Maple Wine

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Cheesefood

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OK, I made some maple wine tonight. I used an extremely easy (but painful) method so I'm interested in seeing how it turns out:

Ingredients:

2 gallons Grade A 100% pure maple syrup
3 gallons water
1 tbsp yeast nutrient

Yeast:
Red Star champagne yeast

Step 1: Make a starter with 2 cups water and 1 cup syrup
Step 2: Fall down the freakin' basement steps with an ale pail, 3 gallon jugs of water and a quarter gallon of syrup
Step 3: Scream, then get into an argument with wife. Topic: "I didn't come down to help you while you were screaming in pain because I asked if you were OK and you didn't say anything"
Step 4: Get over it.
Step 5: Pour 2.5 gallons of water (lost a half gallon in the trip) into glass carboy with 2 gallons of syrup.
Step 6: Boil 1 gallon of water with 2 tbsp of yeast nutrient. (Half of this goes for the cyser I also made).
Step 7: Pour the hot water directly into the carboy. Shake.
Step 8: Pour half of starter into carboy.
Step 9: Cap
Step 10: Pour glass of something much stronger than a hombrew. My back is gonna be bruised tomorrow!

OK, so now to be serious. The color is an awesome dark amber. I tried to photo, but the batteries on my cam are dead. I'm very interested in seeing how well this ferments down. I should have taken an OG reading, but I was in too much pain to remember.

I'll post more as it progresses. I'm really interested in seeing how the champagne yeast will ferment the syrup.
 

Mikey

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Pure maple syrup has an OG of only about 1.031 approx, so by diluting it with 3 gallons of water, the OG is probably about 1.012 or so. Barely enough to ferment at all.

Sorry to tell you this after such a bad brewing sessions. :(
 

Mikey

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Sorry, I redid my calcs and got a 1.091 OG. I was looking at the wrong column.

Hope it works out!
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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Thanks Mikey...

OK, what's up? When I made my starter yesterday, I had a krausen within a few hours. I just checked both the maple wine and the cyser and there's no activity. In the maple wine, the yeast are just sitting on the top.

Did the yeast form a union and decide not to work on July 4th?
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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The answer is YES, the yeast were on vacation. As of last night, they were back at work. In the center of the carboy, I saw some activity and there's some white foam forming around the edges. This morning, the activity was increased, more foam and bubbles in the carb lock. There were bubbles in the cyser carb-lock as well. Yeah!

The maple wine's color is changing. It was originally a very dark amber, but the yeast is causing it to lighten up. It's very similar to the hefe I just brewed (which is sitting in a 5-gallon secondary).
 

Cap'n Jewbeard

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That sounds pretty fine. What grade of syrup were you using? What would I expect a maple wine to taste like?
 

Walker

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P funky said:
What would I expect a maple wine to taste like?
"Terrible" is my guess. Then again... I'm not a huge fan of maple syrup. :)

Man, Cheesefood... that must have been an EXPENSIVE brew right there. 2 gallons of real maple syrup can't be cheap. What did you spend on the syrup?

Browsing the web, it looks like 2 gallons of it would cost about $100 if you bought it in 1 gallon jugs from a farm.

-walker
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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I love maple syrup and reviews I've read say that it's pretty tasty. We shall see!

I bought Grade A Maple Syrup from Costco @ $16.64 per half-gallon. So it's just under $70.00. Then there's the $1.50 for the yeast and the $3.00 for the water.
 

Walker

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Cheesefood said:
I bought Grade A Maple Syrup from Costco @ $16.64 per half-gallon. So it's just under $70.00. Then there's the $1.50 for the yeast and the $3.00 for the water.
Not too shabby, provided you actually like it when it's done. :)
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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Walker-san said:
Not too shabby, provided you actually like it when it's done. :)
It's going to age for a while. I'm probably going to crack a bottle during the holidays, but after that I may wait a year or more before cracking number 2 (unless its really good, in which case I'll make another soon).

http://www.epinions.com/content_4593918084
 

Walker

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Cheesefood said:
This part cracks me up:
Rating:

This is a 5 star wine, in my opinion. $15.00 is a little steep for our tastes but it is worth the money if you are looking for an after dinner, dessert drink.
They call it a 5-star wine, but complain that it costs $15/bottle?

