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Sugar water...boil or not?? Cloudy sugar water! (1 Viewer)

emoxley

Member
I don't necessarily boil my water, but I do heat it until I notice smoke/steam rising from it (before boiling point). I remove it from the heat and immediately add the sugar and stir. I do this because hot water dissolves the sugar better. Ever tried to add sugar to iced tea in a restaurant? It won't dissolve very well. Once it cools, I have three feeders that I divide it to. The birds love it..........
 

nikiapple

Member
I have always boiled my sugar water and have never had it cloudy, but this year it turns cloudy as soon as I put the sugar in the water. I usually boil for one minute, but since it was cloudy I boiled it for two, but it is still cloudy. I have not seen any hummers yet and I wonder if it is because my sugar water is cloudy??? I have seen a downy at the feeder, but no hummers. I put some sugar in cold water and stirred it up and it did not turn cloudy. I know my pan is rinsed free of soap so I have no idea why I have this problem. Anyone have any ideas???

If all the variables are the same as in the past (water, white sugar, pan) you might just have to experiment to see which of these elements are causing the sugar to become cloudy and stay that way. Usually when you make a sugar solution and leave it out of the fridge until it becomes room temperature, any cloudiness goes away.

Although it is said that it is not necessary to boil your water, I think it does help to rid the water of any impurities and dissolve the sugar to make a proper solution. Personally I would use glass instead of a metal pan which depending on the type of metal is not safe especially for a little creature that weighs about half an ounce.

Be sure you use a bleach solution or a commercial hummingbird cleaner once a week to keep the mold and bacteria away

www.wildandwinged.com
 

Kneesaa'smom

New member
I have always boiled my sugar water and have never had it cloudy, but this year it turns cloudy as soon as I put the sugar in the water. I usually boil for one minute, but since it was cloudy I boiled it for two, but it is still cloudy. I have not seen any hummers yet and I wonder if it is because my sugar water is cloudy??? I have seen a downy at the feeder, but no hummers. I put some sugar in cold water and stirred it up and it did not turn cloudy. I know my pan is rinsed free of soap so I have no idea why I have this problem. Anyone have any ideas???

I also had this problem. I have been trying to understand why. Today I think I have the answer. I put the pot of water on the stove and turned the heat on low, I added the sugar at a very low boiling point and stirred until sugar had melted. I was rushed for time. I noticed the solution was clear. I made a second batch the same way and it also was clear. So I think the answer is a low boil for a short period of time.
 

TN Tin Man

Well-known member
My 2 cents. I was told too boil a rolling boil for 5 mins before adding sugar. Chlorine and any other contaminants will boil off. Then add the sugar stir for 2-3 min. Let it cool room temp before refrigeration.
 

Dana Dana

Well-known member
Hi,
I boil then add the sugar and mix til dissolved but I don't have to make up more than 1 cup at a time.

Having read this whole thread, I was reminded that using hot tap water from a hot water tank may not always be a healthy thing to drink or use for cooking depending on the particular plumbing/water situation.
Birds are more sensitive, I think.

Here is a link with many pros and cons.
http://www.bookofjoe.com/2008/02/behindthemeds-1.html
 
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duncan1

Member
I have always boiled my sugar water and have never had it cloudy, but this year it turns cloudy as soon as I put the sugar in the water. I usually boil for one minute, but since it was cloudy I boiled it for two, but it is still cloudy. I have not seen any hummers yet and I wonder if it is because my sugar water is cloudy??? I have seen a downy at the feeder, but no hummers. I put some sugar in cold water and stirred it up and it did not turn cloudy. I know my pan is rinsed free of soap so I have no idea why I have this problem. Anyone have any ideas???

I still boil my water and add the sugar (Just pure habit). You can always try another method - purchase a litre or two of pure spring water - ensure lable shows no additives and try a mix with this (maybe even a new small bag of sugar as well) Make sure that the feeder is pristine as well. If this remains unclouded - then maybe your water has had an additive introduced.

