[NAFEX] Maple facts and more

Ginda Fisher list at ginda.us
Tue Feb 26 10:19:26 EST 2008

Would it be feasible to boil a pot of water next to the syrup, and heat the 
syrup until it boiled at 7 degrees more than the adjacent pot of water?  
You'd need two thermometers (so as not to cross-contaminate the pots by 
moving the thermometer back and forth) and you'd need to calibrate them 
against each other (as many home themometers aren't perfectly calibrated) 
but that would be a one-time operation, and then you could just put a cheap 
thermomter in each pot and boil away until the syrup was done.

(and you wouldn't need to bother with the pot of water until the syrup 
looked close to finished.)

...... Original Message .......
On Tue, 26 Feb 2008 08:57:35 -0600 "Jim Fruth" <jfruth at tds.net> wrote:
>    In my copy of the North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual, it says 
>that finished maple syrup should be at 65.5 brix which is close to the 
>as saying that it is 65.5 percent sugar.  Above 65.5, sugar will 
>forming crystals at the bottom of its container.  The sugar will continue 
>precipitate until the brix reaches 65.5 again.  If your finished syrup is 
>less than 65.5, it is susceptible to mold.  If your 65.5 brix syrup molds, 
>it is because it underwent a change in temperature so that water 
>out of the syrup, condensed at the cap and dropped to the top of the 
>then, at the top of the syrup, it is no longer 65.5 and it is susceptible 
>    If your maple syrup molds, skim off the mold and heat the syrup to at 
>least 180 degrees and re-bottle it.  Mold that forms atop properly 
>manufactured sugar-containing products are of non-lethal species - in 
>words, it won't hurt you (at least, that is what 'the book' says).
>    In grammar school we are taught that water boils at 212 degrees.  What 
>'the book' should say is, "Water boils at 212 degrees at sea level at 30.0 
>inches of mercury."  At my altitude, water boils at 210 degrees at 30.0 
>inches of mercury.  Many beginners boil their syrup to 7 degrees above the 
>boiling temperature of water but they need to test every day and again if 
>weather front blows in.  It is advisable to remember that water has a 
>(temperature) range of boiling and that your reading should be taken after 
>it boils for a few minutes.
>    The most accurate method of determining when your maple syrup is 
>finished is to test it with a refractometer.  Refractometers are expensive 
>with the least expensive selling near $100.  The next best method is to 
>a hydrotherm which measures density at any temperature and the least 
>expensive method is a hydrometer which measures density at a specific 
>temperature.  Syrup hydrometers cost around $15 and you'll need a 
>cup which might set you back between $30 and $50, depending upon who you 
>it from (Many people make their own).  I DO NOT SELL MAPLE SUPPLIES but, 
>you want to buy items, I can turn you onto dealers.
>Jim Fruth
>Brambleberry Farm
>Pequot Lakes, MN  56472
>For jams, jellies & syrups:
>(877)265-6856 [Store]
>(218)831-7018 [My Cell] 
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