Maple Candy experiment: Do crystals form smaller if cooled faster

Maple Candy experiment: Do crystals form smaller if cooled faster? This time, we made candy you can eat, really it tasted like pancakes. Maple candy is really easy to make and fun to eat. Before we began we found some videos on YouTube and read about how crystals are formed.  This was a fun experiment because we just visited the Endless Caverns, where we learned how crystal formation was formed.

What you need:

  • Maple SyrupInduction Cooktop (any stove top will work)
  • pan
  • candy thermometer
  • 100% pure maple syrup
  • Pam –
  • Magnifying Glass

Hypothesis:

By super cooling Maple Candy will the crystal be smaller than if you leave them on the counter to cool. Do crystals form smaller if supercooled?

What you do:

  1. Pour four cups 100% Maple Syrup in a pot.
  2. Bring maple syrup to boil stir until the temperature reached 250 degrees.
  3. Stir occasionally, as the syrup will foam and left unattended it will burn (best to have a parent help).
  4. Boil till the syrup reaches 250 degrees (hard ball stage).
  5. Turn off oven. 
  6. Stir syrup mixture before pouring into pan.
  7. Pour one-half in greased pan and place in the fridge.
  8. Set timer for 10 minutes – Let syrup cool to below 170 degrees.
  9. Make sure to stir syrup mixture before pouring into pan.
  10. Pour cooled syrup into greased pan and let it cool for 1-2 hours.
  11. Grab a magnifying glass and see which candy has bigger crystals.
  12. Eat and enjoy.

What we discovered:

img_3180That larger crystal formed in the maple syrup that sat on the counter.  You could actually see them and when you tasted the candy you could feel it in your mouth (super cool).  We forgot to stir the syrup before we put it in the pan so it didn’t crystallize that well.  Our mixture was more like taffy. Stirling the syrup first would have helped it harden and form bigger crystals.  Make sure you have a parent to help because the syrup gets very hot.  The one in the fridge did have crystals but you couldn’t see them because they were so small.

Science behind it: 

The freezing point for sugar is very high.  We heated up the maple syrup to evaporate the water, once this was done at 250 degrees the sugar molecules can bond together. These form crystals that stack together in a repeating pattern into cubes. The size depends on how fast it cools. This is why the candy in the fridge crystals was so small.

Items we used to make our experiment:

About Chrissie

Follow our crazy journey across America as we visit roadside oddities, historical land marks and beautiful landscapes. I have ton of ideas and review educational products that will help you get the most on your home school adventure. We are an Unschool family that believes the world is our classroom and is teaching our children to self direct their education to a better future.