Maple Syrup FAQ

Scoop of Maple Syrup

~Frequently Asked Questions~

Q. How secure is ordering on your website?
A.
Extremely! Mount Mansfield Maple Products utilizes Authorize.net and PayPal Secure Checkout for every transaction. We take your security very seriously! This website has a dedicated SSL Security Certificate and encrypted shopping cart pages. In addition to these security measured, all sensitive financial information is sent through the secure servers of Authorize.net or Paypal and not through this site! We do not retain credit card information nor do we share any of your personal data with anyone.

Q. What forms of payment do you accept?
A.
We accept all major credit cards and PayPal. We will also accept USPS money orders and personal checks, however with money orders and checks, your order will not ship until payment has cleared. Depending on the season we may consider hard labor.

Q. What are the different grades of Maple Syrup?
A.
Maple Syrup grades have nothing to do with quality. All grades are the same quality. Grades correspond to how light or dark the color of Maple Syrup is. In Vermont there are four table grades of Maple Syrup from lightest to darkest: Grade Fancy, Grade A Medium Amber, Grade A Dark Amber, and Grade B. Generally, the darker the Maple Syrup, the heartier the Maple Flavor. Keep in mind that grade alone does not determine flavor. You may have two samples side by side that appear to be identical while the flavor differs dramatically. This is part of the charm with Maple Syrup! Each and every bottle you open will be a unique treat.
Maple Syrup Buyer's Guide

Q. Are there any additives or preservatives in Maple Syrup?
A.
Nope!!! Pure Vermont Maple Syrup does not contain additives, artificial flavors, or preservatives of any kind. In this regard it is the world's best all natural sweetener. Maple Syrup is all natural and 100% pure.

Q. Are Mansfield Maple containers BPA free?
A.
Yes. Our containers are bisphenol A (BPA) free. While there are several choices for plastic maple syrup jugs we use the industry leading Sugarhill Containers produced by Hillside Plastics. These containers are produced from high-density polyethylene and do not contain BPA as an additive, nor is BPA used in the manufacturing process.

Q. Is Mount Mansfield Maple Products maple syrup organic?
A.
All Pure Vermont Maple Syrup is essentially organic. It is produced by simply boiling the sap from sugar maple trees and nothing is added. The certification process to legally label maple syrup as organic is expensive and we have elected not to pay the fees for the organic sticker. Simply put, our maple syrup is just simply not "certified" organic.

Q. I keep hearing about formaldehyde. What is this all about?
A.
Many years ago, before the 1980's, there were a few sugarmakers who placed formaldehyde pellets into tap holes in trees to prolong the sugaring season and increase sap yields. This practice is both harmful to the tree and can contaminate the syrup. The use of formaldehyde pellets is illegal and there is no indication that anyone is currently using them. We have never heard of, or known any producer that has ever used formaldehyde. The bottom line is you can rest assured that maple syrup produced anywhere is likely formaldehyde free.

Q. What is the best way to store Maple Syrup?
A.
Maple Syrup should be stored in a cool place before opening and refrigerated after opening. If you need to store it for a very long time you can place it in the freezer, it will not freeze solid and will keep indefinitely!

Q. How much maple sap does it take to make a gallon of Maple Syrup?
A.
The amount of sap required to make a gallon of Maple Syrup depends on the sap's sugar content. If sap is 1% sugar it will take 86 gallons to make one gallon of Maple Syrup. At 2% sugar it will take 43 gallons to make one gallon of Maple Syrup. At Cloverdale Sugarhouse our Sugarbush tends to yield sap that is somewhere between 1% and 2% sugar. So we must process about 50 gallons of maple sap to produce one gallon of Maple Syrup. In a single day we can collect up to 12,000 gallons of maple sap!

Q. How long do you boil Maple Sap to make Maple Syrup?
A.
As long as it takes. maple sap officially becomes Maple Syrup when it reaches 66.9% sugar. The magic moment when maple sap turns into Maple Syrup is measured with a hydrometer. A density reading of 32 brix at 209+ degrees F means we have Maple Syrup! Another indicator is boiling temperature. The boiling point of Maple Syrup is seven degrees above the boiling point of water. When boiling maple sap reaches 219 degrees F, enough water has been removed to officially become Maple Syrup.

Q. What is a Reverse Osmosis (R.O.) Machine?
A.
Osmosis is the movement of water from a high concentration to a low concentration through a semi-permeable membrane. A Reverse Osmosis Machine essentially performs this process in reverse. Maple Sap is cycled through a series of membranes at very high pressure (200-500psi). Water in the sap passes through the membrane and is discarded, while the sugars in the sap are collected as a concentrate that is to be boiled on the evaporator. At Cloverdale Sugarhouse sap enters the R.O. Machine at 1% to 2% sugar and exits at 12% to 15%! This dramatically shortens the time required to boil the sap into Syrup and thus dramatically reduces the volume of fuel oil burned in the evaporator.

Q. Why is Maple Syrup produced only in the spring?
A.
Maple Syrup is produced by boiling down maple sap collected from Sugar Maple Trees. There are two main reasons why we only do this in the spring season. The first is that maple trees actively run sap the best if the tree goes through a freeze-thaw cycle. During the months of March and April we regularly have weather patterns that cause freezing at night and warm thaws during the day. The second reason is that maple trees produce sap best when it is just before the active growing season. Once the trees leaf out and begin to actively grow they heal very quickly and the holes we drilled in February dry up and heal over.

Have a question of your own? Shoot us an email through the contact form at the bottom of the about page!

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