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Thread: Question On Bottling With Propane

  1. #1
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    Default Question On Bottling With Propane

    I have a question on bottling syrup. My current process is I put the syrup through the filter press into bulk barrels. When I need to bottle I then pump from the barrels with my filter press pump into my canner and heat to 185 with a propane burner. I’ve never had an issue with niter heating it directly with propane but I’ve heard that you can. Is it an issue to heat directly with propane?

  2. #2
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    Dec 2013
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    It should not be an issue as long as you try to stay under 200 degrees. Once you start going much over 200 niter will form. The hardest part is maintaining that 185 temperature. As the volume gets less the temperature goes up and it is hard to regulate it.
    First introduced to making maple syrup in 1969
    Making syrup every year since 1979
    3 x 10 oil fired
    Revolution syrup and max flue pan
    About 1300 taps on gravity, vacuum someday
    Bought first Marcland drawoff in 1997, still going strong.

  3. #3
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    I would kindly disagree with bill m. The reason being that if you have syrup in a bottler being directly heated, you can have areas where the syrup that is heating up is directly contacting the pan and the propane flame is on the other side of the pan which. The syrup in that area can get above 195 and create sugar sand/niter. If you bring your syrup up slowly under direct flame, you may get by with direct heating. I use propane; however, I have my propane heating some water which causes steam to heat the syrup. It's like a double boiler. When doing it this way, you are assured that you won't create niter and your temperatures stay constant during the bottling process.
    Chad

    2014: 12 taps, 5 gal buckets
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  4. #4
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    Chad, I'm not sure what I said that you are disagreeing with. We both said about the same thing just in different ways which is "be careful heating up your syrup and be mindful of the temperature, don't let it get to hot".
    First introduced to making maple syrup in 1969
    Making syrup every year since 1979
    3 x 10 oil fired
    Revolution syrup and max flue pan
    About 1300 taps on gravity, vacuum someday
    Bought first Marcland drawoff in 1997, still going strong.

  5. #5
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    Actually, want to keep from going over 192 degrees Fahrenheit to keep from forming new niter.
    Sugaring for 45+ years
    New Sugarhouse 14'x32'
    New to Me Algier 2'x8' wood fired evaporator
    225 Sugar Maples Currently,(105 on 3/16" and 110 on Shurflo 4008 vacuum, 10 gravity), (16,000 before being disabled)
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  6. #6
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    Back when I had a propane fired bottler, I saw new niter be formed while the max temperature hit 192F. Thus I believe it certainly can at lower temperatures. I also believe it is because of what DocsMapleSyrup said. The heat directly under the pan where the syrup is gets far hotter than what the temperature gauge shows, and then it can and often does form niter (sugar sand).
    That is one reason why I changed to a water jacketed bottler. Had I known a steam heated bottler would be out soon, I'd have waited for that. Both of those methods eliminate the localized hot spot.
    That being said, you certainly can make and pack perfectly good syrup using a propane fired bottler. Just watch the temperature closly and don't fire it using a high flame. You will likely have the best results if you run it up to 188F max and reheat with a low or moderate flame when the temperature falls to 182F. It can be done, it just requires a closer watch the water jacketed or steam heated. While I am not familiar with the steam heated bottlers the concept sounds good.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Will hold about the same for 2021
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
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  7. #7
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    Bap, I agree 192 should be a safe temperature. I have seen syrup that is the correct density not form any niter at 205 degrees and way over density syrup form terrible niter at 180 degrees.
    First introduced to making maple syrup in 1969
    Making syrup every year since 1979
    3 x 10 oil fired
    Revolution syrup and max flue pan
    About 1300 taps on gravity, vacuum someday
    Bought first Marcland drawoff in 1997, still going strong.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2016
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    Peru, Maine
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    Plenty of us heat on propane. Some say stirring it occasionally helps distribute the heat and others claim you shouldn’t do it. Low flame and stirring works for us. I think the low flame and not cranked up on high makes the biggest difference.
    270 taps on 2 Shurflo's, 31 taps on 3/16" and 120 taps on gravity. 421 total for 2021 season.
    Mountain Maple S3 controller for 145 of the vacuum taps
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  9. #9
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    My statement above was based on my experience. However you may need to know my process. When I get ready to filter into my bottler, I heat the syrup to 205-210+ in the finisher, then I filter it thru a filter press. That high heat I think might have given me a little leeway.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Will hold about the same for 2021
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  10. #10
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    Dec 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainebackswoodssyrup View Post
    Plenty of us heat on propane. Some say stirring it occasionally helps distribute the heat and others claim you shouldn’t do it. Low flame and stirring works for us. I think the low flame and not cranked up on high makes the biggest difference.
    Heating with a flame ( does not matter if it is high or low ) so long as you can stir perpetually is the best way to prevent sugar sand on a reheat to 185. If you do not have the time and or ability to stir perpetually then reheat on as low a flame as possible and stir when you can.
    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
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    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.
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