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Old 09-18-2008, 11:46 AM   #1
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Default Ever try a maple syrup dark ale?

Im heading up to Boston this weekend to see my girlfriend but I have to keep filling that pipline so Im brewing a maple syrup dark ale today when I get home from work. It's an extract kit w/ specialty grains and it came with 12oz of pure New York maple syrup.

Has anyone every made or tried a maple syrup dark ale???? I never have but it sounded pretty good so I picked it up.

The directions say to add the syrup at 15 minutes or 2 minutes for more aroma. I want aroma and some taste but not overpowering so when do you think I should add the syrup?

Do you think I should get some more syrup and add some at 15 minutes and some at 2?

Im excited for this one



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Old 09-18-2008, 12:29 PM   #2
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You won't detect it at 15 min or 2 min IMO. The yeast will eat all of it up! If anything, put some it Primary (post fermentation) and some in secondary or bottling.



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Old 09-18-2008, 12:33 PM   #3
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What grade is the maple syrup? You need at the very least Grade B but even then getting a distinctive maple flavor in a beer is difficult. The sugars of the syrup will ferment out completely and the flavors of it can be easily overpowered. Since you say this is a dark ale presumably it utilizes dark roasted malt which will mask the flavor some as well. 12 oz. is not bad, some folks (like Charlie Papazian) recommend one gallon, (that hurt$ as he says!) for real flavor. I have used a quart of grade B, which was about 1 3/4 lb.s to good effect.

All that said, should you use maple syrup? Absolutely! I just wanted you to know it won't taste like maple syrup beer. However it will be delicious for certain. Maple is a wonderful ingredient and does lend a distinctive flavor, just not something you can pick out as definitively maple.

ENJOY!

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Old 09-18-2008, 12:42 PM   #4
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off the top of my head I can't remember what grade it is. I know it's pretty fancey in a glass maple leaf shaped bottle and it is also very runny... not thick sludge like the fake stuff.

It does use a dark malt extract.

I planned on leaving it in my primary for 3-4 weeks and then kegging so maybe I should add it a couple weeks into fermentation or right before I cold crash it and put it into the keg? If I do that should I simmer the syrup to make sure it is sanitary?

All that said I am still not sure if I should just follow the directions. I have a hard time following directions... or how about this.... add the syrup like they say (maybe with 5 minutes remaining) and then when I take my readings take a little taste and see if there is any flavor and decide from there if I want to add more of leave it be? What do you think?

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Old 09-18-2008, 01:47 PM   #5
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I add mine to the secondary. I used 1/2 gallon in a porter I did last year came out very nice but didn't have a very strong maple flavor. I make my own syrup also.

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Old 09-18-2008, 05:24 PM   #6
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Well I emailed midwest and they said that I could certianly try it in the primary but the yeast will still try to eat the sugars. they mentioned using maple syrup instead of priming surag for bottling which sounds good but I will be kegging this bad boy. So I am leaning towards going with the recipe and then deciding if I should add more maple syrup when I take gravity readings and sample.

If I do decide to add more maple syrup should I simmer it to make sure it is sanitary?

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Old 09-18-2008, 06:12 PM   #7
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You could prime in your keg with it, rather than force-carbing. Priming is the point where you will retain the most flavor, IME - if its in primary, it might as well be white cane sugar, near enough. The sugar is eaten and the flavor goes right out the airlock, I think.

If you haven't opened up the bottle, it's been boiled a LOT and can be considered quite sanitary. You can boil it again if it makes you happy, but there is no need.

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Old 09-18-2008, 07:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecnerwal View Post
You could prime in your keg with it, rather than force-carbing. Priming is the point where you will retain the most flavor, IME - if its in primary, it might as well be white cane sugar, near enough. The sugar is eaten and the flavor goes right out the airlock, I think.

If you haven't opened up the bottle, it's been boiled a LOT and can be considered quite sanitary. You can boil it again if it makes you happy, but there is no need.
I like the idea I am just not sure how I hook my airlock up to the keg (I think you take the pressure release valve off and then put the airlock in there or how much maple syrup to use. I will deffinetly consider priming it with the maple syrup but since I am brewing in like an hour I think I am gona stick to the recipe and taste it once I sample to see how it came out. If it needs more then I am sure I will be digging around for information of priming a keg with maple syrup....
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:32 PM   #9
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I decided to add maple to my pumpkin ale and I went with maple extract. I didn't want the syrup messing with the amount of fermentables and it is difficult to predict how much flavor you'll get. With extract I use a medicine dropper and a few test beers. I figured out that 20-30 drops per 12oz was the range I'm looking for, then I multiply that to fit the batch, and add at bottling. That's only because experimenting with syrup would take me forever. A tried and true recipe on the other hand will probably be good.

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Old 09-18-2008, 07:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coastarine View Post
A tried and true recipe on the other hand will probably be good.
Yeah I am assuming they know what they are doing and the kit wont be crap if I just follow the directions. We'll see how it goes. I am heading home to brew


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