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Cornell Corner

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Get it bubbling

Aaron Wightman, Cornell Maple Program Extension Associate | July 7, 2019

VAN ETTEN, N.Y.—Dissolved oxygen levels have a significant impact on syrup grade and flavor, especially in late-season sap.

This season, we found that boosting oxygen levels in sap with a bubbler makes darker syrup with a stronger maple flavor.

In late season saps, the flavor improvement due to bubbler-aeration was significant enough to improve an off-flavored syrup to a dark, table-grade syrup.

Many factors affect the grade and flavor of maple syrup.

One of the lesser known variables impacting syrup quality is the level of dissolved oxygen in sap. MORE ]

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Does taphole sanitation pay off?

Stephen Childs and Aaron Wightman, Cornell Maple Program | July 8, 2019

ITHACA, N.Y.—Does extra attention to your tubing and taphole sanitation pay off?

During the 2019 maple season the Cornell Maple Program conducted a number of trials on 5/16 tubing looking at a variety of tubing options for taphole sanitation and tapping.

This year the first sap yield measurements were taken on February 8 and the last measurements on April 10.

We compared several new variations to our set-up of old spouts and drops where the dropline has been used for 7 years and the spout has been in use for 4 years. They have been vacuumed dry at the end of each season when the taps are pulled but receive no other cleaning.

The second check for standard comparison is completely new laterals, drops and spouts for a completely new system. MORE ]

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Maple beverages offer another revenue stream

Deborah Jeanne Sergeant | May 8, 2019

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Keith Otto is taking value-added maple in directions few sugarmakers have taken it.

Things like maple beer, wine, spirits, cider and kombucha.

"There's great potential for adding value to your existing business," Otto said during a presenation at the Mid-Winter Classic Maple Show in Syracuse last January.

Otto is a researcher with the Cornell Maple Program and the Uihlein Maple Research Forest in Lake Placid, N.Y.

There's untapped potential--literally--in New York's forests, he said. MORE ]

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Are foil packs worth it?

Peter Gregg | May 1, 2019

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—As packaging technology advances, there may be new ways to make money in maple. But how about with foil packs?

Foil packs are available for bulk purchase online in several different sizes. Some maple companies have been able to mass produce the packets and market them to the running and fitness demographic as single serve “one shot” energy boosters for athletes.

But Steve Childs of the Cornell University Maple Program set out to find if there is any profit in selling single serve foil packs for the average sugarmaker.

“We wanted to find the ‘farmer’ way of doing it,” Childs said, during a standing-room only seminar at the Mid-Winter Maple Classic in Syracuse on Jan 5.

“Is there any way to fill these ourselves in any sort of practical way,” Childs said. MORE ]

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Cornell study shows results from re-tapping holes

Stephen Childs and Aaron Wightman, Cornell Maple Program | December 4, 2018

In the 2018 Cornell Maple Program replicated tubing system sap flow trials, one of the first systems to stop running was the second year 5/16” laterals, drops and spouts with four replications.

In this treatment nothing had been changed since its use in the 2017 sap season other than being vacuumed dry at the end of the 2017 sap season. By April 6 they had completely dried up. On April 6, a new tap hole was drilled 6 to 8 inches directly above or below the original 2018 taphole.

This taphole location was chosen so as not to create a new partition zone in the tree thereby saving clean white wood for future tapping. It was also located in the same channel to see if there would be significant air leakage across the 6 to 8 inches.
MORE ]

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Tap hole sanitation research in the ’17 season

Stephen Childs and Aaron Wightman, Cornell Maple Program | Feb. 28, 2018

In 2017, 11 replicated maple tubing research plots were established at the Arnot Forest to provide information useful in identifying which methods of reducing microbial contamination of the tap hole are most effective and result in increased sap production. MORE ]

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Working with little ROs for syrup production

Stephen Childs, New York State Maple Specialist | Oct. 12, 2017

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. MORE ]