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Fundamentals in Grading: Color (Video by UVM Extension)

August 3, 2020

The below video was produced by maple experts at the University of Vermont Extension, and narrated by fellow sugar maker Mark Isselhardt. The video covers the basics of color grading maple syrup.

Smoky Lake is an official dealer of Hanna® Color Graders, which is one of the tools featured in this video. This affordable, lightweight tool is applauded for making color grading quick, clear cut and straight forward.

Tips From This Video

  1. Grade color only AFTER density and clarity have been perfected
  2. If there are a lot of air bubbles in the syrup, allow it to sit before color grading
  3. Syrup may appear darker in a larger bottle compared to a small or thin bottle
  4. Syrup tends to darken over time
  5. If you are using a photometer — such as the Hanna Color Grader:
    • Be sure to calibrate according to the manufacturer’s instructions
    • Use clean containers
  6. If you are using a temporary grading kit:
    • Replace the kit annually or at least double check its accuracy
    • Store kits in a cool, dark location
    • Kits should be covered when not in use

Please note that not all equipment shown in this video is Smoky Lake brand equipment. However, the information is still valuable and we recognize it as a great educational tool.

Many thanks to the University of Vermont Extension who offers a vast library of resources/tutorials at no charge. It’s definitely worth checking out!

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