Maple Wine

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B0whunt3r

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I just tapped a couple of sugar maples that I have in the backyard and the sap is flowing. I plan on turning most of it into syrup, but I want to try a gallon batch of Maple Wine. My plan is to reduce however many gallons of sap it take to get a gallon of sap with an OG of 1.095, ferment it dry and back sweeten with some Maple Syrup. Doing some quick math I would guess it would take about 10 gallons of sap.

Has anyone done this before?

And what other additives should I use? I think Yeast nutrient would be a good add and wouldn't hurt. Should I add tannin or acidic blend?
 

Flywheel

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I've heard of people using the sap (not concentrated) as the water in a maple beer but never wine. Could be tasty.
 

Golddiggie

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I would just give it some DAP and aerate it until you hit the 1/3 break...

Basically, you're making a mead with maple syrup/sap instead of honey (I want to do the same thing)... You probably will lose a good amount of flavor during fermentation. BUT, since you plan to back-sweeten anyway (be careful to not go too far, too fast there) you'll gain at least some of that back.
 

Reaver

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There was a thread on this here int he wine forum a while ago. Don't have time to search for it now but take a look. I'll be working on a batch myself as soon as things start flowing. My family manages about 300 Taps. Hoping for a good year since the last 2 were so bad.
 
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B0whunt3r

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300 taps wow that's about 296 more than me, but hopefully i'll have enough to start it this weekend. thanks for the comments. I found that old thread, good stuff. I'll post my progress.
 

Rossnaree

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Misplaced is right - approximately 12:1 ratio. Also keep in mind that when evaporating, more heat energy is expended in the finishing pans, so it's a LOT cheaper to just boil/evaporate to get to the consistency/SG needed for making wine than to go all the way to syrup, only to dilute to get it to the proper SG. Jack Keller's got a good recipe, but as said above, do it more like a mead.

- Tim
 
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While that is true, most of the color and much of the flavor will be generated during the final boil to syrup. There's a lot of caramelization happening at the end.

M_C

Misplaced is right - approximately 12:1 ratio. Also keep in mind that when evaporating, more heat energy is expended in the finishing pans, so it's a LOT cheaper to just boil/evaporate to get to the consistency/SG needed for making wine than to go all the way to syrup, only to dilute to get it to the proper SG. Jack Keller's got a good recipe, but as said above, do it more like a mead.

- Tim
 

Rossnaree

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You're absolutely correct, but those don't come through very well in the finished product, at least in my experience; maybe it has more to do with the yeast that I use, though? (EC-1118)
 

Golddiggie

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How about using reduced sap for the majority of the must, with some fully cooked added into it for more flavor? Sounds like it could be the best of both worlds...

How much of maple syrup is fully fermentable sugars? Should it be treated the same as honey, or will it never finish dry?

I'm thinking of making a 3 gallon batch soon with a good amount of the sugars coming from honey (light, cheap stuff, don't care about the flavor of it at all). I'm looking to bring in the character, and flavors, of maple syrup though.

Rossnaree, how do you usually make yours? OG? FG? Do you use nutrient like you would with mead (assuming you probably would)? How long does the batch go before it's getting good (at what ABV)?
 
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Maple sap/syrup is nearly 100% fructose = usually ferments all the way down to near zero.

If OP is intending on back-sweetening, I wouldn't worry too much about boiling-to-syrup and then re-diluting.

I've recently experimented with re-boiling maple syrup to convert to non-fermentable sugars, but so far this is only a light experimentation.

M_C
 

Rossnaree

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How about using reduced sap for the majority of the must, with some fully cooked added into it for more flavor? Sounds like it could be the best of both worlds...

How much of maple syrup is fully fermentable sugars? Should it be treated the same as honey, or will it never finish dry?

I'm thinking of making a 3 gallon batch soon with a good amount of the sugars coming from honey (light, cheap stuff, don't care about the flavor of it at all). I'm looking to bring in the character, and flavors, of maple syrup though.

Rossnaree, how do you usually make yours? OG? FG? Do you use nutrient like you would with mead (assuming you probably would)? How long does the batch go before it's getting good (at what ABV)?
First, most of what I've made HAS been from maple syrup diluted to an OG of between 1.115 and 1.130. FG is usually around 0.999-1.002, once it went to 0.998 and nope, there was nothing wrong with the hydrometer or my reading of it as far as i can tell.

