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Thread: Vacuum boiled Maple Syrup.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Mason, New Hampshire
    Posts
    156

    Default Vacuum boiled Maple Syrup.

    So I know I've been none existent on this forum this year. Mainly because I've been spending every extra second I've got getting my vacuum boiler fully working before birch season. Well now it's fully operational and I ran a bunch of maple through it. I've made 1qt of syrup finished it at about 100 degrees F at about -28 inches of mercury. It's very thick, about the consistency of honey and has no smell. It seems that the low temp boil caused the sugar sands to stay dissolved in the syrup, so in spite of it's thickness it was easy to filter. I don't know what the brix value is I have no way to measure it. Considering how thick it is I'd say very high! As for the flavor you'd have to ask my chickens. I haven't tasted it yet, because even though I was continuously sterilizing the sap with a UV sterilizer, the interior of the container was perfect for botulism growth if the bacteria had managed to hide in a dark corner adhered to the wall. So if my chickens don't show any signs of poisoning by tomorrow I'll taste some. Better safe than dead. Anyway, I've attached somes images of the syrup. Next up, grade A birch syrup!
    DSC_0318.jpg
    Notice how thick this is as it falls.

    DSC_0334.jpg


    DSC_0346.jpg
    Quite a while after pouring there are still bubbles suspended in the syrup!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Alcona County, Michigan
    Posts
    1,134

    Default

    This is very interesting to me. How did you get the vacuum? I could easily preheat my sap to more than 140 degf by using a heat exchanger from the home heating loop of my wood fired boiler. I would only need about 24" vacuum to boil sap at that temp. Then I could heat it to 185 for a while to sterilize and bottle it. Or I could just use vacuum instead of an RO and then finish on the kitchen stove to get some carmelization. So howja doit?
    CE
    44° 41′ 3″ N

    2019 -- 44 Red Maples - My home and sugarbush are for sale.
    2018 -- 48 Red Maples, 7 gallons
    2017 -- 84 Red Maples, 1 Sugar Maple, and 1 Silver Maple , 13 gallons
    2016 -- 55 Red Maples, 8 gallons
    2015 -- 15 Red Maples, 6 Birches - 3+ gallons maple syrup
    An awning over my deck is my sugar shack.
    An electrified kitchen sink and an electrified steam table pan are my evaporators.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    northfield, CT
    Posts
    1,526

    Default

    Very interesting indeed. How do you know its to syrup tho if you have no way to check it? And if you went thru all that spend 20 bucks and get a hydrometer!
    11x29 sugarhouse
    2x8 airtight arch homemade with waterloo flue pan, welded syrup pan and parallel flow preheater hood
    250gph cdl ro
    1100+ taps for 2014, approx 1000 of them vac
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crowh...5582993?ref=hl

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lyman, NH
    Posts
    2,311

    Default

    I believe there used to be evaporators that used the heat from the steam of the primary evaporator to boil sap in another pan kept at a partial vacuum. The vacuum pans sat above the primary pans like a piggyback as I recall.
    2012: Probably 750 gravity taps and 50 buckets.

    600 gal stainless milk tank.
    2 - 100 gallon stock tanks
    one 30 gal barrel
    50 buckets

    3' x 10' Waterloo Raised Flue wood fired evaporator w/ open pans.

    12" x 20" Filter Canner

    Sawmill next to sugarhouse solves my sugarwood problem

    Gather with GMC 3500 2wd Pickup w/ 425 gallon Plastic Tank.

    Been tapping here in Lyman NH since 1989 but I've been sugaring since 8 years old in 1968.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Mason, New Hampshire
    Posts
    156

    Default

    Well my syrup has started to crystallize so it's high brix. I haven't seen any place to buy the proper hydrometer, I'm sure they'er around I just haven't bothered. I think I need to add a little distilled water to it and shake it up. I can tell how much water is in it approximately based on the temp and pressure it's boiling at. The machine has a Plexiglas lid so I can inspect the sap during the boil down. Once it becomes syrup it's pretty obvious, but the machine automatically shuts down once the temp exceeds 100F and if you can't keep the temp below 100F at -28 inches of mercury than you don't have much water in there anymore. Since the temp never gets much over 100F using plastic isn't a problem. Foam is no problem in a near vacuum, it just doesn't happen.

