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Thread: Opinions on syrup taste

  1. #11
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    Not sure this is the case, pretty sure Coarse in Whitingham VT has the same rig from leader. Double flue pans double syrup pans ..... and double the headache in my opinion. I know he used to boil his bucket sap separate from tubing... RO with wood fire. I noticed his rig was for sale , be curious which way he goes.

    My humble opinion is flavor has more to do with your region, how fast or slow you process that sap and the general cleanliness of your setup and equipment.


    Quote Originally Posted by log cabin luke View Post
    This is one of those questions that most everyone has a different opinion on and few like to talk about. I have found that in general sugar makers that I talk to that use RO say that there is not a difference and the ones that do not use RO say there is a difference.

    I have never had a syrup made on an oil fired rig that I liked to much

    syrup through an RO and boiled on wood is usually okay in my experience

    syrup that had been boiled straight up with no RO on wood is what I prefer.

    I sell all my syrup retail and sample at every festival I go to. I have literally sat behind my table and watched well over 10,000 people taste my syrup over about the last 7 years. I know this because 5,000 sample cups come in a case and I have gone through more than 2 cases.

    Many of these customers talk about all there different syrup experiences and taste is always the main talking point. I have found that on average only about 2 or 3 people a year do not like the syrup. These are usually people that have already told me that they do not like syrup and I try to convert them. Most of the time it works but not always.
    Many customers have told me that its the best syrup they ever had.

    It's not just about what fuel used ,oil or wood or RO or not RO. The size of the rig also makes a difference. I have talked to many small produces and the smaller rigs just do not make darker syrup as well as a large one. My rig is 4.5'x 22' it has 2 flue pans the syrup pan is in the middle. I have a parallel flow preheater on it along with another type of preheater which I invented that works great. My evaporator is the only one like it in the world I guarantee. It makes just about the most flavorful syrup a person could make. It also boils faster than any other evaporator for the same size fire box. I e-mailed Dr. Tim about it with out to much detail as I was thinking about a patent but he said he focuses more on sap production than evap design. Right now I just keep it to myself. the design is solid and would work scaled down as well.

    After selling syrup for about 4 years I really wanted to be able to make darker syrup because it sells so much better. I started specifically trying to make darker syrup. One method is batch draw offs. I will usually draw off 9-15 gallons of syrup all at once. I wait until almost my whole syrup pan is syrup. I never clean the syrup pan during the season and I filter the syrup through 2 layers of cotton which works way better than felt filters.

    A lot of people say that syrup is syrup but there are a lot of different methods that effect the taste that seems not to be discussed to much. I believe this is because we all know that sugaring is hard work and every producer is just trying to do there best and make a living for them and there family's. We all want to promote pure maple syrup so putting down anothers syrup would be in poor taste. Seeings how this is a forum for producers ,and consumers do not frequent the site I will say that there is no chance that RO syrup tastes as good as syrup boiled from straight up sap on a wood fired rig.

    Now most producers do not retail all there syrup. If selling bulk there is no reason not to use RO. Plus who has time or energy to cut 35 cord of wood a year just to make 700 gallons of syrup.

  2. #12
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    Pretty sure this relates well to this thread.

    I was having a discussion a few weeks ago with a friend. It was about the troubled times we live in now. I told him that if there are 5 billion people on this planet then there are 5 billion different opinions of what "Fair" is. That's OK I guess and the way it should be.

    Those same 5 billion people each have their own opinion of what maple syrup taste like.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    I used to tap only Sugar maples, until about 4 seasons ago. I gradually added some reds, This year I had about 50% reds around the sugarhouse but no reds on my lease. That gave me just under 20% reds. I think it has improved an already great taste. My customers like both.
    Now that is how we answer questions.

  4. #14
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    I am lucky to be in a small little pocket in Michigan that has some great soil. It makes some of the best syrup period. it's nothing I do or anything a few of my fellow sugarers do. We all have different setups,diffrent collecting methods, exc. But the syrup is just good. We've got customers from Hawaii, Alaska ,new York,Vermont and canada and every where else that tell us it's great.
    When people ask me what I do I tell them it's like cheese and wine and hopps. It's where you are .
    Other things do contribute a little like cook time . The longer the sugar is under heat the more the flavor develops and changes.
    Dr. Tim what do you think ?
    25 years sugaring
    2018 191taps. Made 80 gallons
    Two taps to a 5 gallon bucket roadside trees.
    A retired dad to hump buckets and do most of the boiling the great wife that let's me spend lots of time and money.
    New Smokey lake 2×6 raised flue SSR on my own version of the silverplate arch.
    2019 new hood and new preheater concept that worked great.
    306 taps roadside trees

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody77 View Post
    I am lucky to be in a small little pocket in Michigan that has some great soil. It makes some of the best syrup period. it's nothing I do or anything a few of my fellow sugarers do. We all have different setups,diffrent collecting methods, exc. But the syrup is just good. We've got customers from Hawaii, Alaska ,new York,Vermont and canada and every where else that tell us it's great.
    When people ask me what I do I tell them it's like cheese and wine and hopps. It's where you are .
    Other things do contribute a little like cook time . The longer the sugar is under heat the more the flavor develops and changes.
    Dr. Tim what do you think ?

