Sugaring 2013–Calibrating My Syrup Thermometer
As part of my new syrup pan set-up I had a port for a syrup thermometer installed at the draw off on the pan. Nothing fancy as most syrup pans have this, but little did I know that I had to calibrate the thermometer.
The thermometer is specifically made for sugaring, and was purchased at Bascom’s Maple Store, and came with my syrup pan as an option. As you can see from the dial face the gauge starts at zero and then goes up from there. The thermometer needs to be calibrated so that the zero equals the boiling point of water, in most cases 212F.
To calibrate the thermometer I needed to immerse it passed the groove on the thermometer’s stem in boiling water for 3 minutes and then adjust the little set screw if necessary to zero the thermometer.
I found that it was easier to hold the thermometer in the boiling pot of water by sticking the stem through a 5/8” wrench. It kept my hands far enough away from the boiling water and heat, and also helped to securely hold the thermometer when making the small adjustment to zero the thermometer.
I had to make one small adjustment because the thermometer was reading about a degree lower than zero after being submerged for about 3 minutes. I simply adjusted the set screw and the thermometer was zeroed.
For those that may not know, maple syrup is made when the temperature of the syrup is approximately 7 degrees above the boiling point of water. Hence the significance of the 7 on the dial. When the liquid I am boiling reaches the 7 degree mark I can begin to draw off some syrup from the pan and confirm its density and finish it on the stove if necessary. Hopefully this will be a little more accurate than the thermometer I was using last year in my pans which tended to read a little hotter than it was suppose to.
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