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Thread: Low sugar cause for no syrup ??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Harvard, MA
    Posts
    174

    Default Low sugar cause for no syrup ??

    Just sharing a curiosity from one of my last boils off the season here in central MA. The pans in my 2x5 raised flue evaporator were sweetened from two nights before. I Collected around 55 gallons of sap and boiled straight without concentrating in my RO. An hour in I got to almost syrup temp 216 and took a reason in my Murphy cup, and was just slightly light by 1 brix. So I kept boiling with another 30 gallons or so left, but I never got to 66.9 brix. The syrup temp dropped to 215 and then 214 and stayed there to the end, despite a very rapid, bubbling boil the whole time. I have two theories and would love to hear your thoughts;

    1. very low sugar content at end of this season, like almost water
    2. My syrup pan is covered in niter and needs a cleaning though I did a full clean 2 boils ago

    I have no reason to believe the thermometer is off, as it’s been fine all season. But I suppose that could be another reason.
    Still a newbie after 3 seasons.
    2016: 20 taps on buckets, 4 gallons made on a borrowed 2x3 steel arch.
    2017: 32 taps on buckets, 8 gallons of syrup, on a "loaner" Lapierre 19x48 Mini-Pro loaned by a friend. Makeshift 8x8 sugar shack.
    2018: 80 taps with 3 new neighbors on tubing. New 10x12 sugar shack, Lapierre Jr 2x5 evaporator. Made 17 gallons, Sold around 5 gallons of syrup.
    2019: 100 taps, 60 tapped on Feb 21. Added a small RO.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    316

    Default

    I had a very similar experience the other day. Boiled 50 gallons in a sweetened pan and made no syrup. I suspect weak sap. Niter would not have any effect on syrup production. Thermometer is only used as a rough measure of when syrup is ready and should be calibrated daily by immersing in boiling water or against a hydrometer.
    55ish taps on buckets
    D&G Sportsman 18x63
    RB15 RO Bucket
    Stihl 044 and 026

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Albion PA
    Posts
    4,921

    Default

    My guess is you did not have enough sap to get back up to syrup. 55 gallons is just about right to make a gallon of syrup.
    Keep boiling!
    Regards,
    Chris
    Casbohm Maple and Honey
    600 roadside taps
    3x10 King, WRU, AOF and AUF
    12" SIRO Filter Press.
    2015 Ford F250 PSD sap hauler
    One Golden named Maggie Cat named Lucy
    Too many Cub Cadets
    Ford Jubilee and several Allis WD's, and IH tractors

    www.mapleandhoney.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Harvard, MA
    Posts
    174

    Default

    I no longer think it was it enough sap. Other posts here in the past I think indicated that a layer of biter in the bottom of the pan can get in the way of heat transfer to the syrup. This sounds like a match with what happened, with the syrup temp declining from 216 to 214 over an hour period of very high heat and fast boiling. I drained and cleaned the syrup pan and found a baked on layer of niter. I may be letting the syrup level get too shallow in the pan, althiugh not less than 1” and I thought that would be plenty.
    Still a newbie after 3 seasons.
    2016: 20 taps on buckets, 4 gallons made on a borrowed 2x3 steel arch.
    2017: 32 taps on buckets, 8 gallons of syrup, on a "loaner" Lapierre 19x48 Mini-Pro loaned by a friend. Makeshift 8x8 sugar shack.
    2018: 80 taps with 3 new neighbors on tubing. New 10x12 sugar shack, Lapierre Jr 2x5 evaporator. Made 17 gallons, Sold around 5 gallons of syrup.
    2019: 100 taps, 60 tapped on Feb 21. Added a small RO.

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