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Old 10-07-2011, 12:58 AM   #1
dhouse
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Default Who here has made a home brew with maple syrup? Advice? Lessons learned?

Hi everyone. I'm a relatively new brewer with about a half dozen successful brews under my belt. I'm planning on tinkering with a porter recipe kit to make a maple porter, and I've been scouring the Interwebs for advice on how to incorporate maple syrup in a way that will add a nice subtle maple flavor but won't dry out my beer too much.

I found this forum very shortly after I started brewing, and I often search through the forum archives if I have a question about something. I've never felt the need to start a new thread here, since every question I've had so far has already been asked and answered. And there are already a lot of maple syrup threads here. The problem I'm having is that the advice is not very consistent: some people say adding syrup to the boil dries out the beer without adding much or any maple flavor, while other people advise adding up to a gallon near the end of the boil. Some people say priming with maple syrup doesn't add any flavor, while others caution that priming with maple syrup will add too strong of a flavor. Some people say the way to go is adding the maple during secondary.

I realized that some of the responses I was reading were coming from people who hadn't brewed with maple syrup but were giving their best guess based on their experience and knowledge of brewing, and that that might be why I was finding so much conflicting information. So my question is: who here has brewed with maple syrup? How did you use it? How did it come out? I'm interested in hearing the details of your maple brew success stories, but I'm also interested to learn what you tried that didn't work.

Thanks in advance!


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Old 10-07-2011, 01:36 AM   #2
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I put a pound into a one gallon cider experiment, there was almost no appreciable flavor added.


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Old 10-07-2011, 01:52 AM   #3
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I used a couple pounds in a early beer. Stuff was relatively expensive, and there was no flavor contribution. I would recommend against it.

If you want maple flavor, find some maple extract flavoring.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
I used a couple pounds in a early beer. Stuff was relatively expensive, and there was no flavor contribution. I would recommend against it.

If you want maple flavor, find some maple extract flavoring.
+1


I think if you want the flavor, either add to secondary, or use maple syrup as priming sugar.
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:44 PM   #5
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I second that neither boiling, nor addition to secondary will give you much aroma or flavor having recently tried both. I don't have experience at bottling with it, but suspect it would be more effective as well. Good luck!
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:54 PM   #6
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Be careful with extract, though. I've had beers at a local brewpub that tasted like fermented Aunt Jemima's, which is bad enough but it's practically criminal when said brewpub is in Vermont.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:58 PM   #7
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I had the bright idea to replace my brewing water with maple sap once......bad idea.

I also brewed with maple syrup and found that it dried out during fermentation almost completely.

I haven't been brave enough to try it in another beer since.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:12 PM   #8
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You could try using fenugreek, it has a mapleish flavor.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:16 PM   #9
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Interesting question. My noobish understanding was that you could add it at flameout like with honey, and that its contribution to flavor depended on which grade was used.

Interestingly, my LHBS sent out a Maple Syrup Amber recipe this week. Going to be adventurous and give it a whirl. Can let you know how it turned out.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:27 PM   #10
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I added 12oz to secondary from my Autumn Maple clone and it did dry the beer out, but there is also a faint maple hint to it.

I'd say anything other than secondary is a waste


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