Maple Hydrometer Chart and tips.
Visit Miles Supply/CDL Barre, at 143 Boynton Street in Barre, near Spaulding High School 802.476.3963.
How to Use a Maple Syrup Hydrometer
For home use, the sugar content of your maple syrup isn’t much of a concern if it tastes good and you refrigerate and consume it before it molds, if it’s ‘light’, or has sugar crystals if it’s over or ‘heavy’.
But if you sell, This is where a hydrometer is used – many states have very precise requirements; see excerpt of Vermont’s standard. State of VT standards for Maple Syrup: … has a density ranging from the equivalent of 36 degrees Baume (66.9 degrees Brix) to 37 degrees Baume (68.9 degrees Brix) at 60 degrees Fahrenheit Modulus 145. (And all grades can’t have sugar crystals in it.)
A hydrometer measures the density of the maple syrup. The sugar percentage of the liquid is measured in degrees Brix [one degree Brix equals 1% sugar content]. The goal density for maple syrup is 66.9 Brix. (The denser maple syrup is the more sugar it contains, but as mentioned, if it’s heavy it may form sugar crystals).
Test your syrup:
1) When the syrup reaches a boiling temperature (this will be 7.1°F above the boiling temperature of water*), you are ready to test for proper density.
2) Hold the test cup upright. Fill the cup with hot syrup. Slowly immerse the hydrometer (don’t break it; make sure it’s not cold!) until it floats and view on a level surface…
3) Take a temperature reading at the same time as the hydrometer reading because density changes with temperature (that’s what the chart is for).
Read the temperature from a thermometer and the Brix number from the hydrometer.
If lower Brix than on this table, the syrup needs more boiling.
*this varies according to your elevation/atmospheric pressure – measure your temp of boiling water, then add 7.1-7.3 degrees to determine your syrup temperature goal.
You’re looking for a density between 66.00 and 66.20 Brix (not above 68) . Pour the (boiling) syrup into the cup and then put the hydrometer into the syrup, wait a few minutes to let the hydrometer adjust to the syrup temperature. The hydrometer floats on the syrup; when the line is even with the surface, it means your syrup is the right thickness. If the (hot test line) line is above the surface of the syrup, it means the syrup is too thick. Conversely, if you can’t see the line, your syrup isn’t thick enough. See more here.
See video on how to use a hydrometer to determine your sap yield.
——- text of the chart reads:
Syrup Draw off 219ºF 7.1-7.3º more than boiling point of water
Sugar on Snow 232–234ºF poured on packed snow/ice
Maple Cream 233–236ºF cool to 100º and stir
Maple Candy 236–240ºF cool to 165º, stir and pour
Hard Sugar 245–248ºF stir while hot & pour into mold
Granulated Sugar 255–265ºF stir continuously/on low when it’s close because it easily burns!
*use as a rough guide; varies greatly
GENERAL MAPLE INFO
Sugar content of syrup = 66.9% (36Bº @ 60ºF)
1 gallon maple syrup = 7.5lbs maple sugar
Canning temp = 180–190ºF
Use only hot water to clean filters
Jones Rule: 86 ÷ sap sugar content = # of gallons of sap to make 1 gallon syrup
50 calories per tablespoon (corn syrup is 60 calories)
Maple granulated sugar can be used 1:1 ratio for white or brown sugar in recipes; is shelf stable
water weighs 8.35 lbs per gallon -> syrup weighs 11 lbs per gallon
1 gallon = 3.79 liters | 1 gallon = 231 cubic inches | 7.48 gallons = 1 cubic foot
ºF = (1.8 x ºC) + 32 — note: x “9/5” = 1.8
ºC = (ºF – 32 ) ÷ 1.8 — note: instead of “x 5/9″ like we learned in school, dividing ÷ 1.8 works, too!
water 1 foot deep = 0.8826in of mercury | 1’ deep of water = 0.4335psi
(pick up a print out of this Maple Hydrometer Chart & tips at CDL Barre/Miles Supply)
Reverse osmosis (RO) concentrates the maple saps by removing up to 2/3 of the water, which reduces boiling time.
Many of our Barre staff are also sugar-makers, they understand the need for emergency sugaring supplies so they will make themselves available. Call 802-476-3963 during work hours for this contact information. You can also see it posted on our door.
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