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.
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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.
These handy cards provide checklists for color, clarity, density, and flavor, with notes on why syrup may not measure up to standards.
The Cornell Maple Program presents Sweet Talk, with hosts, co-directors of CMP, Aaron Wightman and Adam Wild. Your hosts will present the latest research, news, and trends in the maple industry, with various guests including other maple researchers, industry experts, and local sugarmakers.
Maple syrup is produced typically from maple sap concentrated by nanofiltration or reverse osmosis at a moderate °Brix level ranging from 6 to 16 °Brix followed by heat evaporation. Recently, new membrane processes have been developed to concentrate maple sap to ultra-high °Brix reaching up to 40 °Brix. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of this ultra-high concentration of sap on the composition, the properties and the cost of corresponding maple syrup. Results showed some differences in chemical composition and properties between syrups produced from low and ultra-high concentration of sap. Syrups produced from ultra-high °Brix concentrated sap had lower concentrations of potassium and polyphenols, a lighter color and distinctive flavor. This was mainly observed when no modification were applied to the heating pattern in the evaporator pans. However, syrups produced by modulation of the heating pattern in the evaporator had color, flavor and taste similar to control syrups. These results demonstrate that syrups with comparable sensory properties can be obtained from low and ultra-high concentrated sap by adjusting the heating time depending on the initial °Brix. The concentration process to ultra high °Brix allows for a concomitant reduction of the production costs and a modulation of syrup quality.
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.
Back by popular demand! Abby van den Berg will share results and progress from various research projects on maximizing yields and sustainability at the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center.
What I am proposing in this article is that woodland owners consider sap and syrup production as a way to increase the financial benefits derived from their forest resource by tapping their trees, and increase the fun in owning a woodlot with a good “sugarin off” party.
We regularly get questions from maple producers about which defoamers are the best to use. Of course, the answer is…it depends.
Annual data on US maple production.