Trying to make my own variation of a maple brown ale. Should I use a artificial flavoring or can I add pure maple syrup at flameout like in honey brews? Wasn't sure if the syrup would leave a bad aftertaste.
I would just add the maple syrup at flame out. Every time I add stuff like that especially honey I add at flame out. I do it because that the wort is hot enough to pasteurize the addition, but not too hot where it'll break it down into basically corn sugar. In fact I just did a batch with brown sugar and added it right at flame out...came out awesome.
If you add the syrup at flameout then it will ferment out completely, leaving almost no syrup flavor. Maybe add half at flameout and half after primary fermentation is complete. Syrup is a simple sugar that is 100% fermentable.
maple flavor doesn't come from the sugar but from the minerals and non-fermentables. the whole taste is a combination of the sugar and these parts, so fermenting it will change how it is perceived, but you will still have a distinctly maple presence.
i've not done any experiments but i've heard that feeding the wort simple sugars once fermentation begins actually promotes higher attenuation than lower, since the yeast will not have access to as many simple sugars at first and will process a higher percentage of complex sugars before completely fermenting the simple ones.