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Author Topic: Maple Syrup Question  (Read 1682 times)

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Offline Keith Shirley

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Maple Syrup Question
« on: February 13, 2016, 06:33:01 PM »
                A question for you syrup makers.    Im a very small time syrup maker. I tapped 50 trees this year and last year. I came close, but never cooked off a gallon in one day. I collected in 1 gallon milk jugs and made 8 gallon of syrup out of roughly 500 gallon of sap. Several of the jugs would run over between checking, so this year I am using 5 gallon buckets.
               We had three good days last week and made 1.75 gallon with 90 gallon of sap. Then the weather went south and everything is frozen for now. My pan is 24X32X8 on a wood stove built the size of the pan. After boiling 40-50 gallon down to 1.5 to 2 in this pan I switch to a smaller pan on a gas burner to finish cooking.
             I filter with a pre filter and filter bought from Sugar Bush Supplies.  I filter the sap when I move from the larger pan to the small. The saps runs through this fine. When I try to filter after the syrup is finished, it will not run through the pre filter, let alone both. So I also filter about half way through the final cooking. I am using a hydrometer and cooking to the top red line, sometimes maybe a mark below. I try to filter as soon as its reached this lever, so the syrup is HOT.
              My question. Do the big boys use some kind of pressure system to filter with, or am I doing something wrong, If so what? The syrup taste great, but last year 3 or 4 batches separated. It did not sugar, just the bottom inch or so turned somewhat cloudy
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Offline r.man

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Re: Maple Syrup Question
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2016, 07:02:00 PM »
The cloudy part could be due to two things. One would be inadequate filtering and the other could be that after the final filtering the syrup was brought to a boil. This will cause clean syrup to be cloudy. When bottling the syrup should be heated to 180 degrees but you should not boil after the final filtering. Big producers use a filter press but gravity should work if the syrup is hot and not too dirty. Personally I follow my grandmothers way and allow my syrup to sit for at least a few days to settle the debris to the bottom in the tallest narrow container the volume will fit in. Pour off the top until you reach the cloudy part, save the cloudy parts and add them together to settle in an appropriate sized container. Eventually I will get unfiltered syrup leftover that is so dirty it cannot be filtered. It goes into the compost.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup Question
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2016, 08:08:51 PM »
  The old family recipe for cleaning syrup was to run it through cheese cloth into the cream can at the sugar shack.  It was then allowed to cool in the can and then put in a large vessel on the kitchen stove.  Mom would scramble an egg per gallon of syrup and add them and bring it back to a boil.  As the syrup heats and cooks the eggs they float to the top and are skimmed off and thrown away after the residual syrup drains out of them through a cheese cloth.  The syrup was then filtered through a pre filter and a felt bag and canned.  My ancestors used the egg filtering.  I'm not sure how far back it goes but that's how it was done and it works very well.  Anyone else ever used eggs to remove impurities from syrup ???  We just picked up an orlon bag and some pre filters today but still plan on using eggs.
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Offline r.man

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Re: Maple Syrup Question
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2016, 08:23:46 PM »
I have used eggs and milk, same idea trap impurities in a solid form that can be skimmed off before filtering. I don't bother using anything other than settling now, simpler and works as well or better. The one place where settling is a problem is if the maker likes to finish and bottle the syrup in a short period of time. I would rather wait than rinse filters.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which. Dec 2014

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup Question
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2016, 08:52:39 PM »
The syrup absolutely has to be hot to pass through the filter!

Takes right at 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.
~Chuck~
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Offline millwright

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Re: Maple Syrup Question
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2016, 08:14:33 AM »
I bought a filter press a few years ago and it works good, but I still prefer to put the finished syrup in gallon glass jugs and let it settle out. Then when that's done take the stuff that is at the bottom and use it for making maple candy, as it is mostly sugar

Offline r.man

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Re: Maple Syrup Question
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2016, 09:07:08 AM »
Millwright you are settling heavy syrup, not debris. We prefer to leave the syrup heavy for taste, less syrup by volume at the end of the season but very sweet compared to syrup with the correct sugar content. Whatever you get used to and we do get sugar forming in the bottom of some of the bottles. My wife was extracting sugar crystals yesterday from the bottom of a jar that had been forgotten in the fridge. The sugar was an inch deep.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which. Dec 2014

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup Question
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2016, 10:33:51 AM »
If you get crystals in the bottom of a glass jar, be careful at removing them, the jar will break easily.

Best way I've found to remove them is by adding warm water and partially dissolving them.
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer


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