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Maple Management

These Maple Management pages include a variety of educational resources related to business for current maple producers, prospective maple producers, and forest land managers. Includes annual cost of production analyses, legal resources, business resources, rental and pricing tips, and more.

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was hit during tapping on average 4.5% of the time and the responses ranged from 0-41% of the time (UVM Extension 2019 unpublished).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.

Measuring and Adjusting Invert Sugar in Maple Sugar

The variability of invert sugars in syrup makes it necessary to test and adjust the invert sugar levels to match the specific characteristics desired for a given confection. Testing syrup and adjusting to a proper invert sugar level can eliminate batch mfailures and help the maple producer make confections of consistent quality. For many years the use of the Clinitest tablets was suggested as the way to measure invert sugars in syrup. Now, a simple test using the common glucose meter used to monitor blood sugar can be very helpful in selecting and blending syrups to make the most consistent products. Testing syrups before they are purchased for the purpose of making confections assures you are getting syrup that will make the confections you want.

Identifying Maples for Maple Syrup Making

This is a basic guide to identifying three maple species during the growing and dormant seasons. We look at key identifying characteristics such as branching patterns, leaf shapes and bark patterns. Additionally, we include identifying characteristics of two other trees that could cause confusion in the sugar bush.

Quality control guide cards

These handy cards provide checklists for color, clarity, density, and flavor, with notes on why syrup may not measure up to standards.

Food Safety & Quality Issues in Maple

Pure maple syrup is generally considered a “low-risk” food in terms of food safety regulations and following good production practices can limit the risks even further. This presentation will cover food safety issues related to production, bottling and storage of pure maple syrup.

Maple Quality in the Marketplace Today 

250 maple containers of pure maple syrup were purchased online in 2020 and tested for density, color grade and flavor. Learn how many samples met the grading standards, how different testing instruments compare, the most common grading problems and some best practices to ensure high quality syrup reaches your customers.