SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Dave Hively and his family have been producing Maple Syrup for six generations at the Misty Maples Sugar House in Salem, but this year he says they are struggling to produce syrup because of the heat.
In Hively’s backyard is about four miles of tubing connected to taps on nearly 500 trees. The sap travels through the tree depending on the temperature. When its warmer, the sap travels up the tree and when it is cold, the sap travels back down into the roots.
Hively taps the trunk of the tree and collects sap as it travels to the roots, but the warmer weather is impacting that process and the look and flavor of the syrup. The warmer temperatures accelerate the bacteria growth that makes darker syrup.
The darker syrup has a more robust flavor while the lighter syrup has a more delicate flavor.
“We’ve got 325 gallons of syrup made now, which is about a third of what we want,” Hively said. “If it would have stayed cold like it should have in January and February, we would have made a lot more light.”
The bacteria that changes the color and flavor of the syrup is perfectly safe and some people prefer it. The syrup is boiled to 220 degrees before it is packaged.