Wednesday: the science behind tapping maple syrup

Wednesday: the science behind tapping maple syrup

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Long before the bottle hits your breakfast table, maple syrup is weather-controlled. Whether the tap uses buckets or tubes, the sap flow depends on the forecast.

Months before the Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival in April, local operators are putting in long hours at the end of winter. Benedict Family Maple LLC. of Vermontville typically pats the trees around the President’s Day. However, this year’s outbreak in the Arctic delayed the collection process by about two weeks.

One of the main factors in sap flow is temperature. Brian Benedict says highs in the upper 30 to 40 with nightly lows at or below 28 degrees are ideal for sap flow. Pressure in the atmosphere can also affect flow. At high pressure, which brings good weather, the flow is better. Flow in stormy weather during low pressure is not ideal.

Color and taste are affected by temperature. In cold air, syrup tends to be lighter and has a light taste. The darkest syrup is when more the sugar is incorporated into the sap from warmer temperatures. A safe form of bacteria is also present in the sugars in maple syrup but is not harmful to …

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