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Old 02-12-2013, 02:11 AM   #31
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St Louis MO. Boiled up a double batch of a new recipe, a maple porter at 1.053, which had the most robust fermentation I have ever seen. Blew the bung/airlock off the carboy and spewed all over the table. Cleaned it up and put in a hose to catch overflow. All together collected about 20 gallons thus far, and just boiled it down to half, a pale straw color. Tasted sweet, and gravity was only at 1.014, as I don't have sugar maples. Not sure any flavor will come through, so will prime the bottles with maple syrup, as most have had luck with that. Looking good thus far. Not sure why this is so vigourous fermentation, as I am using a starter, but house is cold right now, and it did that at 66f. Brought up to temp using a germination mat, and now it is right at 70f. I will post later with tasting notes. Still collecting sap for a second amber ale.

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Old 02-13-2013, 10:15 PM   #32
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Portland Maine...sap started flowing today...

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Old 02-20-2013, 12:54 PM   #33
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I've had some experience brewing using either syrup or maple sugar (zippy, if you're in central Mass, check out Warren Maple Farm in N. Brookfield); but this is the first year that I'm using sap.

The plan is to boil 6 or 7 gallons down to 5, and then treat it like my older recipe, in which 1 lb of maple sugar is added. I have no idea if the sap will enhance the flavor, or just give me a good story, but I will let you know.

Tapped my tree just before the blizzard as well, and it's flowing at ~1gal/day. I have to do something with all of this.

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Old 02-24-2013, 11:24 PM   #34
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I'm the original poster for this maple sap thread. Lots of replies which I've found very helpful. But we seem split 50/50. Half of you brewed with sap and it added a maple and/or woody flavor. The other half of you firmly believe that it completely ferments out and lends absolutely nothing to the brew aside from a higher ABV.

Really interested to know what the technique was that resulted in flavor? Did you boil the sap down more creating more carmelization or flavor? Does it matter if the sap comes from late in the season vs. early? I know later season sap has a darker and more mapley profile.

Anybody able to identify what helped retain the flavor? In theory it seems like it would ferment out 100% leaving nothing behind, but clearly some of you have overcome that...

In central mass we just got 30 inches of snow dumped on us, but this week the sap should be flowing. Freezing at night and mid to high 30's during the day.

zc
I've used maple sap in brewing for the last 6 years. I usually do three 5 gallon batches per year. The Maple Sap adds noticeable sweetness, although I would not always identify it as maple. It does add some to the ABV, but I have never had it dry out a beer. The primary beer I make is a Chocolate Maple Porter (which I lager). I also brew a Maple Marzen and then a third batch of some sort of experimental dark ale. This past year I made a Belgian Maple Brown Farmhouse Ale. Turned out pretty well. I would agree that late sap actually lends more flavor than early, just as Grade B lends more flavor to beer than Grade A syrup.

I have never boiled it down to increase the maple sugar content, but I prefer the flavor to be subtle. I have not had a commercial maple beer I liked. They were all too sweet. I have found that with aging, the maple flavor gets more pronounced in the darker beers.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:40 PM   #35
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As it turns out, I'm going to be doing this this weekend... Found a local sugar house willing to part with 10 or 11 gallons of sap tomorrow morning, so I'll be meeting up with them to pick it up then, and brewing Sunday! Planning to try for a Maple Wheat, shooing for something similar to Harpoon's Catamount Maple Wheat, for anyone who's tried that... We'll see how it turns out!

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Old 03-01-2013, 09:48 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratslinger
As it turns out, I'm going to be doing this this weekend... Found a local sugar house willing to part with 10 or 11 gallons of sap tomorrow morning, so I'll be meeting up with them to pick it up then, and brewing Sunday! Planning to try for a Maple Wheat, shooing for something similar to Harpoon's Catamount Maple Wheat, for anyone who's tried that... We'll see how it turns out!
Recipe? I've got a good amount of sap flowing right now and swbo won't notice six gallons or so going missing, especially with me brewing once a week now during the slow time of my work before I get ramped up for summer.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:34 AM   #37
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Well, it took me about 9.75 gallons since I brew all grain. Here's the recipe I went with (BeerSmith should be able to convert, though I can't attest to how well):

6.5lbs White Wheat Malt
5.5lbs 2-Row
1lb Carapils
1lb Crystal 120L
Mashed at about 154

1oz Wilamette @60
.65oz Wilamette @20

Fermenting with Wyeast British Ale II (came up with this after talking over it with the guy at the LHBS)

That works out to just over 14% in crystal malts, mainly because my buddy who tried this last year found that the sugars in the sap tended to dry out his beer, so I'm using more crystal than I normally would to try to counter that effect - hopefully not so much that it'll compete with the maple though.

EDIT: And for reference, the brew day went quite well, despite a significantly increased cleaning load... I filled up a pair of better bottles with sap, so both of those had to be rinsed with hot water a couple times and they're currently soaking with Oxyclean. My HLT, which rarely ever gets cleaned since it only really ever sees water in it, got a really got scrub down, and all my hoses, the detachable valve for my pump-in-a-box, and anything that will fit, are all soaking in another bucket of oxy now too, in addition to all the normal stuff that needs scrubbing and soaking and cycling of oxy and rinse water, etc.

But the brew itself? Interestingly, I thought I was walking away from the maple farm with about 10.5 gallons, but I was measuring on an incline, and actually wound up with closer to 9.75 into the HLT. This was a little too close, so I added .5 gallons of water just to be safe (I hated to dilute, but BeerSmith told me I needed 9.73 total). The sap itself was mildly sweet, but not noticeably maple. Anyway, after taking my first runnings, I found that the grain didn't seem to absorb as much liquid as BS projected, so I figured what the heck, and sparged with every last drop I could, and boiled 90 minutes. Turns out I didn't need that extra water after all. The resulting wort did indeed taste of maple, and I'm hoping that sticks around post-fermentation.

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Old 03-06-2013, 01:51 AM   #38
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My update...2 taps have only yielded 3 gallons but there's ice in the 'buckets' (bags if you're paying attention) so it's still staying pretty cold. I decided today to boil those 3 gallons and freeze in milk jugs. So I boiled it down to 2 gallons. Turned a slight amber and started tasting a little like maple (and smelled nice indoors). Gravity reading was 1.013. Not exactly sure where this is going...

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Old 03-07-2013, 12:28 PM   #39
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2 trees 2 taps and in 5 days got me 8 gallons of sap. I am torn. My trees make the best maple syrop and this should net me about 25 ounces. Really want to try using it for my homebrew though. Maybe I just collect another 8 gallons and do both.

Life is so hard.

zc

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Old 03-07-2013, 12:48 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippyclown View Post
2 trees 2 taps and in 5 days got me 8 gallons of sap. I am torn. My trees make the best maple syrop and this should net me about 25 ounces. Really want to try using it for my homebrew though. Maybe I just collect another 8 gallons and do both.

Life is so hard.

zc
Check around. Many people sell sap. I have some friends that farm maple sap and sell for .50 per gallon.
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