Sorghum-Syrup Manufacture Page: 4
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FARMERS' BULLETIN 477.
or without the addition of the usual clarifiers, while sorghum molasses
is the liquid residue coming from the draining or centrifuging of
sorghum sugar. As very little, if any, sorghum sugar is manufac-
tured to-day, the product of farm manufacture could hardly be
termed "sorghum molasses." This confusion of terms may be due
in part to the fact that molasses is generally heavy and thick, while
sirup is lighter and thinner. Ordinary sorghum sirup is heavy in
appearance, due to the gummy material present, resembling molasses
more than it does a maple or cane sirup of equal density.
The manufacture of sorghum sirup is not a complicated process
requiring special skill. It does not necessarily call for expensive
apparatus or machinery nor are dangerous chemicals employed. The
processes to be described are simple, but as in all sugar or sirup
making cleanliness and dispatch are necessary, and unless one is very
careful, numerous unsuccessful trials may be made before a fine sirup
VARIETIES OF SORGHUM.1
In the broad sense of the word, sorghum includes all the groups
popularly known in this country as sorgo, sweet sorghum or sac-
charine sorghum, kafir, broom corn, shallu, kowliang, durra, and
milo, but only the first group is of practical interest. Saccharine
sorghums are recognized by their sweet sap or juice. They are, as
a rule, tall with a leafy growth, branching only sparingly at the
upper nodes or joints, and not stooling much at the base under
ordinary cultivation. The seed head varies from the close compact
" club " head of the Sumac sorghum through the rather more open
heads of Orange and Gooseneck, to the loose and often widely spread-
ing heads of the Amber and Honey varieties.
Beginning with the original importation of a single variety of
Chinese origin in 1853, there were in 1906 probably no less than 200
so-called varieties in cultivation. Most of them, however, never
attained any prominence outside of the locality where they origi-
nated. Ball has divided the sweet-sorghum varieties into three or
four groups, each consisting of a single well-marked variety and a
number of forms derived from it. Such groups are the Amber,
Orange, Sumac, and Gooseneck sorghums.
Amber sorghum is said to have developed in Indiana from the
original Chinese sorghum. It is an early variety and is sought for
that reason. It soon was called Early Amber, and when the seed
came from Minnesota was known as Minnesota Early Amber. From
70 to 100 days are necessary for the Amber sorghum to reach matu-
1 The notes and description of varieties are taken in part from Farmers' Bulletin 246,
"Saccharine Sorghume for Forage," by Carleton R. Ball.
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Bryan, A. Hugh (Albert Hugh), 1874-1920; Hudson, C. H. & Sherwood, S. F. Sorghum-Syrup Manufacture, pamphlet, 1918; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85697/m1/4/: accessed February 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.