If you asked me how much a bottle of 5-star wine would cost, I would be thinking something close to $100.

Maybe their "star" scale goes from 1 to 10?

My wife is an avid wine drinker, and every single bottle of dessert wine she has bought has cost about at least $20 for a 375ml bottle (extraoplate to $40 for a full-sized 750ml bottle.)

-walker
 

Caplan

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Good luck Cheese! 5 Gallons of what could be a hit and miss 'experiment' seems a big initial outlay. A one Gallon trial run may have been worth a try first but i admire your courage!
I'd have personally put some acid (in the form of either HBS citric powder or the juice of a few lemons) and some tannin (again from the HBS or via some very strong black tea) to help balance it for aging.
Let us know how it goes!:)
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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I took the first sample today. It's decent, but needs to be seasoned before I'll share it with company. The flavor hits you like a riesling on the tip of your tongue at first, that electric bubble-induced shock like touching a near depleted nine-volt to your tongue.

It tastes like wine at the begining. The champagne yeast give it a true champagne dryness and flavor. Perfect for a brut drinker like me.

Steadily, the maple flavors are processed by your brain. In my opinion, this goes on a tad too long before ending with a sweet, syrup taste. It's not overwhelming or too much, and I think this will mellow in time to a more acceptable level.

Jury is still out, but things are looking good considering it's still green.
 
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Cheesefood

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OK, this is a few weeks from bottling. I'll try to bottle it on Labor Day if it's ready, otherwise it'll be before the end of September.

Is anyone interested in this? If so, I'll trade for a high-end non-beer homebrew (unless it's a super-special beer). I'll bottle you a 12oz, 22oz, 750ml or 1.5L bottle for a comparable trade in return. I'll give this caviat: I'm expecting it to need at least 1 year in bottle before it's ready to drink. I'll also say that it's currently delicious in small servings and would be a great conversation piece after a formal dinner. In one year, I expect to be able to drink 3-5 ounces in a glass. I honestly can't predict how it will be in 2+ years, but I expect it'll be appreciated.

Trade is At-Your-Own-Risk as I'm the only guy here to have created this (AFAIK). It needs a pacient owner. You can decide whether it's still-wine or carbonated, as I'll prime individual bottles on request.
 
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Cheesefood

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Last night, the Mrs. and I had a couple of glasses. It's good. Very, very good. I sanitized a turkey-baster and pulled a half 22oz bottle from the carboy so that we could sample. I served it on ice.

We both really liked it. The flavor has toned down tremendously (especially when served on the rocks) and isn't too sweet or cloying. I'll definitely make this again.

I think this is going to be my holliday bring-along. I'm going to bottle it in clear wine bottles to show off it's beautiful color and clarity. Next step for me is to make a label and find time to bottle it up.
 

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do you think adding some acid or tannins would have improved it, or is it perfect as-is?
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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hunteraw said:
do you think adding some acid or tannins would have improved it, or is it perfect as-is?
I don't know. It's still in the primary fermenter. I've been very, very busy and haven't done anything brew wise in a couple of months (other than sample the stuff in my carboys).

I like it, but it's not for everyone. It's perfect for my sweet tooth.
 

TUCK

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I agree, I am very curious to see how it turned out.

What's the news , Cheese?
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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I mixed half of it with my Cyser for the original mapfelwein and bottled the other half. Last time I tried it, it was very sweet and strong but it was good on the rocks. I'm going to let it sit for a while longer before trying my next bottle.
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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It's been almost 11 years and I opened another bottle tonight. It's fantastic. Sweet but no longer cloying. Slightly carbonated. Better than last time I opened a bottle. Still unique. I reccomend it and holding onto it for a decade.
 

eigua

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It's been almost 11 years and I opened another bottle tonight. It's fantastic. Sweet but no longer cloying. Slightly carbonated. Better than last time I opened a bottle. Still unique. I reccomend it and holding onto it for a decade.
Hardcore. :rockin:
 

Paps

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I did a maple wine some 5-ish years ago.
unique is very accurate.
I only did a one gallon batch so it's lifespan didn't last a year.
It's great stuff and i need to get off my lazy arse and make more of it.
 
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