I bought the maple syrup in Ohio at an Amish place, but I must admit that I didn't look carefully on whether it was imitation or not. What would that cause?
I've always racked to secondary (I have only brewed 50-60 batches), as my LHBS told me to in the beginning. I have read here that it is not necessary. I travel during the week, so I do things in weekly buckets. I often let beers go 2 weeks (and maybe 3, but that would be extremely rare). That is based on having the time to do so (depends on the honey-do). I am usually doing a total of 3 weeks (either 1 then 2 or 2 then 1). Most beers are big (1.075 to 1.085) and I am doing mostly IPAs, so 7/10 are dry hopped. Whether it is 1 or 2 weeks for primary, I get 1.02-1.025 and after secondary 1.015 or less. I feel that it cleans up the beer nicely as well. I do rack down the side of the bucket, but no matter what, there are some bubbles. What is the downside of secondary?