This information was assembled to assist State and Provincial Maple Producer Associations in developing and offering a simple hydrometer accuracy-checking program for their members.
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Regardless of the availability and guidance provided, maple producers should clearly understand that the use of isopropyl alcohol in maple tubing systems anywhere in the United States is a violation of federal law.
Entering a maple syrup/confection contest is a fun activity that can lead to assurance that you are producing the highest quality product possible.
Maple syrup has a unique flavor that sets it apart from other specialty foods. Its characteristic for exhibiting different subtle flavors depending on where it was produced, and, at times, how it was produced make it a product that everyone, regardless of their taste preferences, can enjoy. However, this characteristic also makes syrup flavor susceptable to flavors that are not conisdered typical. These off-flavors can occur anywhere from the tree to the containers. Not only do production methods affect the flavor, but Mother Nature has a hand in it too. Following are some common off-flavors that have been encountered, their likely causes, and ways to avoid these problems.
Most people recognize good tasting syrup and many can pick out when syrup tastes off, but occasionally there is a flavor that is not easily identified. Mark Isselhardt, UVM Extension, and Henry Mackres, retired Vermont Chief of Consumer Protection, discuss syrup flavors (and off-flavors) and sample syrup sent in advance of the session for diagnoses.
In October, in Green Bay, an informal needs assessment survey was conducted by Sumner Dole, Henry Marckres and Kathy Hopkins to identify the most pressing issues facing the maple industry.