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Thread: Using a hydrometer and thermometer

  1. #11
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    Feb 2017
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    Connecticut
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    Yes, it is a maple syrup Hydrometer. No, I have not had it calibrated, as I have nothing to calibrate it with, unless I bought another one. Is there a different way to calibrate it? I do know it is very clean with absolutely no cracks or niter on it. There is no time for the syrup to cool as I test it often directly from the stock pot I use to finish the syrup on propane. I can fill the stainless tester tube with one scoop of syrup, so it's a very fast test from pot to tester.
    One thing I haven't done is the cold test. Can I test some of last years syrup I have in storage?
    Thanks again folks!

  2. #12
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Often maple associations or state regulators will test hydrometers at maple conferences. It's good practice to bring them in each year for testing. Alternatively you can get a second one or find a nearby sugarmaker and see if they read the same. It is not uncommon for hydrometers right out of the box to fail in testing. I know of entire lots of hydrometers that had to be tossed out during inspection by the Agency of Agriculture in Vermont (all maple hydrometers used in VT must be tested and stamped by the Agency of Ag to be used) because they fail (out of spec).

    Yes, there is no problem testing last yrs syrup, although if it was off when hot it'll be off when cold. Cold test is at 60 deg F or thereabouts -- so let the syrup sit out of the refrigerator overnight if that's the way you go.

    Another approach would be to find someone with a syrup refractometer and compare the readings. These are better (more stable) when used with cold syrup than with hot syrup.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  3. #13
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    Temperance Mi
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    If you are not getting crystallization in any of your finished syrup your density is probably not to heavy. A sap hydrometer or refractometer would give you an idea if your sap in and syrup off make sense.

  4. #14
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    Apr 2011
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    Fayston, Vt
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    Where are you finishing your syrup? Size of pan/pots.
    Get RO5 to save time and fuel, you wouldn’t regret it, just wish you did it sooner.

    A bio of you operation will help others understand your operation.
    2020 same
    2019 RB10 26 taps
    2018 RO Bucket RB5 taps 20, leg tank in shed w/2 5/16
    2017 18 taps
    2016 20 taps
    2015 21 taps
    2014 30 2 gravity line, 2 hotel pan concrete arch 35 g leg tank
    2013 LP hook up in shack buckets 12 taps
    2 burner cook top 2012 finisher on a bbq tanks
    2011 rookie 2+ gal
    8 taps w/ milk jugs
    turkey cooker
    50-60 up back maybe

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
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    In answer to your original question, "if you're using both, have you ever tested them at the same time?", yes. When I bottle, I used to use a 5 gallon ss pot that is fitted with a ball valve spigot. I would place the probe of a k-type thermocouple in the pot with the hydrometer. The only tricky part was stabilizing the temperature. I now had a bottler built with a pid temperature controlling an electric heating element that is a lot easier to control.

    I still do this to verify and correct density before bottling. I only bottle in glass so I don't want any crystalization because it looks bad and we all want to be sure that our product is at correct density.

    "Which method is favored by you?" Both in conjunction with each other. Otherwise you are just guessing. Even refractometers are using both so long as they have temperature compensation.
    Last edited by minehart gap; 10-19-2020 at 08:36 PM.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    88

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    Quote Originally Posted by to100 View Post
    Where are you finishing your syrup? Size of pan/pots.
    Get RO5 to save time and fuel, you wouldn’t regret it, just wish you did it sooner.

    A bio of you operation will help others understand your operation.
    I have been going back and forth with Carl at RO Bucket to put together a system for me.
    I boil my sap with wood, and finish on propane with a 20 quart stainless steel stock pot.
    I've watched several videos on using my hydrometer. I always wondered if that piece of paper in the glass tube could move, and after watching, I see that it can, which would be giving me a false reading.
    Thanks again folks.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fayston, Vt
    Posts
    121

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    In 2018 hydrometer are marked inside of glass at the top with red line that stops at Brix line at the top. The line is on sap and syrup hydrometers. I now have 2 hydrometers so I can check each, I also have a hydrometer that has a hair line crack from allowing slip out of my hand while placing into stainless cup. I have put a piece of green scrubby into bottom of my stainless cup.
    I have a pot with hot water or sap where I bottle so I can clean cup and hydrometer after taking a test. This also keeps them warm for testing.
    2020 same
    2019 RB10 26 taps
    2018 RO Bucket RB5 taps 20, leg tank in shed w/2 5/16
    2017 18 taps
    2016 20 taps
    2015 21 taps
    2014 30 2 gravity line, 2 hotel pan concrete arch 35 g leg tank
    2013 LP hook up in shack buckets 12 taps
    2 burner cook top 2012 finisher on a bbq tanks
    2011 rookie 2+ gal
    8 taps w/ milk jugs
    turkey cooker
    50-60 up back maybe

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    88

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    Thanks to all!! I'm ordering the Murphy Cup and the Gold Series Hydrometer to match. I'm seriously considering the RO system Carl was putting together for me from RO Bucket as well.
    You folks are a terrific source of information!!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,381

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord View Post
    I'm ordering the Murphy Cup and the Gold Series Hydrometer to match. I'm seriously considering the RO system Carl was putting together for me from RO Bucket as well.
    Sounds like Christmas!
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Essex VT
    Posts
    374

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    Has there been some serious inflation going on with the Murphy cup? $139.00 !!! I paid $35.00 for mine 4 years ago.

    Joe
    2004- 470 taps on gravity and buckets
    2006- 590 taps on gravity and buckets 300 gph RO
    2009- 845 taps on vacuum no buckets, 600 gph RO
    2010- 925 taps on vacuum new 2 stage vacuum pump
    2014- 3045 taps on vacuum, new 1200 gph RO
    2015- 3104 taps on vacuum
    2017- 3213 taps on vacuum
    3' x 10' oil fired evaporator with steamaway

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