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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Frozen Maple Sap

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03-26-2011 19:02:13

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The Wisconsin cold is freezing some of the sap in my storage containers. Tasting the ice, it seems to me that there is no sugar in it although there is plenty of sugar in the unfrozen sap. Is anyone familiar with this and can I simply discard the ice instead of trying to evaporate it once it is in the pan? Obviously, I am looking for confirmation and/or education. I don't make a lot of syrup but don't want to waste the ice if I shouldn't. Thanks for any insights you can give!

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03-28-2011 08:42:59

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 Re: Frozen Maple Sap in reply to Moki, 03-26-2011 19:02:13  
Thanks to all of you. Now I"ll have to think about my position relative to thin ice! Maybe what I need is a tester as mentioned -- it sounds like a fun tool and might be very informative. Thanks again!

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03-27-2011 09:04:18

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 Re: Frozen Maple Sap in reply to Moki, 03-26-2011 19:02:13  
My grandfather used to make a little syrup with the old fashioned spiles and buckets. When we would get cold nights he would go out in the a.m. and pick the ice off the top of the sap in the buckets and throw it out as he claimed there was no sugar in it, not sure that this was ever tested to prove or disprove his theory.

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Cal Innes

03-27-2011 04:33:45

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 Re: Frozen Maple Sap in reply to Moki, 03-26-2011 19:02:13  
Here in North-central Maine things have frozen up for several days now. I have a few hundred gallons of sap on hand so I guess we will boil it off this morning. As to the ice issue, I am in agreement with Wardner about the ice. While there is some sugar in the ice..... it aint much!Sometimes the ice is porous so holds an amount of good sap. If the ice is frozen hard, there is less sugar. I boil it all.... me being one to not waste anything. We boil with wood so fuel really is not an issue around here. Hopefully mid week the weather will break and things will let loose. Everything we have made so far has been light and exceptionally good taste. Enjoy the spring! Cal

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03-26-2011 20:50:29

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 Re: Frozen Maple Sap in reply to Moki, 03-26-2011 19:02:13  
I have a digital maple sap refractometer. I tested some 1/4" thick sap ice this morning. It came in at 0.40%. Normal sap from a sugar maple is around 2.5%. Full-crown open-grown large Sugar Maples can deliver 3.0% to 4.0%. I have one tree that averages 5.5%. That's thirteen times better than sap ice. It takes one tenth the fuel to boil it off.

I have good trees. I don't boil anything less than 2.5%. To me, it is a waste of time and fuel. However, there are many producers that have to boil 1.5% because that is all they have. You will find those low yields in forest grown Red and Silver maples.

We are getting some great sap weather in eastern MA. This is going to be a very long and productive season. At least a double from last year.
This post was edited by Wardner at 07:45:59 03/27/11 3 times.

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Zachary Hoyt

03-26-2011 19:59:28

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 Re: Frozen Maple Sap in reply to Moki, 03-26-2011 19:02:13  
My first run this year was in February and was not enough to boil, so I left it in a can and it froze solid. When I decided to boil it I had to chip it out with a hatchet and put the chips in the pan. I have also heard the thing about throwing away the ice, but now I don't think I will any more.

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03-26-2011 19:45:03

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 Re: Frozen Maple Sap in reply to Moki, 03-26-2011 19:02:13  
Ice will freeze, leaving the sugars mostly unfrozen, especially if it freezes slowly. Chemists sometimes use freezing as a method of concentrating a solution, and sap is a solution of water, sugars and minerals....

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03-26-2011 19:34:15

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 Re: Frozen Maple Sap in reply to Moki, 03-26-2011 19:02:13  
I've always heard that the ice in the bucket from a light freeze is mostly water and can be tossed. If it freezes real hard out, then more of the sugary water starts freezing and you should keep the ice. Never did any tests or such, just what I've been told. Myself, I keep all the ice cause it keeps the sap cold while storing it.

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