One of the reasons I'm thinking that sap evaporated to wine SG instead of bringing to finished syrup and then diluting is, of course, for the energy savings, but as Misplaced_Canuck pointed out, much of the color and flavor is developed during the finishing process. BUT, as I stated, a lot of that doesn't necessarily come through in the finished mead/wine, and may be due to my choice of yeast (EC-1118); but the yeast is also the reason why the wine always finishes nice and dry. Now, if I were to use DV-10, or DV-47, things might be different. To keep the same alcohol tolerance as EC-1118, I'd go with the DV-10; if going with the DV-47, I'd probably scale back the OG accordingly so's I wouldn't end up with anything overly sweet. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE off-dry Rieslings, etc, it's just that with mead and maple it can get sicky-sweet. And stay that way...

The other reason is a bit more of a theory at this time, and that is --- when you make maple syrup, you will always end up with what is called "sugar sand." To put it a little too simply, it's the minerals from the tree contained within the sap. When heated, and as the sap becomes more concentrated, these minerals "group" and precipitate out as grit, or sugar sand. Anyways, this gets filtered out with commercial operations and most hobby/home-use operations. My THEORY, only, is that by not going entirely to syrup stage, this process of precipitating-out the minerals -- or, even if there is sugar sand, not filtering it out -- is prevented, and the yeast will have those minerals to use as nutrient. Just a theory. I don't even know how I'd go about proving it.

Otherwise, it's not big deal to forget about all that and go ahead and just add nutrient as you would for mead -- I do that anyhow. I just don't do staggered nutrient additions; I'm not sure that you need to with maple. I just like to keep the must with whatever it came with, figuring that maybe it contains just what the yeast need to do it right. IDK, probably just BS in the end.

As for aging: Like beauty in the eye of the beholder, that's entirely up to you. Naturally, the higher ABV's need a little more aging than the lower ABV wines, but there are exceptions. As far as my own tastes and experience (not at all extensive, I should state), it definitely matures a LOT faster than most meads (exceptions being the "quick meads"), between 9 and 12 months or so on average, but longer would be better. How much better, IDK, it hasn't lasted. I don't get a lot of lees, and I don't generally rack to secondary UNLESS I've also used honey or something else that will produce them, and even then I've forgotten all about racking and it'll be months later and nothing bad ever happened, so.... nah. I don't bother. About all I do is top off with more of the same to reduce headspace, since the ferment is so mild that I don't worry about blow-off at all.

I honestly don't know if I really ever do the exact same recipe twice; about all that's consistent is EC-1118. I love it. However, this thread, in post #12, has been making me regret always using 1118, and even some posts on HBT's Mead section mention that 1118 will blow the bouquet and flavors right out through the airlock, whereas DV-10 and DV-47 generally won't. The thread, over on gotmead.com --->http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9177

Now, THERE'S a good lookin' recipe!!! Or "recipe's," since the chocolate one looks good, too. I've been meaning to do the "Acerglyn Aphrodisiac" for a long time. Also, this year, I want to try various mixtures of maple, honey, and apple. NOT sure how well those will turn out, but I figure that a bunch of 1-gallon experiments may just pay off nicely. We'll see, if I even get around to doing them.

Some other good sites, but by no means anywhere even close to scratching the surface (hint - search is your friend!!! lol!), if you don't care for my approach ---

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/request132.asp --- except, I boil down to the target OG, I don't add other sugars. Another thing, and if you tap you already know this, don't plug the tap hole. The tree will take care of itself quite nicely.

These two both seem to be by the same author, they're almost the same:
http://www.brewery.org/gambmug/recs/1003169902-30047.shtml
http://www.brewery.org/cm3/recs/10_25.html

http://davespicks.com/writing/mme/recipes/maple.html

Anyways, you got the long-winded response out of me. Sorry about that.

- Tim
 

Reaver

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Good follow up Rossnaree! Can't wait to get going on this!

We got 150gal's Sunday before the weather changed. Mom+Dad are putting the first boil on the pans tonight or tomorrow. We should be boiling by this weekend.
 

