Hobbyists : Here’s the easiest way to make your own maple syrup !
We’ve collected a few simple ways to successfully make your own maple syrup using a few essential tools you can get at CDL.
HOW DO YOU CHECK YOUR SYRUP’S PRECISE BOILING TEMPERATURE?
First you need a syrup thermometer, like our candy thermometer (71750426 – see image A) or our dial thermometer (72920003 – see image B). You’ll need to calibrate it by determining your water’s boiling point. That might seem basic, but atmospheric pressure can change this so-called absolute temperature. That’s why we suggest doing the following to identify the exact boiling point for your own system and location.
Place the thermometer (A) or stem (B) in boiling water for at least one minute. The water should boil between 211 °F and 213 °F depending on the atmospheric pressure. Let’s say your water boils at 212 °F. With the candy thermometer, your syrup would be ready at 7 °F more, so at 219 °F. With the dial thermometer, when the water boils, you set the needle to zero; when the needle reads 7 °F above the boiling point, the syrup is ready.
HOW DO YOU CHECK THE DENSITY OF YOUR SYRUP?
Pouring the syrup at the right temperature doesn’t necessarily mean it will have the right density. That’s why you should always check it. To do that, you’ll need a cup like our model 678489 (see image C) and a hydrometer like our model 66841 (see picture D). You’re looking for a density between 66.00 and 66.20 Brix. Pour syrup into the cup and put the hydrometer into the syrup, then wait a few minutes to let the hydrometer adjust to the syrup temperature. The hydrometer floats on the syrup; when the red line is even with the surface, it means your syrup is the right thickness. If the line is above the surface of the syrup, it means the syrup is too thick. Conversely, if you can’t see the line, your syrup isn’t thick enough. Syrup that’s too thick will leave a white crystalline sugar deposit in your containers because it has a higher sugar level. If your syrup is too thick and you’re still boiling, make the next pour a little lighter (for example 0.5 °F lower), and mix your new pour with your first. If your syrup is too thin, do the opposite.
These are far from the only measuring instruments available! Ask your CDL representative or store for more information.