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Old December 18th, 2013, 11:34 AM
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Default Effects of an RO

OK- I'm hoping to avoid the "rancor" that sometimes accompanies this topic, but I'm looking for information (hopefully more than just anecdotes) about the effects of an RO.

I know that maple syrup is defined as "concentrated maple sap by removing water" and that you can remove that water in any practical way, including boiling, using an RO, or even letting the sap freeze and tossing the ice.

However, I was wondering if there are any studies/reports on the effects of using an RO at extreme concentrations (say sap at 20%, for example). I have heard that when you put in sap at such a high concentration your syrup can spend very little time in the evaporator and that you occasionally "loose a grade" when it is either reheated for candy making or just for re-packaging in smaller bottles.

I'm pretty confident that if you use an evaporator for fairly low concentrations (say 4%) you should have no effect- nice road trees might produce 4% sap. However, the theory of "less time in the pans" does make sense- I just don't know if it holds any water :)

Thanks!
--Josh
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Old December 18th, 2013, 12:28 PM
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There have been studies done on this. I think if you just used the search feature you will be able to find the test done by proctor center. Or just check there web site.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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Without going back and reading the transcript, I do believe it was addressed in the transcript Bryan listed in post #4 here Guest Chat Transcripts
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Old December 18th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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You can only concentrate sap so much such as using an RO or freeze drying before it will have an effect on taste and color. Nice broad statement Chuck................but its true you just need to find that point.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 03:28 PM
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OK- I found this in the transcripts (From Dr. Abby van den Berg)

Hi everyone! Let me first of all thank Bryan for inviting me to do this, and thank you all for stopping by. As for the first question, well, yes and no - the results from our experiments suggest that concentrating to higher Brix levels, say greater than 12% or so, will likely result in lighter-colored syrup. (and it will be lighter the higher you concentrate). But....the results also suggest that concentrating to only 8% might result in slightly darker syrup than what would be made from raw sap. And I should point out here, that the differences in color we're talking about are pretty small... sometimes only a few percentage points.

I'm wondering if anybody has experience reheating that syrup for candy or repackaging- or comparing it with (say) 4% sap out of the RO (which is really my plan... I don't want to get greedy yet- just cut the boiling time in half, which sounds pretty good right now).

Also, looked around on the Proctor site and couldn't find Dr. van den Berg's study... but I'm still looking.
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