How to Filter Maple Syrup

 

Date: February 4th, 2016

Filtering Maple Syrup

After all of the work in collecting the sap and boiling it down to your final Maple Syrup don’t miss the critical step of filtering the syrup before it is bottled.  In sap there are naturally occurring minerals commonly known as sugar sand that will harden as the syrup cools and will settle out in the bottle as the syrup cools down.  The proper filtering will make your final syrup look clear and clean without the sugar sand sediment in the bottom of your stored syrup.

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Filter Materials

Not all filtering materials are the same – using a cheesecloth filter will in fact take quite a bit of material out but it leaves the finest sugar sand.  Once the syrup cools that sugar sand will settle out and leave an unsightly layer of sediment in the jar.

There are a variety of professional syrup filters available. Using one of the superior synthetic filters allows even the hobbyist the clean look from properly filtered maple syrup.

Filter options available:

  • 8 Quart Synthetic cone filter.  This filter is commonly used by professionals in specially made filtering boxes that hold these filters. The 8 Quart Cone filter has loops sewn into it that allow it to be hung inside the filtering box.  This same process can be done in many different pots or pans with a bit of ingenuity in hanging the filter.
  • 1 Quart cone filter.  This filter looks like a large coffee filter.  It is the same premium material that is used in the best professional filters but at a more manageable size for the small producer.  This cone can be used in convenient funnels.
  • Prefilter fabric cones.  These light duty cone shaped prefilters are meant to be used together with one of the synthetic filters above.  The prefilter is placed inside the final filters to give an extra layer of filtering material and keep the large particles away from the thick final filter.  This allows the final filter to be cleaned easier and lengthen its useful filtering.  The prefilters are inexpensive and can be easily cleaned or replaced.

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Filtering Maple Syrup

The final step in bottling your syrup requires filtering.  Using the filters above require a bit of care to make a clean and clear final syrup.

The syrup being put into your filter must be hot.  The syrup to be filtered should be at least 180 degrees but not over 200 degrees. There are no shortcuts to this – as the syrup cools it naturally thickens and it makes it impossible to filter.

The filtering process takes time and it will require keeping the syrup’s temperature up as the syrup runs through the filter.  If needed stop and reheat the syrup to the 180-200 degree range in order to ensure it flows through the filter.

The larger particles will be caught in the prefilter and will allow the thicker final filter fibers to catch any small particles left.

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Filter Care

Prior to using your filters soak them in hot water for a minute or so to clean any surface dirt.  It will also loosen up the fibers in the filter so the hot syrup will flow through it better.

When you are done with the batch rinse the filter off in hot water and squeeze the filter out.  Do not wring out or twist the filter to drain the water as it will crush and damage the filter fibers.  Never use soaps or detergents on the filters.

Final filters can last for many seasons if handled carefully and the inexpensive prefilters can be replaced each season.

 



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