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Thread: Best method of bulk packing - mini containers

  1. #1
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    Default Best method of bulk packing - mini containers

    I'm a small producer and last year i packed into the 20L blue totes from bascom. unfortunately i didn't keep them cool/frozen and seem to have lost a fair amount to spoilage over the course of the year. they were all hot packed at 180+. I dipped one tote and it's no good at the bottom. I have yet to go through the rest of them. I saw some from later in the season last year are still "sucked in". i'm hoping that's a good sign?

    I'm trying to decide what i want to pack into this year. as i don't want to waste any more time or syrup going forward. my average boil produces 5-7 gallons of syrup usually. 15 Gal barrels seem to be too big. for now i ordered a few 5 gal epoxy cans to get started but not sure if that's the route i want to take.
    2016 - 36 Taps - File Cabinet Arch + Food Pans
    2017 - 2.5'x10' drop flues - 3/16 Natural Vacuum - 122 Taps
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  2. #2
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    Are you using a bung wrench? Maybe the bungs aren't sealing? My first year using 5 gallon blue containers I tried using channel locks to tighten the bung, but didn't think it was tight enough. I got the right bung wrench and have since opened jugs that are 2 years old with no spoilage
    Mike

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Pond Maple View Post
    Are you using a bung wrench? Maybe the bungs aren't sealing? My first year using 5 gallon blue containers I tried using channel locks to tighten the bung, but didn't think it was tight enough. I got the right bung wrench and have since opened jugs that are 2 years old with no spoilage
    do you store cool? mine were in the shack all summer and fear they might be cooked. (we got side tracked with a tornado this year and didn't get to process/sell much)
    Last edited by BSD; 02-08-2019 at 10:33 PM.
    2016 - 36 Taps - File Cabinet Arch + Food Pans
    2017 - 2.5'x10' drop flues - 3/16 Natural Vacuum - 122 Taps
    2018 - 16x20 Sugar Shack - 3/16 Natural Vacuum - 235 Taps

  4. #4
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    All were stored in my cellar so fairly cool and stable temps. I had 2 that were two years old and no issues. I will say that my sugar house gets real warm in the summer months. Maybe it just got too hot in your sugar shack, or fluctuating temps caused some to spoil.
    Mike

    12 x 16 Sugar house
    2x6 Leader raised flue Oil fired
    Pre heater and hoods
    260 taps on vacuum (Guzzler)

  5. #5
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    I don't know if it makes a difference, but one thing I do is tip the jugs on there side after I cap them to sterilize the cap like with smaller containers.
    Mike

    12 x 16 Sugar house
    2x6 Leader raised flue Oil fired
    Pre heater and hoods
    260 taps on vacuum (Guzzler)

  6. #6
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    A couple of things, pack the jugs at 185, 190 is even safer, get the right wrench to tighten the caps, make sure the seal in the cap is not damaged before you use it and then tip the container on it's side for at least a minute as soon as the jugs is filled. Then you should be fine. The problem is not likely the jug but rather those other factors. If the syrup was at the correct density it will store without spoilage. Even 2-3 or 4 years should not be a problem.
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  7. #7
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    I wish I knew how to post a link, but last year we put all our remaining bulk syrup in 2 and a half gallon containers from sugarbush supplies item 61-2500 from page 40 of their online catalog. They come in a boxed two pack for 7.40. In the box you can move them as five gallons or singlely as 2 and a half gallons. They are squared up nicely in the box so they store well. We didn't have any issues with spoilage. Easy to handle when it came time to recan. Don't know how much shipping would be, or if you could find a closer local source. Didn't see them in Bascom's catalog.
    Last edited by Ed R; 02-09-2019 at 12:43 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    A couple of things, pack the jugs at 185, 190 is even safer, get the right wrench to tighten the caps, make sure the seal in the cap is not damaged before you use it and then tip the container on it's side for at least a minute as soon as the jugs is filled. Then you should be fine. The problem is not likely the jug but rather those other factors. If the syrup was at the correct density it will store without spoilage. Even 2-3 or 4 years should not be a problem.
    I know i tipped most (if not all) of them. I'm going to have to open another one up and sample. I did only put those caps on by hand, I snug them up so they don't leak obviously but how tight is tight? at some point you'll start displacing the seals. I was talking to a leader dealer who planted this short shelf life bug in my ear about those blue totes.
    2016 - 36 Taps - File Cabinet Arch + Food Pans
    2017 - 2.5'x10' drop flues - 3/16 Natural Vacuum - 122 Taps
    2018 - 16x20 Sugar Shack - 3/16 Natural Vacuum - 235 Taps

  9. #9
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    I do what you do with the blue 5 gal jugs from Bascom's. I have to agree with Dave. The trouble is in one of those details not the whole process. There are two other trouble spots to watch. One is the head space. Fill right to the opening to limit air space. Those containers hold closer to 6 gallons.

    The other is the little cap to prevent glugging. If they are new and you don't cut into that knockout then it's a non-issue. I do cut those out (to prevent too much glugging) and sometimes those little caps don't seat well. If I don't like the feel of one of those caps, I'll lay a piece of plastic wrap between the opening and the cap.

    But to be totally safe, the questionable jugs go into the chest freezer and those get bottled first in the season.

    You'll figure it out. My bet is on the temp and seal.
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  10. #10
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    We use the blue containers the same as you do.
    As someone said earlier ….. they will hold almost 6 gallons
    Fill them right to the bottom of the cap and when you put the cap on the syrup will come up against the cap
    Tighten down good ….
    I store in the back part of my shed and have not had any issues with a lot of mold ..
    Remember, sometimes you may get a bit of mold ……
    Hope this helps ..
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