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Thread: Finishing syrup question, sediment issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Central Vt
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    Default Finishing syrup question, sediment issues

    Ok, looking at the syrup from last season I find as I use it I end up with a dark residue on the bottom of the jars. My barrel evaporator used hotel pans so the syrup tended to burn on the sides of the pans since they set down in the fire. This along with some smoke and ash sneaking around the sides of the pans added sediment. My filtering and bottling was done right after finishing the syrup on a stove. We filtered through wool with a sythetic prefilter. For this season my goal is to make syrup that I could sell/barter and the residue while not an issue for me might put off others. I will be building a new pan setup that will take care of the side burning of the hotel pans and seal up the arch better with cloth, but the finishing is where I have questions. Should I finish to syrup, let cool and then re-heat to bottle , and if so what temp is good for bottling ? What is the trick for getting the syrup to filter through the wool filters ? I seem to loose alot of syrup in the filter and would like it to flow better. I filter the near syrup already as it comes out of the syrup pan on the arch.

    This "hobby" definitely will be a lifelong learnign curve, but it sure is something sweet to look forward to every muddy spring !
    31 Taps in 2011 with buckets, Barrel evap
    45+ Taps for 2012 with buckets, 2x5 Dryer Arch with steel pans ! 8x11 Sugar Shack, Dump Stations,
    Goal : 60 Taps for 2013, Drop tube setup, Divided front pan, Insulated Dryer arch, AUF, Relocate Sugar Shack...hope for longer season.
    Reality : 60 taps, Insulate Dryer arch....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Nova Scotia
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    Hello Smokeyamber,
    I have had similar sediment issues like you and here is how I go about dealing with it. I'm not high production, so can't justify a filter press and I find the orlon filters tend to keep alot of my hard earned syrup in thier clutches. I typically finish 2-3 gallons at a time.
    When my syrup is finished, I filter through cheese cloth and let it set in a canner for a couple of days. Most of the sugar sand/sediment/sludge will settle to the bottom of the pot. I then carefully pour off the clear syrup into another pot until the sediment starts to come out. You will see it streak out in the clear syrup. I dump the rest of the syrup into another jug(the sludge jug) and set it aside.
    From here, the clear syrup is re-boiled and bottled or poured cold into 1 gal. plastic water jugs and stored in the freezer until I need to bottle more. Sometimes, there will be a bit more sediment settle out in the stored syrup, but not much. Once re-boiled and bottled, it is crystal clear.
    As for the sludge jug, I pour the dregs of each batch into this jug. We keep this jug for the season. When held to the light, you can see the clear syrup on top and the sludge on the bottom. The clear is poured off and is for family use.
    To answer your questions, syrup must be bottled at at least 180 degrees. My experience is: glass - it can be boiling, Plastic needs to be just above the 180 mark so the sides of the jugs don't suck in when they cool.
    The wool filters need to be wet with water and wrung out before use. The syrup also needs to be boiling. Not much syrup will pass through before they are plugged. That means they are doing their job. When you see what settles out in the canner the way I do it, not much wonder.
    I know serious producers hate to re-boil finished syrup and risk de-grading, and that wool and orlon filters give you clear syrup ready for bottling. This system has worked well for me. I have orlon filters, but they see little use in my camp.
    You are right on the mark about it being a lifelong learning curve! Just look at my thoughts on maple below!
    Best of luck!
    Darren
    16 x 20 log sugar camp
    D&G "Sportsman" evaporator
    Parallel flow preheater and steam hood
    85 buckets, 75 drop lines & 115 on tubing
    All red maples
    Honda 450 Foreman sap hauler
    2 great kids and a wonderful wife
    (wife thinks I have an expensive hobby;I remind her I don't have any bad habits!)
    Thoughts on maple? The test generally comes just ahead of the lesson!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    east kingston, nh
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    3,490

