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Sorghum


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Just wondering... Back when  was a kid we'd travel to my Grandpa's house in KY. Along the way, during some warm months, we'd pass some men working a sorghum press with 2 mules. My dad would always stop and buy a gallon in those thin tin "paint cans" they put it in.

Does anybody do that anymore - or has it gone by the wayside like the "See Rock City" signs painted on barn roofs?

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Ya know I have heard the name before but didn't know what it is exactly, pretty diverse grain, last month it was grain of the month, don't know anything other than that.

 

06_JunSorghum.gif

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I am still looking for a press----- cant find one and no time to make one! Was going to try making light syrup.

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I’ve got a field of sorghum growing, but I had never heard of making syrup out of it. Around here people usually either hay sorghum or chop it for silage. 

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Grain Sorghum aka Milo isn’t used to make Molasses. The Molasses sorghum from my childhood days was tall.  Cut then hauled to press. It was pressed, bugs, worms and all , then the juice was cooked down. Grasshopper gave it a special flavor ?

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1 hour ago, Farmall Nut said:

Grain Sorghum aka Milo isn’t used to make Molasses. The Molasses sorghum from my childhood days was tall.  Cut then hauled to press. It was pressed, bugs, worms and all , then the juice was cooked down. Grasshopper gave it a special flavor ?

Hey, they dip them in chocolate.

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Molasses/syrup is made from sugar cane------still called sorghum.  Plant produces sugar in the stalk.

Grain sorghum (milo) produces a large head of seed------primarily used as a livestock feed.

And-------I hear growers talking about sorghum grass.

Apparently-------sorghum is a broad spectrum of similar grass/cane like plants.

I have grown Milo here in the Delta------and remember my mother's folks growing small patches of sugar cane and grinding and cooking down to a syrup back in the 40--50's in south Mississippi.

The sugarcane stalk was good to chop into short sticks and chew on for sugar-----the spit the dry matter out.

I am sure someone can shed much more light on the subject than me.

 

 

DD

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My buddy is the 4th Gen to raise and cook sorghum he ships it all over the U.S.

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I have raised sorghum Sudan grass. Been well over 8 foot tall and had stalks nearly an inch in diameter. Makes awesome silage and sweet if you chew on the stuff.  

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@Delta Dirt is mostly correct.

sorghum syrup is made from sweet sorghum. 'Molasses is made from sugar cane. They look very similar.

Sweet sorghum will make over our summer and can be grown in most of  the lower 48 states of the USA. Sorghum will not easily make granular sugar. Sorghum seeds are planted like most crops and originated in Africa.

Sugar cane takes about a year and a half to make and can only be grown in climates with frost free winters. Sugar cane will  make granular sugar. Sugar cane is from South Asia. Cuttings are planted in the soil. After harvest they will regrow and can be harvested again (ratoon crop). Sugar cane is grown in tropical and subtropical climates, primarily Florida, Louisiana and Texas in the USA. Before mechanization,  sugar cane was very labor intensive and encouraged the slavery olden times.

Because the union blocade during the US Civil War sugar was not imported into the confederacy.  This caused sorghum syrup to become popular in the southern US.

Thx-Ace 

 

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Thanks Ace-----I had never understood the difference in sorghum syrup and molasses.

While on the "syrup" subject-----some years ago before my last surviving aunt died in south Mississippi.  She told me how to reheat syrup without burning it.

The key is to place the syrup in a small pan------and then place the small pan into a larger pot with water.  Warm the water in the large pan and keep the direct flame off of the bottom of the smaller pan with the syrup in it.  Stir gently as syrup warms and re-incorporate the sugar into the syrup mix.

Don't figure that's anything new to the Maple syrup makers on here-----but was big news to this ol' Mississippi Delta red-neck.

 

DD

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Delta Dirt said:

The key is to place the syrup in a small pan------and then place the small pan into a larger pot with water.  Warm the water in the large pan and keep the direct flame off of the bottom of the smaller pan with the syrup in it.  Stir gently as syrup warms and re-incorporate the sugar into the syrup mix.

sounds very similar to a double boiler for delicate candies

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10 hours ago, Farmall Nut said:

Grain Sorghum aka Milo isn’t used to make Molasses. The Molasses sorghum from my childhood days was tall.  Cut then hauled to press. It was pressed, bugs, worms and all , then the juice was cooked down. Grasshopper gave it a special flavor ?

Slightly off topic but years ago I worked for a custom cutter that did some barley for a guy in Nebraska, he sold it to Coors. It was a bad year for grasshoppers, couldn’t keep em out of the grain tank. I asked what they did about them, answer I got was “ever read the label on a bottle of beer?  ‘And other inert ingredients’”!

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This is sorgum sudangrass drilled about 4 weeks ago following triticale.  Seems it is a crop with tremendous growth potential if conditions are right.  Almost like little corn leaves. 

Never heard of sorgum syrup.  Very interesting.

 

KIMG0498.JPG

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A neighbor of mine grew sorghum for syrup all his life. His dad and mom pressed sorghum for many folks around in the 40’s through the 60’s. Farms started getting bigger and the sorghum for syrup went by the wayside. He told over his parents farm in the early 70’s and he kept growing some. But the farm has been sold and he moved to Missouri closer to his son. He may have a press or two left. He said that his grandson wants to grow some sorghum.

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Here is a post I made about it last fall.  I plan on making more this year as well.  As you can see, I modified my press to run off the PTO now instead of mules.

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This fall when Dave dose his sorghum I try to get pictures he built a processor out of a 1 row corn chopper removed the cutting rolls and built pressing rolls a catch pan underneath with a pump to pump the juice into a 300 gallon tank leaves the mess in the field and hauls the juice to the cooker.

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