    Maybe you guys didn't see my posts last year, but the reason I built this machine is mainly to make palatable birch syrup. The first year I got into sugaring I decided to make some birch syrup too. I made about a cup, but it was the color of molasses. Last year I built my vacuum evaporating machine. It was all manual and I over looked keeping the sap/syrup sterile as it boiled down. I made some grade A birch syrup with it, but since it was made in an oxygenless environment perfect for growing botulism I didn't dare taste it, it also had an off smell. Basically it spoiled as it boiled down. It also had the consistency of jam, most likely from the bacteria growing in it.

    This year I bought computer controls ect and a tore apart and old uv sterilizing water pitcher my wife was going to throw away and upgraded my machine. For things to work the way I like I need a pressure lower than most vacuum pumps used in the sugaring industry today. So I got a pump used for emptying car AC systems. It's capable of of getting down to less then 1% of atmospheric pressure. I use the machine to not only pull the sap out of the trees but to boil it down in the vacuum at the same time. The lines go right from the trees to a vacuum storage chamber then from there into the boiling chamber. The releaser most people use to get the sap out I use to remove water distilled out of the sap.

    My birch trees just started to run so I'm switching over from the maples. I can't wait to make the first edible grade A birch syrup!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Alcona County, Michigan
    Posts
    1,134

    Default

    Is there something special about the 100 °F limit? I can understand keeping it below the caramelization temp of fructose (230°F) and glucose (320°F), but it seems to me that you could get it hot enough for pasteurization and still keep it under "molasses limit". Am I missing something?
    CE
    44° 41′ 3″ N

    2019 -- 44 Red Maples - My home and sugarbush are for sale.
    2018 -- 48 Red Maples, 7 gallons
    2017 -- 84 Red Maples, 1 Sugar Maple, and 1 Silver Maple , 13 gallons
    2016 -- 55 Red Maples, 8 gallons
    2015 -- 15 Red Maples, 6 Birches - 3+ gallons maple syrup
    An awning over my deck is my sugar shack.
    An electrified kitchen sink and an electrified steam table pan are my evaporators.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Andover NH
    Posts
    2,095

    Default

    if you live in Mason, The Maple guys in Lyndeborogh are very close. hydrometers, cups, etc.
    Eric Johnson
    Tucker Mountain Maple Co-op
    1400 taps in 2013
    2.5 x 8 CDL pellet arch and Smokey Lake pans
    Lapierre 600 RO
    Member of Andover/Salisbury Maplehaulics anonymous
    www.tuckermtn.com
    pALS

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Mason, New Hampshire
    Posts
    156

    Default

    When I did the birch syrup originally I was careful to keep the temp as low as possible. I never let it boil, in fact I kept it below 200F the whole time. It took a long time and still came out molasses. Since birch contains almost all fructose it doesn't caramelize (correctly) alone it just burns. To caramelize (at least the kind you want) you need both fructose and glucose together. So you need to completely avoid temperatures which could potentially alter the structure of the sugar. Beyond that incorporating plastic in my design was much cheaper (and way easier to rapidly prototype), which necessitated low temps.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Alcona County, Michigan
    Posts
    1,134

    Default

    Is it a rotary vane pump?
    CE
    44° 41′ 3″ N

    2019 -- 44 Red Maples - My home and sugarbush are for sale.
    2018 -- 48 Red Maples, 7 gallons
    2017 -- 84 Red Maples, 1 Sugar Maple, and 1 Silver Maple , 13 gallons
    2016 -- 55 Red Maples, 8 gallons
    2015 -- 15 Red Maples, 6 Birches - 3+ gallons maple syrup
    An awning over my deck is my sugar shack.
    An electrified kitchen sink and an electrified steam table pan are my evaporators.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Mason, New Hampshire
    Posts
    156

    Default

    I believe it is. Other people on here have used the exact same pump as a sap puller.

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