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    Your bottling too hot. don't bring your filtered syrup up past 195* niter will begin to form. you won't notice it until things settle. You don't need a filter press to get crystal clear syrup. I use synthetic flat filters over a hotel pan(wool too slow) that has an ss spigot welded into it. So I use 2 sheets of flat filter and several sheets of pre filter I dip the filter in some hot water to get it going the pour the syrup right on it put the cover on to keep it warm(cold syrup doesn't filter well) as the prefilters fill with the nasty stuff I pull it off and there is a fresh one ready to go. then it goes into a 5 gallon jug. and stays in the sugarhouse this is finished syrup but its not heat sealed. It then gets re-heated not re-boiled to 190* then goes through the filter and prefilters again then into a another 5 gallon container and sealed and its good until I use it. when bottling time comes. I pour the finished syrup into the spigoted hotel an and slowly bring it up to temperature 190* heat it too fast and you will get hot spots where niter can form. and then it goes into bottles jugs whatever. I always check my syrup after it gets filtered to make sure its not too dense. I switchout from a cone filter 1 because he cone filters are way more expensive and they are too slow. hope that helps.
    may your sap be at 3%
    Brad

    www.willowcreeksugarhouse.com
    27 gravity, 64 buckets, est. 500 or so on Vacuum for 2014. maybe add 100 for 2015.
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    less than10 monthsuntil the start of the 2015 maple season

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Leeds County,Ontario,Canada
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    Have you considered a flat filter,if you had anything to set it across?You don't need to be 36x 36,you could cut it in half or something,and use a paper prefilter.The sediment hoses right off when you are done with it.I found the cone filters tend to be slow,and you are concentrated in one area for filtering,the very bottom.When you pour more syrup in,it stirs up the sediment in the bottom and then some gets through
    6th generation maple producer in sugarhouse built in 1892
    2x World Champion Maple Syrup Producer
    1250 taps on cv adapters
    Leader Vortex 3x14 with Max Flue and Revolution Syrup Pan
    www.leggettmaplesyrup.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maplebrook View Post
    The wool filters need to be wet with water and wrung out before use.
    Good responses to the original question....only one small clarification. When you wring out the filters, don't twist them....just squeeze. If you twist them, over time you'll break fibers and create holes that niter can pass through.
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 12-02-2011 at 08:13 PM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Alexandria, NH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maplebrook View Post
    You will see it streak out in the clear syrup. I dump the rest of the syrup into another jug(the sludge jug) and set it aside.
    Maplebrook, we call that sludge jug "house syrup" over here!
    2 x 6 Grimm raised flue for 2012 season. Rebuilding a 3 x 13 for 2013. 51 Ford 8N, St. Bernard, 30+ chickens.

    http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m257/cardigan99/

  7. #7
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Nova Scotia
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    Default

    Great discussion guys!
    I should have clarified - I was using cone filters; may re-visit and give the flat filters and paper pre-filters a try.
    I've never had more niter form during my re-boiling and bottling times...I have just checked some of the 25 glass bottles I put up 2 nights ago for our Christmas gifts.
    Thanks, Dr. Tim, I was a wringer, not a squeezer!
    Cardigan99, roger the house syrup. We call it "family use only" or "cooking syrup".
    Darren
    16 x 20 log sugar camp
    D&G "Sportsman" evaporator
    Parallel flow preheater and steam hood
    85 buckets, 75 drop lines & 115 on tubing
    All red maples
    Honda 450 Foreman sap hauler
    2 great kids and a wonderful wife
    (wife thinks I have an expensive hobby;I remind her I don't have any bad habits!)
    Thoughts on maple? The test generally comes just ahead of the lesson!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Central Vt
    Posts
    304

    Thumbs up

    Wow, awesome responses...

    So if I bring finished syrup up to boil I will niter every time ? That is my issue since I bottle it at boiling temp.

    Ok so here is what I will change : boil to finish then filter through flat filters and let sit and cool down for missed niter to settle, decant and then heat to 190 and filter through flat filters ( second filter necessary ? ) and bottle.

    Thanks to everyone for the feedback , this site will save me years of hit-or-miss on this stuff !!!
    31 Taps in 2011 with buckets, Barrel evap
    45+ Taps for 2012 with buckets, 2x5 Dryer Arch with steel pans ! 8x11 Sugar Shack, Dump Stations,
    Goal : 60 Taps for 2013, Drop tube setup, Divided front pan, Insulated Dryer arch, AUF, Relocate Sugar Shack...hope for longer season.
    Reality : 60 taps, Insulate Dryer arch....

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