Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
kboone1, you made one statement that makes me think the density is possibly too thick. You say it is spot on 67 but then say +/- a few tenths. A few tenths could be an issue. First of all, how do you use your hydrometer? do you have either an Accu Cup which tells the exact temp of the syrup being tested, or a Murphy cup? The first tells you the exact temp then you need to use a chart for the desired reading, the newer version is the Murphy cup, which does the same essentially but it takes the chart out of the equation, instead the Murphy cup is a thermometer with the temperature face replaced with the corresponding hydrometer reading needed face.
I wonder if your syrup being tested is not exactly 211F (the temp for the hot line reading). A degree or two either way can give you a false reading, especially if it is cooler a little. Another thing is the cup itself, those using the 1" diameter version have a much harder time getting an accurate reading, is your cup 2" diameter and do you run hot syrup 2-3 times and dump it back into the pot before getting a reading?
A cheap fix for the cup if you need a bigger volume cup, make one out of 2" PVC. It will heat better and insulate the syrup enough to get your accurate reading. Just don't keep hot syrup in it for too long or the PVC will distort. One heating, dump then fill and take your reading.
The most accurate will be to use a Murphy cup and an accurate hydrometer.
Dave, good points.

I use a CDL 2" stainless cup and a thermometer to get to the finishing point. I always triple check on the cool down using the charts to match the temp with the reading, I NEVER assume temp, even right off the tap. Once I get this off and feel confident I am where I need to be, before I filter I bring back to temp and check again, if all is where it should be based on temp and chart reading, I filter and bottle. I guess I never thought 67.3ish or 66.7ish would be that large of a game-changer, since the Vermont standard window I believe is 66.9-68.9. I have yet to take a refractometer reading where my syrup from this 2020 season after bottling was above 67.5 or below 66.7. I am not going to lie, I am not worried about that .1 or .2 below personally, as I am not entering my syrup at this moment in to contests, and I feel comfortable in that range it will not mold. I would rather error on the higher, more dense side than light obviously, so most is usually a tick high. I am open for suggestions and thoughts, but just seems crazy being in that window would produce a dilemma like this when what I am seeing is so rare, and I know a lot of producers that finish in that range that do not see what I am seeing this year. Obviously this isn't something I can say it "is" or "is not", just trying to think of all sides to each point. If I am missing something, though, please, I like to learn!