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Old 01-12-2014, 05:06 PM   #1
mirageags
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Jan 2014
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I was not sure what section to ask about this, but in a month or two the maple sap will be running. I really want to make a maple beer for spring. We have 5acres filled with sugar maples but its 3 hours away. A little less convienient unless i feel like sledding 5 gallon if sap out of the woods.
So i was thinking of brewing with sap instead of water from the norway and silver maples at my house. I know they have less sugar though Experiences brewing with sap? I heard it adds more of an earthy tone, i was originally going to go with a wheat, but thinking the earthy/wood notes it may add using sap would be too much for a wheat. Maybe a bock or something? If i used sap in the brew kettle during the boil also, would it dissapear too quickly in at least a 45 min boil? Would silver maple sap even add flavor compared to sugar maple? We make syrup from them sometimes but get less sugar from the sap than the sugar maples.

 
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:22 PM   #2
Epimetheus
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Using maple syrup comes up often. In general, the maple flavor largely disappears despite how much you use.

I have included lots of maple syrup in the primary for flavor, and tried to prime with it. What others said was true, the maple flavor pretty much vanishes in both cases. The sugars are very fermentable so they do raise the final ABV, and have the same effect on flavor as adding straight table sugar - a thinner beer taste with higher alcohol.

Legally, maple syrup is defined as 66% sugars, the rest is water and a tiny bit of maple essence. Use 1.5X maple syrup for the same content of dry dextrose, sucrose, or maltose.

I personally have had more luck using maple flavor extract to give that unique flavor. Extracts vary widely. I used 1 tsp in a quart of unfermented wort. That was too much. Then I added fragments of that wort to another quart until the flavor was wher I wanted it. Then after fermentation the flavor was too intense and mellowed over a month.

Overall, I think maple flavor is best done with extract. The amounts for one brand of extract will not be appropriate for another. Using the right amount of extract at the right time is art and experimentation.

I save expensive maple syrup for my pancakes.
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:25 PM   #3

I brewed an all maple sap beer last spring - and will definitely do it again.. Turned out fantastic. I started a thread about it on here - I'll see if i can dig it up using the mobile app...otherwise it will have to wait until I get to my laptop.

Edit - I can find the old thread with the mobile app but can't see how to link to it. I'll post back tonight.
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:34 PM   #4
mirageags
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You used it in the boil instead of water also? I suppose i can do all sap and check the taste on secondary or bottling day and then also add a hint of maple extract before or after.

Would the all sap beer you made have too much dark notes to it for a wheat? I had a maple wheat from rohrbachs here in rochester on tap and it was AWESOME. If the sap has too dark notes too it though i dont want it to overpower the lightness of a wheat

 
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:38 AM   #5

Here's the link to the thread I mentioned above - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/maple-sap-412894/

I replaced all the water with maple sap - I even made the yeast starter using the sap. I guess a little bit of non-sap water was used when I dissolved the priming sugar when bottling.

The sap most certainly will lend some color to the beer - even as I heated it to my strike temperature it darkened noticeably. And it smelled fantastic. Unfortunately, I don't know how much of the color or maple flavor comes through in the final beer since I brewed a pretty dark, robust beer. I'm sure the sap adds something to the beer, but I couldn't tease it out specifically from the rest of the flavors. It would be interesting to use it in a simple, SMaSH batch. I might try that this spring.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:16 PM   #6
gandelf
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I have used maple sap twice; in an amber and a brown. Both were milds with no discernible maple flavor or
aroma. Maple sap contains ~ 2.5 to 5.5 percent sugar. I live in NE Wisconsin and cook down maple sap in
my brew kettle each year. IMO, the use of sap might work in a light lager. For anything else, you need to
use at least a quart of grade 2 syrup. A nut brown or big amber is great with some maple syrup. Try dosing
a pint of your homebrew with syrup to find out first if it's what you want and how much to add.

 
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:12 PM   #7
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I've heard many people say that using sap for brewing water doesn't leave any hint of maple flavor. But I've heard of people having decent results when including maple syrup as a good portion of the fermentables.
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