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Old March 7th, 2018, 07:28 AM
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Default Orlon filter off flavour!?!?

I couple of years ago I purchased my first new Orlon cone filter for hot filtering my final syrup. For background, in previous years I would allow the hot syrup to cool and settle naturally for a week, then decant, reheat and bottle (always gave me crystal clear and stable product). The first time I used the Orlon was last year and at that time I had only filtered a few liters before it plugged and I gave up. A quick taste of this product vs the remainder of the batch that I had decanted revealed a very pronounced off flavour. Impossible to describe but it was present and sharp. I let it go hoping it would not reoccur in the next year. Well here we are; last night I hot filtered about 15 L of syrup through the orlon no problem....until I tasted it. Holy crap, there it was again. The terrible off flavour was present in the receiver (post filtration) but not in the pan. The taste I was getting in the syrup could also be detected by smell near the cone as the hot syrup was running through. I had a discussion with my local maple supplies provider (the filter was however not purchased through him) and it seems like nobody has ever heard of this happening.

Could it be a bad filter? The orlon was purchased new and was never wash with any soap or detergents, only boiling water.

help..
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Old March 7th, 2018, 08:45 AM
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That's a pretty simple solution.....get different filter material. There is a difference in the orlon. I bought from the same supplier as always and one year it just would plugg over and over and it would get hard/stiff. I purchased another sheet and it was fine. Like Forest Gump said "it happens". Take the loss and purchase new material.
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Old March 7th, 2018, 08:47 AM
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Did you wash or rinse it before use? How? Soap?

How was cleaned and then stored between last season and this?

Filters can definitely cause off-flavors, but these are typically related to rinsing, washing, and storage issues.
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Old March 7th, 2018, 09:18 AM
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Buckeye: I will definitely be trying another lot of orlon since my experience appears to be completely unique. I'll filter a bit and do a taste test relative to the pan. I could see how the physical properties of the filter may change with different lots, but the chemistry (composition) should be consistent... Unless my batch of filter was treated with something at the factory that did flush out in processing? who knows...

Dr Tim: This filter was imposing its ugly sharp aftertaste from day one (brand new) I've never used soap, only boiling water to remove discoloration and no wringing. Was stored/hung in a clean dry environment. Sharp taste is identical to last years batch.

I may investigate alternate materials such as Nylon or Polypropylene.

I also did a bit of a control test and ran boiling water through the filter as I would have with the syrup. Once the samples cooled, I performed a taste test comparing the filtered to the non filtered boiling water samples. To no surprise, the onlon filter had input the same degree of ugliness into regular boiled tap water as it had with my syrup. Its nice to know at least that this has nothing to do with my syrup....

Last edited by ADV; March 7th, 2018 at 09:40 AM.
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Old March 7th, 2018, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADV View Post
I may investigate alternate materials such as Nylon or Polypropylene.
That would be your best bet. After your boil it with good water, there should be little or no smell left.
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Old March 7th, 2018, 12:27 PM
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That would be your best bet. After your boil it with good water, there should be little or no smell left.
My current filter has been thoroughly cleaned 2 years in a row and the leaching of off flavours still occurs with the same intensity. Presumably I have a bad filter or an exceptionally good palate...

It would be interesting to know what the leachables are with orlon (or polyacrylonitrile). This medium is exclusive in the maple world but hardly ever used in other industries such as food and Pharma.
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Old March 23rd, 2018, 08:23 AM
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I picked up a new filter at my local maple supplier yesterday. He informed me that Orlon is no longer being stocked and sold for reasons related to performance (something to do with fiber release). They are now selling polyester as the replacement filter media. This is the largest distributor of maple products in North America (CDL).

I will try the polyester and investigate whether there is an improvement in off flavour leaching.
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Old April 26th, 2018, 10:21 AM
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Success.

The new Polyester cone filter I picked up from CDL did not impart a significant enough off flavour to impact the flavour of the final syrup.

When tasting a pre rinse with boiling water through the new filter, there was a hint of the previous Orlon related flavour I was getting from my previous filter, however it was mostly insignificant and I was a happy camper again.

Folks, taste test your filters with boiling water before committing a batch to it. Might save you some disappointment.
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