Pure maple syrup is a uniquely North American food product that is marketed worldwide. The last few decades have witnessed tremendous changes in the maple syrup industry in the U.S. and Canada. Production of syrup and marketing of syrup have risen dramatically, especially over the past decade. [ MORE ]
Drinking tree sap is common in several areas of the world, but is far less practiced in North America. Several new maple-sap derived beverages have been introduced into the consumer market and prominently featured in news articles over the past year.
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Birch syrup production is similar to maple syrup production – it uses mostly maple equipment (spouts, buckets or tubing, evaporators, etc.), and the spring sapflow season begins just as the maple season is ending. [ MORE ]
Each year many new people try their hand at sugaring, and discover how satisfying it is to share syrup made with their own hard work. Most sugarmakers take great pride not only in their syrup, but in the entire process of maple production. Remember that whether you produce 2 gallons or 2000, you represent the maple industry to the public. You are making a specialty food product that is pure and natural, and your maple operation should reflect this fact. It is important to set a standard that gives the public confidence in your operation, even if it is very small.
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Over the past several decades we have used several different methods to measure sap volume. With a bucket it is fairly simple….when the system is under vacuum it becomes more challenging. At the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center, we employ a combination of simple recording counters mounted on mechanical vacuum releasers to measure sap production. We are frequently asked by maple producers for details on how we accomplish this and how they might set up something similar in their operations. [ MORE ]
Gravity tubing systems typically do not perform well compared to systems connected to modern vacuum pumps; however, there are new options today for creating high vacuum in gravity tubing. As many people know, a system using tubing with an interior diameter of 3/16” has been developed in recent years at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center and has shown considerable success in a variety of locations. [ MORE ]
Accurately measuring density is critical to the production of pure maple syrup. Historically, sugarmakers have relied on thermometers and or hydrometers to determine when syrup has reached the desired density. These instruments remain valuable tools today. Refractometers are another tool that can be used to make precise density measurements. [ MORE ]