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Thread: Off flavored syrup

  1. #1
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    Default Off flavored syrup

    The syrup I made tonight has a pretty bad flavor to it. It tastes floral to me. Is this typical of buddy sap or maybe ropey syrup or maybe something else caused it? I've never had any syrup taste like this before. Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
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    It's possible for late season sap to produce many off flavors in the finished syrup. The chemical make up of the sap changes as the trees come out of dormancy. They don't need to be budded to produce an off flavor.

    You'll know ropey syrup when you see it. It will string off of the draw off valve when you close it and will do the same thing if you stick a scoop in it and pull it out. If you get it that far pour some out of a jug, you'll definitely know that it's ropey then.
    Russ

    "Red Roof Maples" Where the term "boiling soda" was first introduced to the maple producing world!

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  3. #3
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    Could be buddy or sour sap (or something different). Where are you in VT and are you using buckets or tubing? How long did the sap sit before it was boiled?

    UVM Maple Extension produced an off-flavor reference kit a few years back. It includes a suite of "natural" off-flavors, with samples of buddy, sour sap, and metabolism. I think VMSMA sells them. There are plans to make another kit with more common off-flavors.

    Another way is to bring it to us at UVM PMRC (Underhill) or to the UVM Extension Office (Morrisville) and we can taste it and try to identify the reason behind the off-flavor. Yeah...loads of fun that task is. Best to call ahead to make sure somebody can be around. 802-899-9926. Usually Mark Isselhardt (UVM Maple Extension) is the lucky taster.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  4. #4
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    If the sap is cloudy but does not smell sour it should be ok to boil correct ? The batch that I am boiling now is a little cloudy but wont know until I finish it . I think I read on this site somewhere that some one boiled down cloudy sap at the end of the year an it was the best they made .
    Backyard sapper

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukie View Post
    If the sap is cloudy but does not smell sour it should be ok to boil correct ?
    Often yes, but not always. Decent looking sap can sometimes make crappy tasting syrup (buddy, metabolized or other off-flavors).
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  6. #6
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    I am in Hartland, using 3/16 tubing. The sap was collected Saturday evening and boiled Sunday morning and then more collected and boiled Monday. My hill is mostly northfacing and still has a fair amount of snow.

  7. #7
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    I just made my last batch of the season (in the foothills of the Berkshires). Finally a batch of dark syrup this season, which I'm grateful for (I like the dark best). The taste is excellent, but as it was boiling it had a very faint off smell to it. My wife described it best - she said "Smells like Doritos". LOL. Is that buddiness?

    Gabe
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 2.1 gallons syrup

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by berkshires View Post
    ...as it was boiling it had a very faint off smell to it. My wife described it best - she said "Smells like Doritos". LOL. Is that buddiness?
    Hard to say. Late-season syrup can smell yeasty, like old sweat-socks during boiling, so "Doritos" (cheesy-smell) might be the stage you're at. Can make nice dark, good-tasting syrup. Typically after that is when you get buddy. Buddy is a very distinctive, rather unpleasant taste. If it is there, you'd know it.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    Often yes, but not always. Decent looking sap can sometimes make crappy tasting syrup (buddy, metabolized or other off-flavors).
    And nasty looking sap can sometimes make good syrup! We've had sap we could barely get filtered through a cone filter coming off the wagon and required frequent changes to the RO pre-filter that came back a full colour class and tasted great!
    4,600 Taps on vacuum
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ennismaple View Post
    And nasty looking sap can sometimes make good syrup! We've had sap we could barely get filtered through a cone filter coming off the wagon and required frequent changes to the RO pre-filter that came back a full colour class and tasted great!
    True....the only real way is to boil some of it (in a separate container if suspect) and taste it.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

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