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Thread: Rule of 87 or 86

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Bristol , VT


    Post # 7 had the correct answer . When the syrup brix was changed from 65.5 to 66.9 , the rule of 86 became the rule of 89.2 ! If anyone will make the syrup and do the math , you will be making the amount of syrup you should , using the rule of 89.2 . All of your "shrinkage" will disappear , with the right formula !
    If it were easy , everyone would be doing it !!!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    I made mostly 70-72 brix xsyrup this year. I like it heavy so do my customers.
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Milan Qc


    Quote Originally Posted by adk1 View Post
    I made mostly 70-72 brix xsyrup this year. I like it heavy so do my customers.
    It is illegal to sell syrup over 68brix, and call it syrup...at least in Qubec
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  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Athol, NY


    When you exceed 68 brix you are creating a supersaturated sugar solution, i.e. some of the sugar will crystallize as it returns to a balanced concentration. That is why you get sugar crystals in the bottom of a container when you make your syrup to dense.
    Last edited by ToadHill; 03-29-2012 at 11:34 AM.


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  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    South Lincoln,vermont


    The best rule of thumb is to boil it down to 66.9 and measure how much you have, it is never wrong. LOL
    Success is not final,failure is not fatal.It is courage to continue that really counts

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  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Kalamazoo, MI


    Taken from the OMAFRA Fact Sheet for measuring syrup density:

    The density of maple syrup is a measurement of the percentage of dissolved solids, which includes sugars and minerals. However, sugar accounts for about 98% of the dissolved solids in the syrup. Therefore, by measuring the density as a reading of dissolved solids, a reasonably accurate estimate of the percentage of sugars in the syrup can be made.
    Taken from the Wiki for Brix:

    Degrees Brix (symbol Bx) is the sugar content of an aqueous solution.

    One degree Brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution and represents the strength of the solution as percentage by weight (% w/w) (strictly speaking, by mass). If the solution contains dissolved solids other than pure sucrose, then the Bx is only approximate the dissolved solid content.
    And later in the same source:

    When a sugar solution is measured by refractometer or densitometer, the Bx or P value obtained by entry into the appropriate table only represents the amount of dry solids dissolved in the sample if the dry solids are exclusively sucrose. This is seldom the case...In such cases the Bx value clearly cannot be equated with the sucrose content but it may represent a good approximation to the total sugar content.
    Syrup that is measured at 66 Brix is 66% sugar, which is a weight-to-weight comparison. A 100oz solution would contain 66oz of sugar. A gallon is 128oz so there are 84.5oz of sugars (.66 x 128 oz) in a gallon of maple syrup.

    Density compares weight/volume. Sugars account for only 98% of the dissolved solids in syrup and density measures all the dissolved solids, so 84.5/.98= 86.2oz of dissolved solids in a gallon of maple syrup. That, I believe, is where the rule of 86 came from.

    If you adjust for 66.9% Brix, it becomes the rule of 87 (.669 x 128/.98 = 87.4).

    The link below contains a table that lists the amounts of sucrose at different degrees Brix.

    1 Brix has 1.002grams of sucrose
    2 Brix has 2.012grams of sucrose
    3 Brix has 3.030grams of sucrose
    12 Brix has 12.558grams of sucrose
    66 Brix has 87.280grams of sucrose

    So its easy to see that happy thoughts was correct about the math not holding for higher concentrations of sugar.


    2011 - 3 gal syrup
    2012 - 4 gal syrup
    2013 - 14 gal syrup

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    castle creek ny


    this stuff makes my brain hurt so im just gonna keep makeing syrup the way ive allways done it and leave all this scientific stuff to the smart people!!!!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Groton, Vermont, United States


    Maple sugar is not exclusively sucrose though, glucose is also present in much smaller quantities. Might that affect the accuracy of the Brix scale as well?
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