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Thread: Sugar %

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    Franklin, PA
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    Default Sugar %

    This is only my 3rd year making syrup, so I'm quite the noob... but I have a question regarding sugar content.

    I'm in NW PA. This weekend I put in a single tap just to test sugar content. I got a reading on my refractometer of 5%. I thought... that can't be right, so I tested with clean water to recalibrate it and then took a second reading... it too was showing 5%

    I know that Sugar maples can get up to 7% (maybe even higher), but how common is it? I was expecting to see something around 2%

    thanks
    2019 290 taps on 3/16"
    2018 20 taps on milk jugs
    2017 10 taps on milk jugs

  2. #2
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    Oneida NY
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    Default

    If you tested a tree that is normally higher or one that has a large canopy that is possible. If you have a lot of trees like that, congratulations.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, downsized after I lost my help, about 450-500 planned for 2021 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Brockport, NY
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    I agree with Flats above, and add my congratulations too! Just a thought on refractometers in addition-- Some of them say printed right on them or in their literature that the reading (and distilled water calibration) is accurate at about 72 F. Or whatever degrees it says. A LONG way to verify (but fun) would be to collect an amount of sap, and boil it down to see if it yields the right amount of syrup for what your refractometer is reading. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    whitney point NY
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    I have a tree that is right next to my sugar house that I have seen test as high as 6% . Last year with sugar % down it only tested 3% . My normal % will be 2.2 - 2.4 to start and go down from there with the rest of the places I tap . Last year my best was 1.8 . The tree that test high has its roots right in a creek . Sure is tempting to tap know , going to hold off till the 14th .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    South East Pennsylvania
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    34

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    Agreed. It is possible to have some trees that have a high sugar percentage like that. I have a nice big silver in the front yard that is regularly at 4%. If only they were all that high...
    Adam

    2016: 6 Taps and a propane turkey fryer
    2019: 51 Taps on 3/16 gravity tubing
    Homemade Oil Tank Evaporator
    Badgerland by Smokey Lake 2x4 divided pan

  6. #6
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    Nov 2018
    Location
    Franklin, PA
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    thank you all for the responses.. learn something new every day. but keeping my fingers crossed it's indicative of a good year for everyone!!
    2019 290 taps on 3/16"
    2018 20 taps on milk jugs
    2017 10 taps on milk jugs

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Default

    Quick question...does your refractometer have ATC (automatic temperature compensation)?

    If not, and/or if the sap was cold and not allowed to temperature equilibrate to the instrument, you'd get a reading somewhat higher than the correct reading. Along the same lines, if the sap was allowed to sit in/on the well for a little bit before you measured it, some water would evaporate, also giving you a higher reading than the actual value.
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 02-04-2019 at 10:24 AM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  8. #8
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    Nov 2018
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    Franklin, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    Quick question...does your refractometer have ATC (automatic temperature compensation)?

    If not, and/or if the sap was cold and not allowed to temperature equilibrate to the instrument, you'd get a reading somewhat higher than the correct reading. Along the same lines, if the sap was allowed to sit in/on the well for a little bit before you measured it, some water would evaporate, also giving you a higher reading than the actual value.
    Thanks for the response. Yes, the meter does have ATC in it. As for the second part, that's possible that there was some evaporation. The temperatures here are a bit warmer than they were yesterday, so things should be running a little faster. I'll test again today.
    2019 290 taps on 3/16"
    2018 20 taps on milk jugs
    2017 10 taps on milk jugs

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Albion PA
    Posts
    4,922

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    Sounds like more checking on this "sweet tree" ! If it holds, better look around to see if there are anymore close by too!
    Let us know.
    Regards,
    Chris
    Casbohm Maple and Honey
    600 roadside taps
    3x10 King, WRU, AOF and AUF
    12" SIRO Filter Press.
    2015 Ford F250 PSD sap hauler
    One Golden named Maggie Cat named Lucy
    Too many Cub Cadets
    Ford Jubilee and several Allis WD's, and IH tractors

    www.mapleandhoney.com

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