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.
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A guide to using available Excel spreadsheets to determine profitability and consider the value of altering management practices.
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.
Near the end of each sugaring season, producers must make a decision when to stop making maple syrup. Sometimes the decision is an easy call, such as when the onset of bud break and cessation of sap flow coincide. The decision to stop production can also be the result of careful economic analysis of the cost of production versus value of the product. The variable costs (fuel, labor, filters, etc.) of any maple operation are a key component to this sort of analysis.
Thoughts on the value of implementing the new maple grading system.
One of the biggest drawbacks of making maple syrup for a back yarder or small maple producer is the time it takes to boil the sap into syrup. The idea of using a small reverse osmosis unit to assist with the syrup making is very interesting to many small maple producers. There are many little reverse osmosis systems available for water purification in households or for small commercial applications. These can be purchased from a number of big box stores, home improvement stores or on line. These RO units can be used to remove water from sap to speed up the concentration and syrup boiling process.