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Thread: Off flavor from too much contact with niter?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    499

    Default Off flavor from too much contact with niter?

    I'm wondering if too much contact with niter can produce a permanent off flavor in the finished syrup?

    For most of the season, after I filter a batch I take the felt filter and put it into the next batch of sap I'm boiling off to get all the sugar out of it. Then I rinse it and dry it in preparation for the next batch I need to filter.

    However, after the last batch of the season, I can't do that, so I just soak it in water to get as much out as I can, cook down the results, and save that in the fridge for personal consumption. Of course it has a lot of niter in it, but I just let that slowly settle out in the fridge, and use the syrup off the top.

    However I've noticed that there seems to be a slight bitter aftertaste. Is this is due to boiling it with so much niter in it? If so I guess I might need to try to do something else with it - maybe see if it's better as sugar? Or hopefully this is just due to the fact that it has only settled for a day or so, and there is still some niter floating in the syrup. Even so, I'm concerned that if it sits in the fridge all year long, with half the jar being niter, that taste will get into the syrup if it's not already in it.

    Does anyone know if this is a reasonable concern, or do I just need to wait long enough for all the niter to settle down, and then the flavor will go away?

    GO
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove. 2 steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons
    2021: 18 taps. Mason 2x3 XL, 4.5 galls

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,555

    Default

    Yes, prolonged contact with niter can cause a niter off-flavor.

    If there is already sediment on the bottom, gently pour off the clear syrup on the top into a clean jar and leave the syrup/sediment at the bottom. Leave that out on the counter to warm a little (or warm gently in a pan) and then let the sediment (niter) settle out for a week or two, then pour off the clear syrup on top.

    Alternatively, as long as the syrup is ONLY for personal use, you could try the very old method of clarifying with egg-whites.
    https://wilderstead.com/grow-your-ow...gg-whites.html

    Do NOT do this if the syrup will be sold -- eggs are an allergen.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    499

    Default

    Oh, cool trick, thanks for sharing! Hopefully I didn't ruin it by boiling it down with all that niter in it. I think I'll try the settling method for a couple of weeks, and then see if it still has that flavor. Next time I'll run it through a paper filter before cooking it down to eliminate most of the niter first, and then maybe throw in an egg white or two!

    Cheers,

    Gabe
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove. 2 steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons
    2021: 18 taps. Mason 2x3 XL, 4.5 galls

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