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Thread: What happens if you boil old sap?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Daniels, WV

    Default What happens if you boil old sap?

    I have seen and read a number of posts about how long sap will keep, how to preserve concentrate by refrigeration, etc. We are in our third year of making syrup and our first year of making any real volume (14 gallons so far). Question is what happens if you boil sap or concentrate that is old? Does it just taste bad, will it make you sick, have you lost most of your sugar so you do not get much syrup, or what....just curious.
    10 taps in 2015
    65 taps in 2016
    177 taps in for 2017
    new Homemade RO
    2' x 4' Hobby Evaporator

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Sanford Michigan


    My experience is it gets a slight off taste and it seems to cook quicker ends up with a more molasses flavor too.
    43.6728° N Sanford MI.

    2015 100 3/16 taps/buckets. 540 gallons of sap = 12 gallons finished. grill side burner (propane)
    2016 100 3/16 taps/buckets 315 gallons of sap = 11 gallons finished Turkey Fryer/ grill side burner (propane)
    2017 100 3/16 taps /buckets 797 gallons of sap = 8 3/4 gallons finished. Home made brick arch (wood)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Oneida NY


    It's best to boil everyday and finish all the sap. That said, many can't do that. If you must hold sap, keep it as cold as possible. I used to use 90% shade cloth over my collection tanks and I also banked snow as long as I had it to bank against the tank. It is best not to concentrate (RO) until you are ready to boil, just hold it as sap. Concentrating also concentrates the micro organisms. If by concentrate you mean what is in the evaporator and has been boiled, it will keep well for a few days. When you do get to boil the older sap, you will get less syrup because the micro organisms have been feeding on the sugars and the syrup will be darker. It can still be good syrup, just less of it than if you had boiled it when it was fresh.
    This said, I have never boiled sap that smelled real bad, but before my RO I did boil a few times with sap that started to have a slight sour smell and had turned cloudy.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

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