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Thread: “Musty” syrup

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Oneonta, NY
    Posts
    6

    Unhappy “Musty” syrup

    Hello everyone,

    This year about half of my three gallon yield tastes musty. My grandfather thinks it might be because I washed the cone filter with 3year old baking soda. No matter the cause, has anyone had success removing off flavors through reboiling? Perhaps reboil plus filter-aid? Let me know your thoughts and ideas I am so bummed out over this mistake.

    Thanks as always.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Grenville
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    1,150

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    Quote Originally Posted by GiffordHillGold View Post
    Hello everyone,

    This year about half of my three gallon yield tastes musty. My grandfather thinks it might be because I washed the cone filter with 3year old baking soda. No matter the cause, has anyone had success removing off flavors through reboiling? Perhaps reboil plus filter-aid? Let me know your thoughts and ideas I am so bummed out over this mistake.

    Thanks as always.
    Oh **** than sucks. I know that are certain specific products used for the washing of (felt?) cone filters which won't leave residue. I have a very small operation and do not use cone filters as they basically eat syrup. And with my sugaring stuff, pots, evaporating pans etc I never use any kind of cleaning compound - straight hot water and air dry is all.

    Baking soda, used anywhere in any appliocation, WILL leave residue, so you have to rinse repeatedly - like 4-5 times, very thoroughly, to make sure you get it all out. If the baking soda was absorbing flavours and odours from a fridge or some other place, well then you've imbued your syrup with those flavours too.

    I don't think reboiling will do any good at this stage, I've never seen anyone post about having done so successfully. Hate to say it but your best option is to dump that syrup and never, ever EVER use baking soda to clean your filters again! Boil them in clean water (spend a few bucks and buy a big jug of distilled water), let them air dry. Good luck!
    Been tapping since 2008, but mostly unexceptional til recent years.
    2014 - 18 taps/6 trees, 407l sap, 19l syrup
    2015 - 18 taps/6 trees, 424l sap and 20.75l syrup
    2016 - 18 taps/6 trees..701l sap, 24l syrup
    2017 - 17 taps/6 trees...474l sap, 15.75l syrup
    2018 - 17 taps/7 trees...819l sap, approx 28l syrup
    2019 - 18 taps/8 trees...585l sap, 28l syrup...21:1 ratio

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
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    884

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    I am not sure on removing a musty odor but you could try bringing it up to 250 degrees and diluting back. You could also look at infusing with cinnamon to cover up the musty flavor. You could also try to make some maple mustard.
    Smoky Lake 2x6 dropflu pans and hoods on homemade arch
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    250 Deer Run RO
    325 taps

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Musty is a hard one, and can happen with filters that are not stored properly. You should rinse them with HOT HOT HOT water before using them, and smell them first to be sure they have no odor. At the end of the season, rinse them many times over and dry them thoroughly before putting them into sealed plastic bags for storage (they must be completely DRY).

    I haven't heard of old baking soda being the cause, but it certainly could be. Old and improperly stored DE will do that.

    As for the syrup, reboiling may help some, but probably won't completely eliminate the odor.

    Lastly, sometimes there can be an off-flavor called "metabolism" which can be mistaken for musty. Often this affects light syrup in the first part of the season. Did anyone around you mention having an off-flavor this year? If it is metabolism, reboiling and diluting (perhaps several times) will help.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Trenton Falls, NY
    Posts
    61

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    Are you 100% sure you're not getting moldy syrup? I had the same musty odor problem, and it was my own fault. I bottled about 5 gallons of syrup into 1 gallon jugs that I did not sterilize or clean - they had been in an open plastic bag in our damp basement for a year and I assumed they were clean. Some of them grew chunks and films of mold, some just had that awful musty odor.

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