Advice on Filtering Maple Sap / Syrup?

Mon Mar 26, 2007 7:16 am

I've been backyard sugarin' for a few years now and have everything down except for the filtering of the pre-syrup to remove the nitre. After my intitial boil on the backyard evaporator, I like to filter it then before I bring it in the house for the final boil. But I just haven't found a way to do this. The commercial felt filters seem to thick and the syrup doesn't pass through. Yet, cotton and other cloth filters don't remove the nitre.

Does anybody have a good tip on something that works well? I know it's not essential to remove the nitre, but I find it leaves a little bit of an after taste if I don't.

Thanks in advance.

Mon Mar 26, 2007 2:28 pm

Apart from the grit, nitre also causes some folks to have to run to the outhouse a little faster than they'd like! Not something good for pancakes.

Two thoughts- First, you don't need to filter between the primary and final boiling if you do them. A majority of the nitre is produced right at the finish of the syrup, so filtering it "early" just adds a step too, because you'll want to do it again either way. Second thought, that is, you may not be filtering the syrup hot enough. It should still be 180-190 when you filter and can it. Though we use a commercial filter press, the Orlon (tm) cloth available from the sugar making places works well and doesn't take too long-- certainly not as bad as the felt socks. If you can keep it in a hot area (like inside the neck of pot with hot syrup in the bottom), it will help the filtering.

Good luck!

Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:44 am

Thanks RustyVT. I didn't know about the "outhouse issue" concerning nitre.

I made some good syrup this year. As a beginner, I never tap early enough to make the nice Grade A. But this year I timed it right and my first batch was a nice Grade A. I am hearing that this was not a great year for the big producers; production is down by half. I made a gallon and a half, and will probably make another half gallon this week.

I never did resolve the filtering issue. I just used an old T-shirt which filters the major stuff, but I think doesn't filter the nitre.

Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:55 am

Rusty is right, you have to filter it up to temp or it will not flow. We filter when pulling from the evaporator syrup pan into the finisher, then again after the finisher into the canner. We normally stack felt on the bottom, 2 or 3 filter papers on top. As it flows through and clogs we pull the filters to the side to get the flow through clean again. If it clogs completely before everything is through, pull off one of the papers.

If you should finish it but wait a day or two before canning it, bring it up to temperature and filter again. Every time you heat it it will precipitate out more of the minerals. I've been told it's mostly calcium.

Here is where we get most of our supplies, Sugar Bush Supplies Mason, MI

Then; maple milk shake, maple broiled scallops, maple baked beans, maple vinagarette salad dressing......