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Thread: Agitating sap

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by minehart gap View Post
    John, would you mind further explaining the taste comment. I was under the impression that the taste was the same taste that you would expect from the color of the syrup that was created.

    I am considering building and installing one (in the evaporator) for next spring but don't like the idea of changes to the taste.
    To me, it seemed that our syrup taste this year was not as maple as in past years. Could be the lighter color (and flavor?) due to air injection, or any number of things.
    John Allin

    14x18 Hemlock Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
    Leader 2x6 w/Patriot Raised Flue Pan 2009
    Leader Steam Hood 2014 - Clear Filter Press 2015
    Leader Revolution Pan and SS Pre-Heater 2016
    H20 Innovations Air Injection 2019
    CDL AirTech Pump Hi Vacuum 2019
    06' Gator HPX to collect wood & sap
    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
    Great Family 3 grown kids+spouses and 7 grand kids who like the woods
    7th Gen Canadian - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World...

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Sapper View Post
    One thing to watch would be increasing the temperature of your sap. The temperature of compressed air is usually increased going through the air compressor. This could be why it darkens the syrup.
    The H20 Air injection does not use an air compressor, rather a high volume air blower drawing through 3 charcoal filters. Sounds like a 747 Jet engine...
    John Allin

    14x18 Hemlock Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
    Leader 2x6 w/Patriot Raised Flue Pan 2009
    Leader Steam Hood 2014 - Clear Filter Press 2015
    Leader Revolution Pan and SS Pre-Heater 2016
    H20 Innovations Air Injection 2019
    CDL AirTech Pump Hi Vacuum 2019
    06' Gator HPX to collect wood & sap
    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
    Great Family 3 grown kids+spouses and 7 grand kids who like the woods
    7th Gen Canadian - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World...

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Sapper View Post
    One thing to watch would be increasing the temperature of your sap. The temperature of compressed air is usually increased going through the air compressor. This could be why it darkens the syrup.
    None of this is terribly surprising. Length of time, temperature, number and type of microbes, and aeration will all influence (hasten) many of the biological factors and chemical reactions resulting in more color/flavor development, and in some cases, reduce the level of precursors of off-flavor. The difference is that (some) people are now looking to go towards darker/stronger syrup, whereas most of the efforts maple producers have taken over the past 100 yrs has been aimed at going the other way (towards making lighter syrup).
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by minehart gap View Post
    If I am recalling what I have read correctly, if you introduce air into the sap while the sap is cooking it may and usually does lighten the color and subsequent taste of the finished syrup but if you are to introduce that same air into the sap before it is processed it will both darken and embolden the flavor of the finished syrup.
    Air injection into pans produces light syrup. Air injection into sap produces darker syrup. A little paradoxical isn't it. ;^)

    So does that mean that at the end of the season one could in theory introduce air for the purpose of reducing off flavor and inadvertently darken the finished product but introduce air in the evaporator while cooking the sap and lighten it back with a more delicate flavor?
    You might think so, but no. The reaction with air injection IN THE PANS is not a bleaching effect, but rather is a prevention or reduction of of color/flavor formation effect (I won't get into the chemical reasons, but it is largely due to a reduction in temperature resulting in a reduction in caramelization of invert).

    The air injection INTO SAP effect is different. In this case you are:
    1. volatilizing (reducing) off-flavor precursor compounds in the sap that result in poor flavor
    2. enhancing formation of invert (higher temperature, more oxygen, longer time period) which increases color/flavor formation.
    3. altering the biome of microbes in the sap.
    4. increase the rate of biological and chemical reactions in sap leading to color/flavor development.

    All of these factors INCREASE color/flavor development (and can, perhaps, decrease some off-flavor precursors), thus darker syrup is formed upon boiling. Essentially you are controlling the fermentation level in the sap. The danger is the possibility of turning your sap/syrup ropey.

    Now if you used air injection in your pans to process aerated sap, you'd make lighter syrup, but it wouldn't be quite as light as if you had not aerated the sap. It would certainly be possible to vary the amount of air injection in the pans to be able to produce somewhat lighter or darker syrup according to your wishes (dial-a-grade syrup).
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  5. #15
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    Dummerston, VT
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    Sap aeration and it’s effects on flavor and grade are very intriguing.
    Been hearing a bit about it but if anyone has recommended ways to best set it up (hopefully without breaking the bank) I’d be interested. Or articles or other threads...

    Dr. Tim could you elaborate a bit on the danger of going ropey due to aeration? The factors at play and what to watch our for?

    Thanks so much!

    Mike
    The Bunker Farm
    Dummerston VT

  6. #16
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    There simply is not sufficient research on the subject to give good answers. Aeration of sap MIGHT help in some ways by reducing microbial growth (or at least the bad microbes) and promote the development of stronger flavors (darker syrup) as well as help reduce volatile precursors of some off-flavors (metabolism and/or buddy perhaps), but it is still far from being a tried and true method. Too many variables and uncertainties to give recommendations at this time. As far as ropey sap goes...microbes + time + temperature result in spoilage. If the improper microbes are around...it'll eventually go ropey. Aeration might delay it a bit (maybe).
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

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