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Old 01-24-2012, 06:18 PM   #1
krugulitis
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Default Smoked Maple Amber Ale, help needed!

I came across a recipe for a smoked maple amber ale on Brew Your Own (link below), and I was immediately intrigued because I recently picked up a 32 oz jug of grade b maple syrup on my last trip to Michigan.

http://www.byo.com/stories/recipeind...aple-amber-ale
http://www.byo.com/stories/article/i...ing-with-sugar

I had some issues with their recipe though, and a bunch of questions resulted:

-First, I do not have maple sap. Will 1 pint of maple syrup (about 1.5 lbs) in the boil, and maple syrup for priming be enough to leave a maple aroma and flavor?

-Second, they only use .25 lbs of smoke malt. While I am no expert with smoked malt myself, shouldn't there be substantially more? Will the 2lbs I list in my recipe below be enough to provide a soft smokiness, without being overpowering?

-Third, is 8% of my grain bill (1.25 lbs) of crystal malt a good amount? I am worried the syrup will dry this beer out, but I also don't want the beer to be cloying. Should I consider cara pils?

My adapted recipe is listed below. Please let me know what advice and comments you have!

Smoked Maple Strong Ale

-Original Gravity
*1.076 / 18.4° Plato
-Final Gravity
*1.020 / 5.1° Plato
-Color
*19° SRM / 37° EBC
-Mash Efficiency
*72%
-Bitterness
*56.2 IBU / 18 HBU
-Alcohol
*7.5% ABV / 6% ABW

-malt & fermentables

56% 9lbs, 8oz English Maris Otter

14% 2lbs, 4oz Munich Malt - 10L

13% 2lbs, 0oz German Rauch Smoked

9% 1lbs, 7oz Maple Syrup

6% 1lbs, 0oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L

2% 0lbs, 4oz Special B Malt

Total 16lbs, 7oz

-hops (these are left over pellets from 2 other previous brews)

60 min 0.5oz German Tradition

60 min 1.0oz Warrior

1 min 0.5oz German Tradition

1 min 1.0oz Warrior

-yeast
Safale S-04 Dry Yeast
73% attenuation

-misc
USE TIME AMOUNT INGREDIENT
boil 15 min 1 tsp Irish Moss

Single infusion mash at 154. Mash out at 168 and batch sparge at 170. Ferment at 68 °F for two weeks. Rack to secondary and let condition for 3 to 4 weeks. Bottle with maple syrup. Bottle condition for 4 weeks.

Thanks for the help!

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Old 01-24-2012, 06:32 PM   #2
kwbbpc
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-First, I do not have maple sap. Will 1 pint of maple syrup (about 1.5 lbs) in the boil, and maple syrup for priming be enough to leave a maple aroma and flavor?


I wouldn't boil the maple syrup. Boiling it will sap much of the aroma away. When I made my maple ale, I had a pretty good deal of success adding maple syrup directly into my primary fermentation, just after fermentation had settled down a bit (maybe four days in). If you really want a lot of maple syrup aroma consider using the syrup as a bottle primer (using a primer chart of course for proper amount). 1 pint will probably be enough... I can't quite remember how much I used (and I don't have my notes with me). I believe it was around a pint, and gave some noticeable maple flavor/smell in the background.

Edit: I didn't catch that you were already planning on bottling it with syrup - good idea!



-Second, they only use .25 lbs of smoke malt. While I am no expert with smoked malt myself, shouldn't there be substantially more? Will the 2lbs I list in my recipe below be enough to provide a soft smokiness, without being overpowering?

Smoked malt goes a long way. Especially when you're trying to get some maple flavors, do not use a lot of the stuff. .25 should be plenty.

-Third, is 8% of my grain bill (1.25 lbs) of crystal malt a good amount? I am worried the syrup will dry this beer out, but I also don't want the beer to be cloying. Should I consider cara pils?

Looks pretty balanced to me at this point. My maple ale didn't come out overly dry from the addition of syrup. If anything, I would increase the crystal malt, because I like something with 'maple syrup' in the name to be a bit sweeter. On the other hand, too much sweetness might not play well with a smokey taste.


Hope it comes out tasty!

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Old 01-24-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
ClarnoBrewer
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You could also try Briess' cherry wood smoked malt. It gives what I think of as a sweeter smoke profile. I love the stuff and think it might blend well with the maple. I used about 10% in a scottish light, and it's noticeable but not overpowering. But I like smoked stuff, and I find that's a really individual thing. Good luck!

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Old 01-25-2012, 05:29 AM   #4
dedhedjed
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+1 on the cherry wood smoked malt... made a porter with it that was fantastic, especially after about 6 months in the bottle, cherry really came through.

small microbrewery where I used to work does a maple brown. they used to add the syrup to the boil, and it was barely noticable. They've recently started adding it to the bright tanks, so post fermentation and cold crash, and it is a MUCH better beer.

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