FAQ  
 

1. How is maple syrup made?  Maple syrup is made by boiling down the sap of the sugar maple tree. The sap is boiled until it reaches 7 degrees above the boiling point of water, approximately 219º {66.9 to 68.9 Brix scale on a hydrometer.} At this point maple syrup should weigh 11 pounds to the gallon.

2. When is maple syrup made?  Primarily maple syrup is made in the spring of the year (Feb. – May). In Northeast Ohio it is made from mid- February through the end of March. Although maple syrup can be made anytime after the leaves fall off the trees and there is a freeze and thaw cycle.

3. Why is maple syrup so expensive? Maple syrup is more expensive compared to pancake or waffle syrup because of the labor and equipment costs that are associated with its production.

4. How do you know when it is syrup when you boil it? You know when maple syrup is done by its boiling point at 7 degrees about the boiling point of water (approximately 219 degrees).

5. What is the difference in the different color ambers? (light, medium & dark)  Maple producers use a grading system of light, medium and dark, and these different amber syrups primarily are the results of changes that take place in nature. Usually in syrup making season lighter syrup is made in the beginning and by the end of the season darker amber syrup is made.  This takes place because the days are getting warmer and changes the chemistry within the maple tree and sap.

6. Don’t you just tap a tree and bottle the syrup? No. The maple sap has to be processed. Maple syrup is made by boiling down the sap of the sugar maple tree. The sap is boiled until it reaches 7 degrees above the boiling point of water.

7. How big does a tree have to be to tap it?
In the past, different producers and states used different guidelines.  Some large trees have 3-6 taps, while smaller trees had 1-4 taps. In the present, we used guidelines set forth from different studies that were done. Smallest tree to tap is 10-12 inches in diameter with one tap and an 18 inch tree or larger gets 2 taps. But the recommendations are 1 tap for any size tree.

8. Why is maple syrup sometimes so thin? Maple syrup is naturally thinner because there is a big difference in the product. Pancake & waffle syrups are thicker because they are primarily thick corn syrup with artificial maple flavor.

9. How much sap does it take to make a gallon of maple syrup? The average maple sap is 2% sugar and takes about 43 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.

10. Don’t you hurt a maple tree when you tap it? No. A small hole is drilled into the side of the tree to extract a fraction of sap produced, and is no more harmful than a broken branch. If the tree has a good crown and is in good health there is no harm done.

11. Do you make sugar-free maple syrup for diabetics? No. maple syrup is sugar water with all the water boiled down. This leaves only a concentrated sweet sugar. Unfortunately, in the pure maple syrup world and an interest on PURE, there is no such animal. For a diabetic maple lover; it is their worst nightmare!

12. Are the darker syrups cheaper than lighter? Some producers price maple syrup on the different grades with the lighter grades of syrup being the most expensive. Some producers charge the same for any of the grades because it takes just as much labor and expense to make any of the grades of maple syrup.

13. How do you store maple syrup and what is its shelf life? If stored in a cool place (60º F or cooler) and is sealed properly, maple syrup will keep indefinitely.

14. What kind of maple trees can be tapped? Sugar maples are the preferred tree to tap. Red maples, black maples, silver maples and other soft maples are tapped also; depending on the stand of trees a producer may have on their property.

15. Can you tap other kinds of trees such as oak, birch, etc.)?  Other species of trees are not tapped for sap production because they do not have the same make-up as the maple tree.

16. How may species of maple trees are there?  Maple (genus: Acer) is made up of about 148 wild or cultivated trees and shrubs that are widely scattered throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The greatest number is in the Eastern Himalayas and China.

17. What are the nutrition facts of maple syrup? The nutrition facts on a serving size of 4 tablespoons are:  

Calories:  200
Total Fat:   0%
Sodium:   0%
Total Carbohydrates:   53g 
Sugars:  53g
Protein:   0%

18. How healty is maple syrup? Please read the article posted at this site:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=115

 

 


 

 

 


 

   

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