    I'll bet my char broiled pans back in the 70's would have laid waste to your soil rich sap.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody77 View Post
    I am lucky to be in a small little pocket in Michigan that has some great soil. It makes some of the best syrup period. it's nothing I do or anything a few of my fellow sugarers do. We all have different setups,diffrent collecting methods, exc. But the syrup is just good. We've got customers from Hawaii, Alaska ,new York,Vermont and canada and every where else that tell us it's great.
    When people ask me what I do I tell them it's like cheese and wine and hopps. It's where you are .
    Other things do contribute a little like cook time . The longer the sugar is under heat the more the flavor develops and changes.
    Dr. Tim what do you think ?

    By the way here in the lower Hudson Valley the sugar maples tend to thrive in the well drained, rocky, little soil of the lower to mid slope sections of the Hudson Highlands ( a small widespread range of mountains extending from near sea level to about 1700 feet in elevation) . They do not do well in the most soil rich flat areas of the lower river valley intervals. Red Maples will do better in those areas. That is evident by the Swamp Maple which I refer to as a Red Stray. You will not catch a sugar maple in a swamp dead or alive. This area is an exemplar for the optimum location of Sugar Maple habitat. More so then anywhere else I have observed.

    Most of the sugaring that takes place in Vermont takes place on the lower to mid slope sections of the mountains, not down in the fertile soil rich intervals of the Champlain Valley were there are fewer sugar maple groves and much more fertile soils.

    But cheers to letting people think how they think syrup becomes "The Best"

    The Bear
    If you think it's easy to make good money in maple syrup .... then your obviously good at stealing somebody's Maple Syrup.

    Favorite Tree: Sugar Maple
    Most Hated Animal: Sap Sucker
    Most Loved Animal: Devon Rex Cat
    Favorite Kingpin: Bruce Bascom
    40 Sugar Maple Taps ... 23 in CT and 17 in NY .... 29 on gravity tubing and 11 on 5G buckets ... 2019 Totals 508 gallons of sap, 7 boils, 11.4 gallons of syrup.
    1 Girlfriend that gives away all my syrup to her friends.

  7. #17
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    charlton ma
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerryFamily View Post
    Not sure this is the case, pretty sure Coarse in Whitingham VT has the same rig from leader. Double flue pans double syrup pans ..... and double the headache in my opinion. I know he used to boil his bucket sap separate from tubing... RO with wood fire. I noticed his rig was for sale , be curious which way he goes.

    My humble opinion is flavor has more to do with your region, how fast or slow you process that sap and the general cleanliness of your setup and equipment.
    I know the rig from coarse maple. My rig is nothing like it. There is no one in the world with the same evap as mine. I invented it. There are multiple flue pans on different levels and my special preheater that no one else has. I welded the entire arch my self and raised the 43 foot stack with a little help from my friends.It took 3 years to make and put all together in my spare time. Its one of a kind and makes great syrup. The sap boil for a ridiculously long time. It takes 270 gallons of sap to fill. I love running it.I can walk under the back flue pan if I crouch down a little.

  8. #18
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    Mar 2016
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    Central Wisconsin
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    Surely batch boiled syrup made in a flat pan is the best tasting syrup there is.

  9. #19
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    Apr 2019
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    Nashville, MI
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    Thought I would put in my 2 cents worth. No matter where you are, all the syrup producers make is good, and better than anything you can buy from the store that is mostly processed corn syrup.

  10. #20
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    Vermont
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdiamond View Post
    Thought I would put in my 2 cents worth. No matter where you are, all the syrup producers make is good, and better than anything you can buy from the store that is mostly processed corn syrup.
    Couldn't have said it better!
    2016- 50 buckets. Made 4 gallons
    2017- 100 buckets, 50 taps on 3/4 mainline and 3/16th tubing + shurflo vacuum. Made 30 gallons.
    2018- 1000 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, 60 buckets - made 378 gallons of syrup.
    2019- 1713 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, NO buckets. Made 500 gallons.

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