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How long can I store sap? Sap is a highly perishable product. This article explains what happens as it is stored, and how to avoid problems.

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Filtering syrup in small batches is a huge pain. Any advice on how to make it easier?

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What causes syrup to be light or dark at different parts of the season?

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Q1: I’m considering switching from a flat pan to a larger pan with continuous flow, and keep hearing about the gradient. What is a gradient and why is it important? Q2: After a warm spell that made the sap stop running, a hard freeze made it start again so I collected and boiled. The syrup had an off-flavor. Why?

Ask Proctor: Defoamer

We regularly get questions from maple producers about which defoamers are the best to use. Of course, the answer is…it depends.

Assessment of the Flavor of Syrup Produced with High-Brix RO Systems

Concentrating sap with reverse osmosis (RO) substantially increases the efficiency and profitability of processing maple sap into syrup by reducing the amount of fuel and time required to complete concentration to syrup density in the evaporator, with gains proportional to the level of sap pre-concentration. Because most flavor development in maple syrup occurs through nonenzymatic browning reactions as sap is processed with heat in the evaporator, it has often been speculated that reduced evaporator processing time resulting from the use of RO might also result in perceptible impacts on syrup flavor. However, a series of controlled experiments conducted at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center using the same sap processed to different levels with RO determined that concentrating sap up to 21.5% prior to boiling in standard maple evaporators had no substantive effects on syrup composition or flavor.

Associations of calcium and aluminum with the growth and health of sugar maple trees in Vermont

We compared tree growth and crown condition with soil and foliar elemental composition in 14 sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) stands in VT, USA, to evaluate if deficiencies or imbalances in cation nutrition were associated with growth and health reductions in native stands. The Till Source Model (TSM) was used to select study sites potentially high or low in calcium (Ca) by predicting the relative Ca concentration of soil parent material derived from glacial till. The TSM successfully identified high or low levels of soil Ca (P = 0.031) and foliar Ca (P = 0.011) among stands.

Avoiding equipment trouble

Common problems with sugaring equipment and how to avoid them.

Bacterial Adhesion to Plastic Tubing Walls

The advent of plastic tubing systems to collect sap has eliminated several problems associated with the traditional bucket system. However, plastic tubing systems also present some problems of their own. Sap quality problems arise if the lines sag and the sap lingers within the tubings or the large conduits. In addition, the warming effect of the sun increases the tem perature within the tubing to optimum levels for microbial growth and sap flow may decrease because of “organic buildup” on the internal tubing walls. This buildup is a result of the adhesion of microorganisms to the tubing walls.