Rossnaree

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One of my friends just switched to vacuum this year, and now he's able to tap a few hundred more because of the sap ladders he's built. His total should exceed 1,000 taps this year just on the one woodlot, he has 2 or 3 other smaller ones that he also taps. And vacuum a little more than doubles his collection rate. It's been pretty good for sap flow this year, especially considering the miserable weather. After Monday's (my birthday) little blizzard, IDK how he's fairing but i suspect all the lines, tanks, and vacuum pump are buried.

I'm doing a little bit here at home, and I figure when I've got enough to do a 15.5 gallon batch, I'll go straight maple with that and use a different yeast (step away from EC-1118 for a batch or so), and also enough to do the Acerglyn Aphrodisiac, as well as the honey/apple/maple (HAM??? lol!) that I've been wanting to do. And maybe even enough leftover to actually keep some syrup, eh? :D I keep forgetting my priorities, or at least that mine don't necessarily match those of family and friends that only want the syrup.

P.S. - How many taps are they running? What kind of evap/arch - Leader, homemade, or ???? 150 gallons is a nice run. My friend with the new vacuum system got 400 the first day (early last week), and Sunday collected almost 800. And it's not even in full swing yet. Then there's those friends in other states, even in western PA, that are talking about how their bees have been bringing in bumper pollen hauls... I kept thinking, "What are those bees that can fly in near-zero degree temps, miserable snowy and rainy weather, and find pollen under 4' of snow? I GOTTA GET ME SOME O' DEM SOOPER BEES!!!" Then they tell me that the dandelions have been in bloom for almost a month now (we're more than 6 weeks away from that!), and the trees are flowering, etc. And then I look outside, and at the thermometer, and then at the calendar, and I realize.... it's not winter that I hate, it's winter HERE. :) Oh well, I suppose I'm still here because I wouldn't trade it. ...yet... same guys that are planting sweet corn before the ice is off the ponds around here.....
 

Saccharomyces

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I like your plan. It sounds great!

You will need lots of nutrients since you are trying to ferment just sugar. Assuming a 5 gallon batch (scale accordingly if you are going bigger/smaller), I would recommend boiling a few tablespoons of bread yeast and adding it to the fermenter, and oxygenate well when you pitch. Pitch two packs of yeast rehydrated with GoFerm per the instructions. As soon as visible fermentation starts, add 1tsp of DAP and 1/2tsp of Fermaid K, oxygenating heavily. At 1/3 sugar break add another 1tsp of DAP and 1/2tsp of Fermaid K. If you notice any funny sulfur/rotten egg smells during the fermentation add 1/2tsp of additional Fermaid K and stir vigorously. You will probably need to use finings such as gelatin or isinglass to drop the yeast out, they are unlikely to flocculate very fast in an all-sugar must.

Good luck and let us know what happens :mug:
 

Reaver

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I don't have machine specifics... esp since he got a new vacuum pump this year. But here are my photobucket folders. They are labeled by year so you can see the changes along the way. We started vacuum a couple years ago and they bought a new pump this year... WAY better than the homebuilt machine we had. I don't have any pics this year since the only change we really made was the vacuum pump.

It won't be too interesting since I can't explain the pics... but it will give you an idea of our operation. We've learned and RE-done alot thru the years.

http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p25/dreamreaverLT/Syrup 07/

http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p25/dreamreaverLT/syrup 08/

http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p25/dreamreaverLT/syrup 09/

http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p25/dreamreaverLT/syrup 10/
 

Laddie

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"Ingredients

Recipe 1
4 1/2 cups maple syrup
10 cups water
2 oranges or 1 lemon, sliced thin
1 campden tablet
1 package wine yeast
Recipe 2
1 gallon maple sap
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 oranges or 1 lemon, sliced thin
2 campden tablets
1 package wine yeast
Recipe 3
12 gallons maple sap, reduced to 1 gallon
2 oranges or 1 lemon, sliced thin
1 campden tablet
1 package wine yeast



Place maple sap in primary fermentor. Add water and sugar, if using. Add oranges or lemon and campden tablets. Let sit overnight.

Next day, Specific Gravity should be 1.090 - 1.100. Stir in yeast. Stir daily for 5 to 6 days or until Specific Gravity is 1.040. Strain out fruit and squeeze as much juice out of it as you can. Siphon into secondary fermentor and add airlock.

