage Market

The Cornell Maple Program has been working on developing athletics-oriented maple products for several years. Our latest work has led to a “maple sports drink,” a hydrating, nourishing electrolyte-replacement beverage that meets the same nutritional standards as Gatorade and Powerade.

Maple syrup production from sap preconcentrated to ultra high °Brix by membrane technology: Composition and properties

Maple syrup is produced typically from maple sap concentrated by nanofiltration or reverse osmosis at a moderate °Brix level ranging from 6 to 16 °Brix followed by heat evaporation. Recently, new membrane processes have been developed to concentrate maple sap to ultra-high °Brix reaching up to 40 °Brix. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of this ultra-high concentration of sap on the composition, the properties and the cost of corresponding maple syrup. Results showed some differences in chemical composition and properties between syrups produced from low and ultra-high concentration of sap. Syrups produced from ultra-high °Brix concentrated sap had lower concentrations of potassium and polyphenols, a lighter color and distinctive flavor. This was mainly observed when no modification were applied to the heating pattern in the evaporator pans. However, syrups produced by modulation of the heating pattern in the evaporator had color, flavor and taste similar to control syrups. These results demonstrate that syrups with comparable sensory properties can be obtained from low and ultra-high concentrated sap by adjusting the heating time depending on the initial °Brix. The concentration process to ultra high °Brix allows for a concomitant reduction of the production costs and a modulation of syrup quality.

Yields from Early Tapping and Taphole “Rejuvenation” Strategies

Because the impacts on yields of early tapping strategies, with or without subsequent rejuvenation, are likely to be affected by weather conditions which can vary widely from year to year, controlled experiments over multiple years are required in order to more fully assess whether any of these strategies result in greater yields than tapholes made during the standard spring sap flow period, or whether any increases in yield would be sufficient to compensate for the increased costs associated with implementing them. Thus, we conducted a multi-year, controlled experiment to assess the yields of several early tapping strategies, with and without subsequent rejuvenation, relative to the yields of standard spring tapholes.

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Gourmet Maple Marshmallows – A New Recipe & Guidelines

The Cornell Maple Program has been working on adapting gourmet marshmallow procedures for a recipe that uses maple as the only sweetener, and the results pack a lot of maple flavor.

Tapping into Sappy Non-Timber Forest Products for Fun and Profit

What I am proposing in this article is that woodland owners consider sap and syrup production as a way to increase the financial benefits derived from their forest resource by tapping their trees, and increase the fun in owning a woodlot with a good “sugarin off” party.

Timing of tapping

In recent years, research at Cornell University’s Uihlein Maple Research Forest has looked at ways to maximize maple sap production through tapping practices such as spout selection, re-tapping and timing of tapping.

Tapping Walnut Trees: Studies on Walnut Sap Flow

Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) is a tree to consider tapping, and Butternut (Juglans cinerea) has similar characteristics and can produce syrup. When considering tapping, however, it is good to understood that walnut trees and not just maples with compound leaves and big edible nuts. Walnuts have anatomical and physiological characteristics that affect tapping and syrup making.