Maple beer/braggot

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by DmanGTR, Feb 7, 2013.

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  1. DmanGTR

    DmanGTR Meyvn (1,143) Feb 19, 2008 New York
    Beer Trader

    So I've been into meads lately and was considering brewing a braggot but using maple syrup instead of honey. Has anyone done something like this before? I want to make something sweet with a lot of maple and dark fruit flavors. Obviously I want to showcase the maple, but I also want the drinker to realize that it's a beer as well. Here's my proposed plan:

    5 gal batch

    10 lb Maris Otter
    7 lb Maple Syrup
    0.5 lb C60
    0.5 lb Special B

    1.5 oz Willamette 60min
    1 oz Willamette 10min

    Wyeast 1098 British Ale Yeast

    OG 1.090-1.100, FG 1.025-1.030

    Thoughts and suggestions much appreciated.
  2. Beejay

    Beejay Poo-Bah (2,000) Dec 29, 2008 Virginia

    I'd be curious as to how much of the maple would ferment out? I assume you are getting some quality Maple syrup?

    What about adding maple in secondary?
  3. ericj551

    ericj551 Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2004 Alberta (Canada)

    The maple syrup should pretty much ferment out. I think adding such a large quantity to the secondary wouldn't be a great idea because you're introducing a ton of sugar without much yeast left.
  4. DmanGTR

    DmanGTR Meyvn (1,143) Feb 19, 2008 New York
    Beer Trader

    I was thinking Grade B syrup to leave a bit more residual sugars in there and adding it at flame out to preserve as much aroma as possible while still having enough heat to sterilize.

    Probably won't add more maple to secondary... although I was entertaining the idea of adding coffee beans to secondary...
  5. ericj551

    ericj551 Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2004 Alberta (Canada)

    Grade B will definitely get you more flavor. I don't know if you need to worry about boiling off aromatics from the maple syrup. It's been boiled down for hours and hours in order to get it down from sap to syrup.
  6. nedvalton

    nedvalton Initiate (187) Dec 29, 2012 Alabama
    Beer Trader

    If you add to primary alot of the nice aroma will be list. I would put 3-4 in primary and remaining in secondary. My 2 cents
  7. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    Have you considered separate fermentations? Brew your beer and blend the maple wine with it. If I had to do a braggot again, that's what I'd do. Mine was WAY OFF and tasted kind of dank, earthy, and nasty. It was the most expensive beer I've made to date and my second least favorite of about 75 batches. I'd leave the coffee out too. :slight_smile:

    Edit: If you do this, you can just use a dump and stir method for the syrup. That's my favorite method for honey, as both have antimicrobal properties. FWIW:
    DmanGTR and nedvalton like this.
  8. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,353) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    All of the sugar. None of anything else. Though some aromatics would be lost to the heavens.
  9. JayS2629

    JayS2629 Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2010 Alabama

    How much "maple flavor" do you want to remain? I've experimented with maple a good deal with a maple bacon stout I finally got right. You helped me out a lot when I first got started (don't know if you remember me)...I would love to be able to help you. If you are not wanting anything but subtle hints, I would just see what happens with the recipe you've the way google up a maple flavored coffee...and if you want a little "actual maple" bump...I can point you in the direction of an excellent maple extract that gave me a great flavor for my maple bacon coffee stout.
    DmanGTR likes this.
  10. SudsDoctor

    SudsDoctor Aspirant (238) Nov 23, 2008 New York

    Take this with a HUGE grain of salt as I'm a novice home brewer, but coincidentally my first solo brew was a rye barleywine to which I decided to add some maple syrup. I pretty much just winged it and added around 3/4 of an 8.5 oz. bottle at the 45 minute mark of the boil—not wanting to overdo it. I'm quite happy with the result as the maple is subtle but definitely there in the aroma and taste. I'm assuming 7 lbs of syrup—even added earlier in the boil—would result in a significantly stronger maple presence.
    DmanGTR likes this.
  11. nedvalton

    nedvalton Initiate (187) Dec 29, 2012 Alabama
    Beer Trader

    I know maple and honey arent the same but i started out with wine and mead and i highly recommend against boiling maple syrup. Maybe add at flameout.
  12. DmanGTR

    DmanGTR Meyvn (1,143) Feb 19, 2008 New York
    Beer Trader

    Thanks guys. This is still in the preliminary so I might sit on it for a while. I do want a pronounced maple flavor, but hopefully it won't be too cloying. I think that issue can be solved by blending to taste, as inchrisin mentioned.
  13. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,620) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    Typically, with maple questions, I repeat my one experience of using about 12-16 oz of maple in secondary, having it ferment out, leaving virtually no maple flavor, and then my messing up the beer by trying to get maple flavor from fenugreek (yes, it does add a maple-like quality, and also a yuck-type quality, IMO). However, with 7 lbs of maple, I would not be surprised if you retain significant maple flavor. You may already know this, but some mead makers make something called acerglyn (Maples belong to the genus Acer and the family Aceraceae). I would look up an acerglyn recipe to get a sense for how much maple syrup they are using to impart maple flavor and use that as a starting point.
  14. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,620) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    FWIW, since, unlike honey, maple syrup is made by concentrating in a boil, it is not prone to losing delicate aromatics if added to a boiling wort. Also, the antimicrobial properties arise because the high sugar content supresses microbial growth. It does not necessarily mean microbes are not present. There is a small risk that when you dilute your honey or maple syrup, the microbes are able to grow. However, if you are pitching substantial amounts of yeast, those microbes probably will not grow significantly as the yeast will outcompete them and the fermentation itself will create a hostile environment for the bugs. Also, if your honey or syrup crystalize, the liquid portion may be dilute enough that bugs can grow. The last time someone gave me homemade maple syrup, it crystalized at the bottom, and the liquid on top began to support a mold colony.
    inchrisin likes this.
  15. SteelersX

    SteelersX Disciple (374) Jan 30, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    What yeast will you use? Need something to tolerate the alcohol.
    You could always feed the maple syrup in doses and oxygenate as you go.

    I want to try this one.
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