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Stephen Saupe, Biology


Native Americans are the first people credited with processing syrup from the sap of maples trees, and the processes used to make maple syrup today are derived from their techniques (Henshaw, 1890). One of these procedures that the Native Americans used that is still utilized today is the freezing of sap. By allowing the sap to sit in below freezing temperatures, the water in the sap separates out and freezes on the top and is then able to be removed from the sap (Henshaw, 1890). This process helps to cut down on the amount of heat and time that is needed to evaporate the sap into syrup. A problem, however, is that it is possible that the ice that is removed form sap may hold a significant amount of sugar, making the removal of the ice counterproductive in maximizing syrup making efficiency. In our study, we measured the sugar concentration and volume of the ice that was frozen off of sap, as well as the sugar concentration and volume of the sap itself, in two different sized containers that would commonly be used in today’s sugar bush. We then analyzed our results and discussed whether or not the