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Thread: Unfiltered - What Should Be Expected?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Ashfield, MA
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    Default Unfiltered - What Should Be Expected?

    I don't spend much time with unfiltered syrup. In the sugarhouse, we go from the evaporator to the filter press while it is still hot, so there isn't much time for observation.

    I decided to do some stovetop boiling and make some small batches for observation. These samples were over the course of about 8 days and are in order from oldest to newest.

    Samples 2 and 4 both look approximately like what I'd expect. Particulate would settle out and the syrup would clarify over time. I was previously under the impression that the solids are all denser than syrup and settle.

    Sample 1 is a mix of things, so it can be ignored.

    Now, samples 3, 5, and 6: what is going on here? It looks like growth that you might find in undercooked syrup, but the cloudiness is there as soon as the syrup is finished (it didn't show up over time). The curious things here is that there is no sedimentation taking place in any of them. In sample 5, the cloudiness appears to be evenly dispersed, even though it was only made one day after sample 4. Sample 6 was made the day before the picture was taken, and the cloudiness appears to be heading to the top.

    The sap is all from the same set of trees, was clean, and was boiled within 16 hours or so. These were all tested with the same hydrotherm and measured between 66.4 and 67.0 brix at the time of finishing.




    Thank you, Chris
    Last edited by cray54; 04-02-2023 at 01:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    North Grenville
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    1,488

    Default

    Hmm interesting for sure. Fwiw I've made my share of your #5, I call it 'peach jam', over the years. Usually adding a little more sap and/or distilled water helps. #6 is a bit freaky, never had that.
    Been tapping since 2008.
    2018 - 17 taps/7 trees...819l sap, approx 28l syrup
    2019 - 18 taps/8 trees...585l sap, 28l syrup...21:1 ratio
    2020 - 18 taps/8 trees...890.04l sap...gave away about 170l, 30l snafu'd....23l total for me from approx 690l
    2021 - 18 taps/8 trees...395l sap, 12 l syrup
    2022 - 18 taps/8 trees....7 sugars 1 red due to #2 having surgery so had the season off....582l sap, 18.5l syrup
    2023 - 18 taps/8 trees...all sugars again. 807l sap, so far approx 14l syrup

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
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    11,614

    Default

    You will see the cloudiness settle, just need more time.
    Dave Klish, I recently ordered a 2x6 wood fired evaporator from A&A Sheet Metal which I will be converting to oil fired
    Now have solar, 2x6 finish pan, 5 bank 7x7 filter press, large water jacketed bottler, and tankless water heater.
    Recently bought another Gingerich RO, this one was a 125, but a second membrane was added thus is a 250, like I had.
    After running a 2x3, a 2x6, 3x8 tapping from 79 taps up to 1320 all woodfired, now I'm going to a 2x6 oil fired and a 200-425 taps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Hopkinton, MA
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    Default

    I've got something similar I'm keeping an eye on. The very last of the last syrup wouldn't get through the press, so I have a quart of some unfiltered dark stuff with a little DE in there for good measure. Still can't pick up any sunlight through it yet! It's been about 10 days.
    Woodville Maples
    www.woodvillemaples.com
    www.facebook.com/woodvillemaples
    Around 300 taps on tubing, 25+ on buckets if I put them out
    Mix of natural and mechanical vac, S3 Controller from Mountain Maple
    2x6 W.F. Mason with Phaneuf pans
    Deer Run 250 RO
    Ford F350
    6+ hives of bees (if they make it through the winters)
    Keeping the day job until I can start living the dream.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ashfield, MA
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    Default

    More time showed:
    #4 did settle out
    #5 remained suspended
    #6 floated


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cray54 View Post
    #4 did settle out
    #5 remained suspended
    #6 floated
    #1 might be OK, but looks like "mother" (microbial mass) in bottom on top of niter
    #2 might be OK
    #3 might be OK if that is sediment that just got stirred up. If not, then NOT ok (microbial mass)
    #4 looks fine.
    #5 looks kinda like ropey, but very hard to say without seeing it. Have you tried stirring or pouring it to see if it is stringy/ropey?
    #6 is definitely got stuff growing on it.

    Are you sure they density is correct in these? When was the last time the hydrotherm was calibrated or at least checked against a verified hydometer and thermometer? Were they hot packed? Were the jars clean and closed immediately after packing?
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  7. #7
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    Mar 2011
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    Ashfield, MA
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    The hydrotherm was new, but was not tested by me after receipt. If the hydrotherm is accurate, they should all be higher than minimum.

    I would say none of these were properly packed. Although the jars were all clean, the syrup taken from the stove and poured directly into them, and then they were closed... but these are relatively small volumes and they cooled while testing density. They all, however, had signs of looking just like they look now right after taking them off the stove. That said, is it possible to have microbial mass in the syrup straight off the stove?

    These were from buckets - gathered every day, and boiled the same day or the following day.

    #3 looks that way and is just sitting, it had been sitting for several days at the time of the picture.

    #5 I will open and check if it is ropey.

    After continuing to look at this, my biggest question right now is about #6. There is absolutely no sediment in it. In the first picture, it has only been sitting for a day. In the 2nd picture, it has been sitting for a while. In what circumstance do the solids float in syrup?

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