Birch & Walnut Syrups: Past the Maple

Transfer apart, maple! We’ve two new syrups so as to add to the desk. Try this perception on tapping, promoting, and consuming syrup from walnut & birch bushes.

The next is an excerpt from Farming the Woods by Steve Gabriel and Ken Mudge. It has been tailored for the net.

Walnut Syrup

Walnut (Juglans spp.) bushes are fantastic nut producers and in addition present potential high-value wooden merchandise. If bushes are usually not candidates for the latter, then tapping along with nut harvest is usually a good mixture of yields for the forest farmer.

The tapping of walnut additionally opens up the potential for sugaring for forest farmers in hotter temperate climates discovered within the southern United States and elements of the Midwest.

Potential Sap Yields

Whereas the fundamentals of tapping, harvesting, and boiling walnut are the identical as with maple and birch, the potential yields are a lot decrease.

Walnut bushes have an identical sap-to-syrup ratio as maple syrup, however sap yields (quantity per tree) from bushes look like decrease. Walnut sap flows in response to the freeze/thaw dynamics comparable to people who make the maple sap run, so usually the necessity to boil is concurrent with maple syrup.

Whereas there’s nonetheless analysis to be executed, it isn’t extremely doubtless that black walnut syrup will grow to be its personal market. As a substitute, it’s endorsed as a passion pursuit or for the business grower to contemplate boiling walnut together with maple, and promoting this mix for a better worth.

Certainly, a small variety of growers are doing this and getting as a lot as $60 a gallon for his or her walnut-maple syrup (in contrast for $45 a gallon for pure maple). That is largely due to the novelty.

Variations Between Syrups: Walnut vs. Maple

By itself, walnut syrup is just like maple syrup; it may be fairly astringent however is infused with the nutty style one would possibly anticipate from it.

Researchers from Kansas State College not too long ago experimented with producing black walnut syrup, then did some client analysis on preferences for black walnut versus maple syrup.

They discovered no important variations on the likability scale between these two syrups and concluded that black walnut syrup may develop as a distinct segment market within the Midwest.43

Tapping Walnut Timber

syrupsOften it isn’t beneficial that bushes destined for timber markets be tapped, regardless of the species.

But an attention-grabbing latest anecdote is that tapped maple wooden has been profitable when offered as a high-value wooden in area of interest markets, the place the staining is seen as a novel characteristic fascinating to some for adorning properties and celebrating the wealthy custom of sugaring.

The identical potential may maintain true for black walnut, although it’s exhausting to know.

One main distinction is that the discoloration left by a faucet in maple wooden is usually a darkish stain on white wooden, however the black walnut develops a really darkish brown heartwood, and it’s unclear what impact tapping would have on this.

So if timber is a transparent purpose for walnut bushes, it’s higher to depart them untapped. Walnut bushes with poor type and defects are good attainable candidates for experimentation. Timber with a good timber potential may be tapped decrease on the tree.

Birch Syrup

Those that already faucet maples might wish to take into account additionally tapping birch bushes, ought to they be lucky sufficient to have a stand of their woods.

Birch sap doesn’t normally start flowing till the top of maple season, and for the reason that identical gear is used for each, maple producers may merely change over and proceed to make syrup.

After all, there’s a catch: Whereas a gallon of completed maple syrup takes 40 to 50 gallons of sap, it’s extra like 100 to 200 for birch, as a result of it has a a lot decrease sugar content material (1 to 1.5 %).

Promoting Birch Syrup

The additional time and expense can repay, nonetheless, as birch syrup is offered for $350 to $400 a gallon (maple is $45 to $60 for a gallon), and with demand far outstripping provide, it’s a farmer’s market.

Many of the out there birch syrup comes from Canada and Alaska, the place birch forests are extra frequent. However many northern states have the potential to “faucet” into their birches as a supply of syrup.

Birch Syrup Flavors

Birch syrup shouldn’t be for pancakes. It’s fruity, spicy, and typically harking back to molasses or licorice in taste. The first sugar in birch syrup is fructose, in comparison with maple, which incorporates largely sucrose.

The previous is touted to be a neater sugar to digest and in addition incorporates the bottom glycemic index of all sugars, which makes it essentially the most appropriate sugar to be used by diabetics. The syrup boasts a excessive vitamin C content material and good quantities of potassium, manganese, thiamin, and calcium.

Birch Syrup Season

syrupsWhereas maple and black walnut saps run in response to dramatic modifications in temperature dynamics (also called stem strain), birch sap operates off root strain, which requires that temperatures keep above freezing day and night time.

Thus, since assortment and boiling gear is similar, birch may very well be seen as a type of season extension for sugarmakers.

Researching Syrups

In 2012 researchers on the Cornell Maple Program station in Lake Placid, New York, tapped round 4 hundred birch bushes and produced about 30 gallons of syrup.

Mike Farrell, director of this system, plans to develop manufacturing to 6 hundred to seven hundred bushes and develop a major analysis and Extension effort on “the organic, technological, processing and financial facets of birch and walnut syrup manufacturing.”

Analysis targets embody figuring out the perfect occasions for tapping, sugar concentrations of bushes, client preferences, and the impression on lumber high quality, together with trying on the economics.45


43. Matta, Z., E. Chambers, and G. Naughton. 2004. Shopper and descriptive sensory evaluation of black walnut syrup. Journal of Meals Science. 70. 9: S610–S613; Naughton, G. G., W. A. Geyer, and E. Chambers IV. 2006. Making syrup from black walnut sap.Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science. 109. 3:214–220.

45. Shackford, S. 2013. Researchers faucet potential of walnut and birch bushes. Cornell Chronicle. 1 January 2014. researchers-tap-potential-walnut-and-birch-trees.

Really useful Reads

Maple Syrup 101: Spouts, Tapping, and Timber

Move the Walnut Syrup?

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