A wide variety of cleaning techniques are currently used in the maple industry, including rinsing the system with pressurized air and water, or attempts to sanitize with chemical solutions such as peroxide, bleach, or alcohol. However, the effectiveness of these cleaning techniques in reducing microbial populations and increasing annual sap yield is often questionable.
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A two pipe sap ladder consists of a structure of two vertical pipes connecting the lower and upper sections of mainline. It was initially thought that the sap would lift in the pipe on the vacuum side and that air would travel through the pipe on the bush side. Results were not as expected.
In the spring of 1998, a research project was initiated to develop alternative methods for maple produces using plastic tubing systems. Although the results are only preliminary, the development of alternative sanitation methods that may reduce reliance on chlorine is looking very promising.
Questions of how vacuum affects maple sap, syrup and trees have existed for many years, and these issues are perhaps more important today than ever before due to the increasing use of collection systems that can achieve very high levels of vacuum. This article will describe recent research performed at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center that was designed to answer questions about high vacuum.
The cost of fuel in a typical oil-fired, Open Pan Evaporator (O.P.E.) for a 4000 tap operation can represent 20% of the total syrup production costs. Vapor Compression Evaporation (V.C.E.) offers a method of capturing lost energy and improving the fuel consumption of an O.P.E. Most of the energy goes up in steam and this unit will recapture lost energy to reuse.
Weather conditions are the single most important factor affecting sap production in the sugar maple. Weather forecasts, therefore, can be a very valuable tool for maple syrup producers.
Buddy off-flavour is an annual, natural occurrence that has been well recognized since the dawn of commercial maple production in the late 19th century. As we began our investigation there were two basic ideas for the sudden appearance of buddy syrup. The first was that heating sap containing elevated levels of particular amino acids produced compounds (pyrazines) that contributed to buddy off flavour. A more recent idea has been that yeasts in the sap convert sulfur-containing amino acids into compounds that explain the off flavours.
Notes from a group discussion of maple extension specialists.
One of the most important skills for sugarmakers to master is knowing when what’s boiling in the evaporator has become syrup. Quality control is key, and packaging syrup too dense or not dense enough will ruin the best of any sugarmaker’s efforts.
One of the most important skills for sugarmakers to master is knowing when what’s boiling in the evaporator has become syrup. This guide to mesuring density explains the tools and techniques for accurate measurement.