Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE95-114.
We boiled five times and averaged 25-30 gallons of syrup per boil. The sugar content of the raw juice averaged between 13 and 16% sugar when measured with a refracto-meter. Seven or eight gallons of juice were required to produce one gallon of syrup.
Our biggest accomplishment was that we proved sweet sorghum syrup could be successfully produced in Vermont. We learned many things throughout our first try at it. When we began our inquiry of sorghum production it became increasingly clear that there were more than a few ways of doing things. We soon concluded that there were as many correct ways as there were producers, advisers and story tellers. Sorghum is a traditional crop in the southern states and we obtained more of our information from this region. We found that sorghum is relatively easy to grow and doesn’t require much land to produce a significant amount of syrup. Obtaining the necessary equipment was a challenge, as there is non available in our area. Sorghum presses are scarce and we were lucky to locate a small one in Tennessee that was in good shape. My original plan was to boil sorghum syrup with maple syrup pans, but they aren’t interchangeable and sorghum will burn if it is boiled in maple syrup pans.