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Old 01-19-2012, 01:15 PM   #1
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Default Maple Syrup and Bottling

I am currently fermenting a fairly big stout. I want to add real maple syrup after primary fermentation is over. I will be bottling immediately after. Will I still need to add priming sugar? Will this result in bottle bombs? I did a search and could not find an answer specific to my question.

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Old 01-19-2012, 01:21 PM   #2
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If you're planning to let the maple syrup ferment out, then no, you won't have bottle bombs. You just prime as normal.

When you are priming, the idea is that you are fermenting ONLY the sugar that you add at bottling time. If there are unfermentables remaining in your beer, THEN you run that risk....

That's why we recommend folks take gravity readings to determine done-ness. When folks don't take gravity readings, especially if they follow ridiculous kit instructions or the 1-2-3 rule which doesn't factor in yeast lag time, run the risk of bombs, because they don't know if there's unfermentables in their beers.

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Old 01-19-2012, 01:21 PM   #3
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I've primed with honey before and never had a bottle bomb. I would think you could do the same with maple syrup. There are priming sugar calculators on tastybrew.com that should help you with that.

Someone else chime in if needed. I don't want to steer a fellow home brewer down the wrong path!

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Old 01-19-2012, 01:23 PM   #4
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I provide on priming with alternative primers including fruit juice (including the link to the podcast,) and other sugars in my bottling stickey- Scroll to the lower half of this post.

It will show you how to figure out how much you need based on any nutritional info you can find.

There's also a chart in that post that shows how much maple syrup.

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Old 01-19-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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I primed by first beer with maple syrup. Only thing to look out for is making sure it gets evenly distributed through your beer. The whirlpooling effect will not be enough to ensure proper mixing.

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Old 01-19-2012, 01:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by urbanmyth View Post
I primed by first beer with maple syrup. Only thing to look out for is making sure it gets evenly distributed through your beer. The whirlpooling effect will not be enough to ensure proper mixing.
I find that if the measurement for a liquid, such as maple syrup, or lyles golden, or mollases or honey, to achieve the proper volume of co2, is less than the 2 cups of liquid, we usually prime with, then I bring the overall volume up to 2 cups with water and bring to boil or pasturization temp. It will thin out the syrup to close to the consistency we normally prime with...you could even go with more water to achieve the same viscosity of priming sugar and water, that we know integrates fine with beer.

You want to make it as easy as possible to integrate the new fermentable with the beer.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:34 PM   #7
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@ Revvy I learned from you early on that the hydrometer is my friend. I actually read your post on priming.
I was unclear in my first post. I don't want to prime with maple syrup, I want to add about a half gallon for a very mapley taste and to a lesser extent for the texture.

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Old 01-19-2012, 01:42 PM   #8
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@ Revvy I learned from you early on that the hydrometer is my friend. I actually read your post on priming.
I was unclear in my first post. I don't want to prime with maple syrup, I want to add about a half gallon for a very mapley taste and to a lesser extent for the texture.
I thought you were pretty clear actually, I didn't think you wanted to prime with it, that's why initially I didn't talk about priming with it until someone else brought it up.

What you will be doing, by adding the syrup is a true secondary fermentation, you're adding more fermentables after initial fermentation has wound down. It's very common with making many strong Belgian ales, because if adding multiple poundages of sugar you don't want to overwhelm the yeast, so you add it in stages. I've had beers with 4-5 pounds of sugar, that I've spread over 2-3 additional feedings.

Basically you wait til the first krausen falls, then add the next round of fermentables. More than likely you'll get another krausen forming, then If I'm adding more after that I wait til THAT krausen falls before adding the next sugar feeding.

Then after all my sugars are added, I give it sufficient time to make sure that they have fermented, and cleaned up after themselves, usually another 7-10 days before checking the gravity.

You can use any recipe calculator to figure out approximately what the gravity of all that SHOULD be. Then you'll know through the usual 2 readings over 3 days if the sugar has been consumed.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:23 PM   #9
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Once that secondary fermention occurs, I will loose all of my maple flavor will I not?

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Old 01-19-2012, 02:46 PM   #10
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Once that secondary fermention occurs, I will loose all of my maple flavor will I not?
No. What creates the flavor is what gives syrup, candi sugars, brown sugars and darker honeys their flavor- the caramalization of the sugars, in the case of syrup manufacturing, during the boil.

That's why I tell folks who want to play with honey to use the darkest grade possible, OR boil the crap out of it, like we do making a brochet mead, til it's dark. The lighter stuff will ferment away, but if it's dark you'll get flavor.
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