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.
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
*1.076 / 18.4° Plato
*1.020 / 5.1° Plato
*19° SRM / 37° EBC
*56.2 IBU / 18 HBU
*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
Safale S-04 Dry Yeast
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!