For a dry wine, rack in three weeks, and every three months for one year. Bottle.

For a sweet wine, rack at three weeks. Add 1/2 cup sugar or maple syrup dissolved in 1 cup wine. Stir gently, and place back into secondary fermentor. Repeat process every six weeks until fermentation does not restart with the addition of sugar. Rack every three months until one year old. Bottle.

The wine is best if you can refrain from drinking it for one full year from the date it was started.

NOTE:

If you have access to maple trees, try Recipe 3. Boiling the sap until you have 1 gallon left will give you the right sugar content for winemaking. The rest of us will have to buy maple syrup. "

found this recipe online, i have a batch of recipe 1 that has been in the secondary for 5 days...started in the primary with 2 oranges SG was 1.095..pitched yeast...stirred daily for 4 days..sg 1.003....racked into one gallon jug...still bubbling....we shall see...
 

linuxbgood

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I use recipe number 3 and it comes out great. I may be wrong but recipe 1 cant have much of a taste too it especially if your not tapping sugar maples, but I could be wrong. Have you ever tried the sap out of the tree? Its only a little sweet.
 

Goat_Nutz

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I know this is about maple wine, but i recently used some boiled down syrup I got from my Brother in law. I, like the newb that I am, did not write down any of the measurments/procedures that I used. From what I recall i used about 1 gallon of syrup, 4 gallons of water. I boiled the water with a small amount of black patten, like 1 ounce. Used about 1 oz of northern brewer for bittering and nothing else. I fermented with Coopers ale yeast, 2nd generation i had in the fridge. It fermented about 2 weeks in the primary, i kegged and it was gross, i mean nasty. Let it sit about 3 weeks in the keg and WAM!! It was awsome, like i said i didn't get a reading on the SG, but the FG was like 1.002 or something close to that. It was strong, like 3 glasses and im going to bed. However the maple flavor came through real nice and after one month in the keg it was even better. Everyone that tried it had the same reaction, the first taste was very maple flavored, not too much but allot. After three or four sips they wanted to know if i had anymore. Not sure if any of this helps at all, but this was my adventure with maple syrup.

Happy brewing:ban:
Goat_Nutz
 
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"Ingredients

Recipe 1
4 1/2 cups maple syrup
10 cups water
2 oranges or 1 lemon, sliced thin
1 campden tablet
1 package wine yeast
Recipe 2
1 gallon maple sap
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 oranges or 1 lemon, sliced thin
2 campden tablets
1 package wine yeast
Recipe 3
12 gallons maple sap, reduced to 1 gallon
2 oranges or 1 lemon, sliced thin
1 campden tablet
1 package wine yeast



Place maple sap in primary fermentor. Add water and sugar, if using. Add oranges or lemon and campden tablets. Let sit overnight.

Next day, Specific Gravity should be 1.090 - 1.100. Stir in yeast. Stir daily for 5 to 6 days or until Specific Gravity is 1.040. Strain out fruit and squeeze as much juice out of it as you can. Siphon into secondary fermentor and add airlock.

For a dry wine, rack in three weeks, and every three months for one year. Bottle.

For a sweet wine, rack at three weeks. Add 1/2 cup sugar or maple syrup dissolved in 1 cup wine. Stir gently, and place back into secondary fermentor. Repeat process every six weeks until fermentation does not restart with the addition of sugar. Rack every three months until one year old. Bottle.

The wine is best if you can refrain from drinking it for one full year from the date it was started.

NOTE:

If you have access to maple trees, try Recipe 3. Boiling the sap until you have 1 gallon left will give you the right sugar content for winemaking. The rest of us will have to buy maple syrup. "

found this recipe online, i have a batch of recipe 1 that has been in the secondary for 5 days...started in the primary with 2 oranges SG was 1.095..pitched yeast...stirred daily for 4 days..sg 1.003....racked into one gallon jug...still bubbling....we shall see...


hmm... this has me interested, I think I might try recipe 2 or 3 this week. I just need to decide to find my old spiles and buckets and tap some trees, or go down the road, and get some sap.
 

linuxbgood

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Sap season is half over in Maine so not sure where you are but you should hurry
 
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