Filtering maple sap and maple syrup can be performed at several stages in the maple syrup making process. First, filter the sap to remove the natural debris that can enter during its collection in the woods. Pour your freshly collected sap through the filter and into another food-grade container. Alternatively, pour the sap through a filter and directly into your evaporator pan. Rinse filter with hot water when finished and allow to air dry. Filters can be used a few times before discarding. Avoid twisting or wringing the filter to prevent damage.
The second step in the filtering process is to filter hot syrup immediately after boiling to remove the niter sediment or sugar sand from your syrup. Once the syrup reaches a Brix rating of at least 66 it is ready to be filtered. Overheating your syrup can result in excess sugar sand and will need more filtering. Place the filter in a sieve or strainer basket to hold it securely in place while pouring hot syrup through it. Extreme caution must be used to avoid burns when boiling, filtering or pouring hot liquids such as syrup. For best results, these pre-filters can be used in conjunction with an orlon or wool finishing filter for maximum clarity. Again, rinse the used filter with hot water when finished and allow to air dry. Each filter can be used several times before discarding.
Finally, after bottling your syrup into clean jars or bottles, allow the syrup to settle for several days. If any stubborn sediment remains, it will settle at the bottom of the jar. You can then carefully pour off your syrup into another jar, being careful not to allow the sediment to leave the very bottom of the first jar. This process is similar to pouring or decanting wine, taking care to leave the sediment in the bottom of the bottle. Sugar sand in syrup varies from region to region, season to season, and even between different parts of the same property. This is due to natural variation in the mineral content of the land where the trees are located.
Filter Care: Remember, never use soap of any kind to clean your filters. Store unused filters in the bag and away from cooking areas, fragrances or where they can absorb any odor. Any odor they absorb over time can be imparted into your syrup and ruin the syrup’s delicate natural flavor.
To order your own sap and syrup filters, visit our online sugaring supplies shop here.
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