Brewing with maple syrup

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by MWolverines66, Jan 6, 2015.

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  1. MWolverines66

    MWolverines66 Savant (1,040) Mar 13, 2013 New York
    Trader

    Hi All,

    I am trying to get some input from people that have brewed with maple syrup. I am trying to do an imperial porter with maple syrup and coffee. I was originally going to go with at bottling, but after reaching out to some breweries, asking how they get their maple syrup taste/smell in, and I have heard 10-12% total volume to the secondary fermenter. Has anyone tried either way and had and have any input?

    Cheers,
    Jason
     
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  2. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,291) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Jason, here is a link (http://www.beeradvocate.com/community/search/30523638/?q=maple&o=date&c[node]=8) to a search of this homebrewing forum using the search word 'maple' and you can see that this question has been a regular topic. You can read any of these threads that you want, but I think the consensus is that maple is a difficult flavor to get into a beer. Probably the one method that does not get mentioned very often is to use maple extract (the same stuff that is used in baking cakes/cookies). I'll suggest that you give it a try and be the one to report back to us whether it worked.
     
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  3. MWolverines66

    MWolverines66 Savant (1,040) Mar 13, 2013 New York
    Trader

    Thanks Mothergoose, I had done the search on this site, as well as many other sites and it seemed like the consensus was it is really difficult to do, as I noticed people had some issues with the beer becoming dry when added during brewing. I decided to reach out to some of the breweries that have made some really good maple beers (Kane, TG, Treehouse to name a few) and I got that response back regarding secondary fermentation (10%+ volume). That being said, i thought this would be a lot more difficult compared to just adding at bottling. I wanted to see if anyone had some success with adding at bottling, or success with the extract either in the secondary fermenter or at bottling.
     
  4. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,291) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Yeah, hang tight -- somebody is going to chime in on this topic to give you a better answer.
     
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  5. tkdchampxi

    tkdchampxi Initiate (0) Oct 19, 2010 New Jersey

    I've never used extract, so I won't address that.

    It seems you have done sufficient research on this already, but I just wanted to ask your thoughts on how to address the problem of the maple syrup being fermented out/ creating bottle bombs at bottling. My understanding is that, if you add it at bottling in place of priming sugar, you don't actually add that much --> so you don't get that much flavor by the time the beer becomes carbonated. On the other hand, if you add enough to taste, you can definitely run into a problem with bombs/ overpriming.

    I've added extra maple syrup (and some cinnamon stick) to a few bottles before, but (1) I did it with swing-tops that could release some of the pressure from over-carbonation, (2) I threw the bottles into the fridge after 4 days, to stop the yeast, (3) I did it with beer that did not need any more time to develop in-bottle flavorwise, and (4) I only did it on a few bottles with the intention of drinking those immediately.
     
  6. OldSock

    OldSock Maven (1,406) Apr 3, 2005 District of Columbia

    When you say 10-12% total volume, you mean for a 5 gallon batch, ~1/2 gallon of maple syrup? Or as a percentage of the fermentables from maple syrup?
     
  7. MWolverines66

    MWolverines66 Savant (1,040) Mar 13, 2013 New York
    Trader

    I am assuming the entire batch (0.5 gallon of syrup for a 5 gallon batch). At least that is what I was told was used for creating Sunday Brunch Stout.
     
  8. OldSock

    OldSock Maven (1,406) Apr 3, 2005 District of Columbia

    Kentucky Brunch?

    Wow! That's 5.5 lbs of maple syrup. Assuming 32 PPPG, that's ~.035 added to the OG from it alone.
     
  9. MWolverines66

    MWolverines66 Savant (1,040) Mar 13, 2013 New York
    Trader

    No sorry for the confusion, not kentucky brunch, Kane's Sunday Brunch
     
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  10. Smw356

    Smw356 Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2013 Ohio

    Have you tried this yet? I'n Debating how much to feed to an imperial stout destined for a rye barrel. Looks like Lawson's uses about 2lbs per bbl for theirs.
     
  11. MWolverines66

    MWolverines66 Savant (1,040) Mar 13, 2013 New York
    Trader

    I have not, it's a project in the works down the line. I spoke to Funky Buddha about their Maple syrup beers, and they add it during the flame-out.
     
  12. Smw356

    Smw356 Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2013 Ohio

    ^ gallons per bbl not lbs.

    I've got a gallon and a half of grade b syrup that is getting fed (along with nutrients and wpl099 ) into several batches ~15% imperial stout that are destined for a 15gal barrel. Not sure if I'll use the full amount. Tasting between each addition and making sure the fg doesnt get to thin.

    I'll post the results as they come in.
     
  13. sixa66

    sixa66 Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2015 Florida

    You can watch the North Carolina episode of Brew Dogs to see how they add it. I believe they added it towards the end of the boil as well as cooking bacon in it and adding that to the boil as well.


    I have yet to use it, though currently planning on using it. I actually found an Agave syrup/maple syrup blend that is very much more of a liquid than a thick syrup which I think can be easily used as the priming sugar.
     
  14. cmmcdonn

    cmmcdonn Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2009 Virginia

    The cold hard truth is that you need an artificial extract to actually get maple aroma/taste in beer. This is why there are no world-class examples of beers with true maple flavor.
     
  15. VikeMan

    VikeMan Grand Pooh-Bah (3,043) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I have tasted maple flavor in homebrews that did not use extract. I didn't brew them myself, but unless the brewers were lying, it's possible to do it. IIRC, they used a lot of syrup (grade B I think), and they didn't boil or pasteurize it.
     
  16. Smw356

    Smw356 Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2013 Ohio

    I don't think pasteurizing it would change much, since its already boiled down to create the syrup in the first place.

    So far 1 qt (~2.75 lbs )of pretty strong grade B into ~4.5 gallons of wort that started at 1.140 and was around 1.045 pre syrup feed has produced a slight yet noticeable effect,
     
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  17. Smw356

    Smw356 Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2013 Ohio

    Eh I'd consider beers like Mornin Delight, Lawson's Fayston etc to be fairly world class
     
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  18. MWolverines66

    MWolverines66 Savant (1,040) Mar 13, 2013 New York
    Trader

    Yea, the idea to do this beer was inspired from having mornin delight. It was unbelievable, and I dream about finding anything that comes close to that again.
     
  19. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Pooh-Bah (1,829) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Not entirely true, but the breweries that are successful with syrup generally produce it themselves or have a reliable local source. Lawson's has made a couple of no-doubt-about-it world class beers with maple syrup.
     
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  20. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Pooh-Bah (1,829) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Have you talked to Sean at Lawson's Finest? He makes a couple of stellar beers with high maple content (Maple Triple, Maple Double Stout). Originally used his own syrup but called on a couple of his neighbors that do sugaring when demand increased. He knows a lot about maple sugar as well as brewing (e.g. Double Sunshine) and would probably be happy to answer your questions.

    http://www.lawsonsfinest.com/about-us/contact-us/

    As advised above, be forewarned that it takes a lot of maple sugar to get much character into the finished product.
     
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