How to Use a Sap Hydrometer
Sap Hydrometers will tell you the amount of Sugar Content in your sap straight from the tree. Depending on the type of sap hydrometer you have, tall or short, you will need a cup that is almost as tall as your sap hydrometer. Or you may just set the sap hydrometer in a pail or tank.
How to Use:
Sap Hydrometers are calibrated to work with cold sap (38 degrees F). Much higher temperatures will give a false reading.
- Be sure to hold onto the hydrometer tightly until it is floating on its own. A hydrometer released in sap can hit the bottom of the cup or pail and crack the glass. This is a VERY fragile instrument.
- When your sap hydrometer is floating read the number that is floating at the surface of the sample. This is your sugar content. Average ranges are from 2 to 3.5 percent.
Rule of 86:
Divide the sugar content of your sap (from your sap hydrometer) into 86 to find out how many gallons of sap it will take to make one gallon of Pure Maple Syrup.
Example: Sugar Content = 2.5
86 divided by 2.5 = 34.4 gallons
It will take 34.4 gallons of sap to make one gallon of Pure Maple Syrup from 2.5 percent maple sap.
Hydrometers are fragile, glass instruments. They must be handled very cautiously. We recommend that you keep a spare on hand in case of breakage.