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Thread: Food grade buckets $3 donation

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Weston, CT


    Quote Originally Posted by Andy VT View Post
    Awesome, OK, I've heard all I need to hear to stay away from the pickle buckets!
    So far, I've heard a lot of positive reviews and never a negative review on using plastic food grade buckets that originally contained cake frosting/icing.
    Is this the general consensus?
    These are more work to obtain but are obtainable for free around here.

    So far I've only used brand new buckets but they sure do add up if adding some taps to the operation!
    I have used 5 gallon pickle buckets as well and had your concern. I don't think it had any impact on syrup flavor.

    A ways back I got to some thinking about this kind of thing.

    Smell detection does not really mean you will be able to taste anything from the smells source. However, we by nature think that we will, mostly because it often does.

    Taste buds are designed to work off much larger/substantial/sizable amounts of substance. Your nose is designed to work off MUCH smaller particles.

    You do not taste with your nose, you taste with your tung a much different organ.

    When I was suspicious of my green pickle buckets that still smelled of pickles, and after washing them well they still smelled, I went after the source with my tung and buds, so I stuck my head up inside the bucket and licked the side of the bucket to see if I could taste pickles.

    I could not, so I trusted in my taste buds over my nose and used a few.

    Now .... only a small percentage of my collection was done with pickles pails so my test scenario is NOT solid.

    Additionally, if you are going to stow/stew for any considerable time sap/syrup in polymers with a preexisting smell, all money and bets are off the table for me.

    Also, if your pickle pails are green like mine are, they will warm your sap measurably faster than white buckets will.
    Last edited by Sugar Bear; 01-13-2023 at 06:41 PM.
    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.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Tolland, Ct


    I have a couple that had bakery stuff. BUT I only use them in an emergency. I DO have one that i always full of permeate water in case the pan is about to burn if I don't have concentrate nearby. I also have one full of permeate water that if I need to rinse off any of my stuff (like the scoop for foam, or any other minimal stuff) I have one for garbage too.

    I am not touting my syrup as better than anyone's, let me preface with that. But I have had WAY too much syrup that I bought from other sugar houses over the last 5-10 years, that had off flavor. I am PARANOID about that.

    I have a few people that I have convinced to give me HONEST answers, even if they think it will hurt my feelings. THAT is the most important thing. I have put aside a gallon of syrup before because I thought it was off flavor even when no one else did (thats a lot considering last year I only made 6 gallons... THIS I think is the most important thing, having honest reactions to the syrup. I am hoping to be comfortable enough with it this year to sell it. I wanted to get to a good quality before I started selling it.

    Made amazing candy however and I bet the sugar I am going to make with the rest will be amazing also!

    TLDR, make a batch completely separate if at all possible and try it yourself, and get some friends/enemies to test it and give you an honest answer.

    Interesting point made in the yearly preseason meeting this year. Submit it to local fair/contests as a test. Most local fairs cost nothing or under $10.
    #1 it is pretty much free.
    #2 most of the time they are looking hard at flavor, and they give you notes. If you submit to 3-4 and 1 says it is an off flavor, take it with a grain of salt. If 3 of the 4 say it, you may have an issue.
    2020 - 1st year - 14 taps 1 Gallon Jugs + 4x 5-Gallon Buckets + Propane Grill + lots of headaches
    2021 - 2nd year - 19 Taps (and some free sap from a friend in the same town!) 145 or so OZ
    2022 - 3rd year - 46 taps (3 at home, 2 at neighbors, 38 at friends, and 3 at work) added ROBucket RB10, and Silver Creek 18x34x6 Divided Maple Syrup Pan w/warming Pan+Valve+Thermometer 6 Gallons 6 OZ!
    2023 And we grow some more... Starting with OldPostMaple.com!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2022
    Essex Junction, VT


    Well, I did not use the pickle buckets, but I still had them in my possession until a few days ago. They were run through the cafeteria industrial dishwashing machine twice in the cafeteria from which they came and seemed very clean, though the pickles could be faintly smelled even then. But after having been stacked together from February until now, the pickle smell was stronger than ever, even from a few feet away, when I unstacked them recently. There will never be a question on pickle buckets again! Will not use!
    I was able to give them away however, even with a warning on their pickle heritage. They will certainly be fine for just about any yard or garden use.

    I _did_, for better or for worse, use frosting buckets almost exclusively. The jury is out on whether this had any impact on flavor versus brand new food grade plastic. I definitely intend to get judges opinions at the Champlain Valley Fair at the very least. I did have other potential variables on flavor such as outdoor propane heat, extreme slow boil (a strong simmer really) until the final kitchen boil which was strong, one case of an extremely large batch to see if I could darken the syrup, and probably other variables as well.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    west virginia


    The blue syrup bucket that the dealers sell in my opinion take on a foul smell if not rinsed for fermentation because of leaving a little syrup in them,the only way I’ve found to combat that problem is fill them with permeate, usually the first time I RO some sap for the season; let them soak for a couple weeks, permeate the great cleaner soaking up the fermentation smell!
    1100 taps on low vaccum, 900 on gravity.
    900 plus taps leased and on high vacuum
    35 cfm Indiana Liquid Ring Vacuum Pump
    80% Sugar, 20% Red MAPLES

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Lake County Ohio


    Quote Originally Posted by 220 maple View Post
    The blue syrup bucket that the dealers sell in my opinion take on a foul smell if not rinsed for fermentation because of leaving a little syrup in them,the only way I’ve found to combat that problem is fill them with permeate, usually the first time I RO some sap for the season; let them soak for a couple weeks, permeate the great cleaner soaking up the fermentation smell!
    Best buckets I've ever had came from the local donut shop...contained fillings of various flavors - mostly sugar? - and clean out easily with no lingering smell at all.

    Used to use them for collecting sap and never had an issue. I use them now exclusively in the sugar house for holding permeate and/or distillate off the steam hood, for cleaning evaporator pans and equipment.

    Marked them all with big letters - Syrup Use Only! - so no one tries to grab one for car or floor washing.
    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
    CDL Hobby RO & Air Tech L25 Hi Vac Pump 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 Born in Canada - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World..<grin>.

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