Good luck!
 

duncan1

Member
I have always boiled my sugar water and have never had it cloudy, but this year it turns cloudy as soon as I put the sugar in the water. I usually boil for one minute, but since it was cloudy I boiled it for two, but it is still cloudy. I have not seen any hummers yet and I wonder if it is because my sugar water is cloudy??? I have seen a downy at the feeder, but no hummers. I put some sugar in cold water and stirred it up and it did not turn cloudy. I know my pan is rinsed free of soap so I have no idea why I have this problem. Anyone have any ideas???

I still boil my water and add the sugar (Just pure habit). You can always try another method - purchase a litre or two of pure spring water - ensure lable shows no additives and try a mix with this (maybe even a new small bag of sugar as well) Make sure that the feeder is pristine as well. If this remains clouded - then maybe your water has had an additive introduced.

Good luck!
 

mauricek

Well-known member
iF YOUBOIL WATERYOU DRIE THE OXYGEN OUT AND THI MAKES IT LOOK GRAY/CLOUDY.Ttry usig cold water or,let it cool after bboiling.
mauricek
 

SEATTLEKJ

New member
Cloudy sugar water

I have always boiled my sugar water and have never had it cloudy, but this year it turns cloudy as soon as I put the sugar in the water. I usually boil for one minute, but since it was cloudy I boiled it for two, but it is still cloudy. I have not seen any hummers yet and I wonder if it is because my sugar water is cloudy??? I have seen a downy at the feeder, but no hummers. I put some sugar in cold water and stirred it up and it did not turn cloudy. I know my pan is rinsed free of soap so I have no idea why I have this problem. Anyone have any ideas???

I know this is a very old thread but I recently had a similar problem but have figured out that if I boil water in my microwave, and there is any residue in the microwave, the water will turn cloudy when adding the sugar. Cleaning the microwave from a recent small spill solved the problem!
 

kcisar

New member
Hello to everyone!

Today is a great day as I just joined BirdForum. I have read your fabulous posts about cloudy water and have a question.

I boil my water and have the same process for the sugar water for our numerous hummingbirds. These last two (2) times my water has had a very light green color to it. I threw out the first batch, put the pan in the dishwasher to make sure it was cleaned well, and the same thing happened this morning.
I was a little worried about harming the hummingbirds but they seem to love the sugared water. The sugar I have been and used is C&H Pure Cane Sugar and have used this before.

Thank you so much for your help.
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
Hi kcisar and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum :t:

My question to you, is : Is the boiled water clear before adding the sugar? You might want to check that out because there may be contaminates in the water that you are attributing to the sugar. The hummingbirds may still drink it but if there are any contaminates in the water (which seems to be happening a lot lately all over the U.S.) you and your hummers don't want to be using it.

If the water is clear then maybe I'd switch the sugar out for another brand and see how it looks then. Let us know please ;)
 

aimeerose72

Well-known member
Hello! I am new to this forum,but your post caught my eye. I boil the water,throw in the sugar,so it all dissolves. I feel this works much better than cool or even lukewarm water. Also, I have 3 feeders,2 are glass and 1 is plastic (which I have thrown in the recycle bin). The glass feeders would stay clear,but the plastic would soon turn cloudy. Also,sometimes the sugar amount and changes in the water may make the food be cloudy.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
 

The Bird Nuts

Birding Duo
I hope it's okay that I'm bringing this thread back, but I'm now having the same problem. The last few years I have been using spring water for my hummingbird nectar. I used to use tap water and i don't remember having this problem, but I switched because our water is softened. Anyway, I heat the spring water up in a pot on the stove (because the sugar will not dissolve in cold water), take it off the heat, then add the granulated sugar. SOMETIMES it turns out totally clear, but other times it has turned out very cloudy even after sitting at room temperature for hours. I can't tell whether it's contamination, the water's too hot when I add the sugar, or what, but it's driving me crazy and I've thrown out so much sugar water. Do you think the cloudy stuff is dangerous to give to the hummers?
 

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