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Thread: Maple Syrup

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Victoria, B.C.
    Posts
    85

    Maple Syrup

    Hi there,

    I was just wondering if anyone out there has had experience brewing with Maple syrup? I was thinking of brewing a seasonal in the next few weeks with some and would like to hear from other brewers experiences with it. I realize it's a expensive ingredient so I would like know how to get maximium bang for your buck!

    Cheers!

    Dave.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Athens, NY
    Posts
    429
    Dave,
    I brewed a Maple Brown Ale last fall (and plan on brewing it again). I added 2.25 gallons of Extra Dark syrup directly to the serving tank and filtered 7bbl of the beer in on top of it. I got a great maple aroma and a noticeable maple flavor & sweetness in the beer. I did some experiments to find the right concentration for the flavor and aroma I wanted and found that 2 gallons in 7 bbl of beer was a very faint aroma and slightly detectable flavor whereas 2.5 gallons was noticeably sweet (a little too much for me).

    If you have a local maple sugar farm you'll be able to get the more flavorful syrup (Extra Dark). I don't think you can get it commercially....

    hope that helps.
    Hutch Kugeman
    Head Beer Guy
    Crossroads Brewing
    Athens, NY

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Victoria, B.C.
    Posts
    85
    Hutch,

    Thanks for the info. I don't know about getting Extra Dark but the supplier i'm cutting a deal with does carry a darker grade syrup which i'm getting sample of in a few days which might be close to what you were using. The stuff i've tried already is imported from Quebec and tastes supurb so am looking forward to giving it a whirl! Adding the syrup to the serving tank is a good idea. I did a similar procedure with a honey ale a while back which gave good results so that should be the way to go. I'll run some tests to get the ratio right first.

    Thanks again and will let you know how it turns out.

    .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    121
    You can also get spray dried Maple Sugar that will give you more taste than syrup. You lose a lot of aroma in the boil, and you lose more in fermentation. I agree that you need to use the darker grades. Using Grade A light is a waste for brewing. Great for breakfast though! I used 150 gallons per 120 bbl batch in the kettle. It was a very faint aroma and flavor.

    If you like the maple aroma, you can get a natural extract from McCormick spices that can give a boost, but probably best to avoid that. Stay away from the extracts with diacetyl in them...the are the base of Mrs. Butterworths and the like....

    Real maple syrup has a subtle aroma and flavor anyway. So probably best to stay with that.

    It might be a good addition to a pumpkin ale?

    Good luck and echo the "let us know"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Victoria, B.C.
    Posts
    85
    I've got the darker grade syrup on order now so will hopefully be brewing with that in a few weeks.

    Not so sure about a pumpkin ale but I do have some lightly roasted hemp seeds kicking around which might "funk" it up abit.. Will do some taste testing first before I decide what route to take. Thanks all for the info and as I said before i'll post the results once it's on tap.

    Cheers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Arvada,CO, USA
    Posts
    23

    Maple Syrup in beer

    The best grade of maple syrup for brewing is the darker B or C grades. This isopposite from how the rating system is set up. Grade A(grocery store pancake style) is very light with faint maple aroma and flavor. The lower grades are darker and have greater maple flavor and aroma.

    Adding them during fermentation will lead to very little flavor and aroma to the beer. Maple syrup is mostly glucose. Adding them post fermentation after filtation will give you the flavor and aroma. The problem is that unless you are very sterile with your operation you can get microbiological break down. So the key is to use as little as possible normally with a dark beer to impart subtle maple flavor and aroma, and of course be very sterile in your operation. When done right it smooths the dark roasted malt flavor and you get a hint of maple. Another factor is to brew your beer dry because the maple syrup is primariliy glucose.

    The usage rate depends upon the base beer and the flavor and aroma impact you want. I would start at 5 oz per bbl and increase in 5 oz increments until you have the right flavor. Maple syrup is very expensive, about $20-30 per gal, so less is better.

    Do not use extracts because they give you a chemical taste and maple aroma can be overpowering.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Grand Haven, MI
    Posts
    2

    maple syrup in beer

    Hello everyone,

    I have been following this thread ever since I decided to make a maple porter for Spring. I was able to source a local supplier for a dark grade of maple syrup and decided to add it to the beer right before transferring in order to preserve the syrup's qualities. I am curious what others think of my options for mixing the two together.

    Option 1: Dump the maple syrup into the serving tank before the transfer begins.

    Option 2: Add all the maple syrup (3.25 gallons) to the transfer line before the transfer begins.

    Option 3: Add the maple syrup to the beer during transfer via a tee and a soda keg.

    I am a bit concerned about getting a thorough mix because I would like to start serving the beer as soon as possible. Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Dave

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Arvada,CO, USA
    Posts
    23

    Maple Syrup Addition

    Dave,

    There are several ways to add the syrup. I would say add it during a transfer just before filtration. I have added it just before in line carbonation so you get rousing in your finish tank. Do not just add it to the finish tank and begin filling. Maple Syrup is at 66 Brix so it does need mixing with the beer.

    Tim

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Grand Haven, MI
    Posts
    2
    Tim,

    Thanks for the reply. I have run some tests with the beer and feel I have a good ratio that will impart the subtle character I am aiming for. Option 3 is definitely the way to go. Plus, I have some carbonating to do, so that ought to help mix the beer even further. Again, thanks.

    Dave

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    43

    Maple Syrup

    Hello all,

    I just brought in ten gallons of fresh dark maple syrup at sixtyeight per gallon shipping included.
    Looking to get it right the first time and have a couple of questions. I would like to bring out an 8% abv brown or porter then add the syrup in the bright tank during transfer. What I am looking to do after transfer is keg the product and store at 55 to 60 F to allow "conditioning" for several months. With this in mind it seems that 2.25 gallons of syrup might be too much?? Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Frank Kassik
    Kassiks Kenai Brew Stop

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Arvada,CO, USA
    Posts
    23

    maple syrup

    Hi Frank,

    You are adding 2.25 gals pure maple syrup to how many gals of beer, 7 bbls? Has this beer been filtered and treated with yeast? Filtered beer treated with maple syrup has a very limited shelf life, so I would have some brewing yeast in that keg otherwise you will encourage bacteria and wild yeast to grow and flurish creating off flavors. Allow a week for the brewing yeast to condition the beer at 55-60@f, then drop temperature to 35-40@f for storage. Store at this temperature and consume asap. You will need to be extremely clean with your operations.

    The amount of maple syrup you use depends upon the flavor and aroma you want. I feel that at about 0.4% v/v you can get a subtle maple flavor and aroma that customers can like with a dark beer. The more you add the more expensive it gets, and the maple flavor and sweetness can become over powering if too much is added. I would start at 110 fl oz per 7 bbls, or .86 gals maple syrup grade b/c. Experiment from there. Good luck.

    I do brewing consulting so if you need help on recipe or process issues feel free to call (303)431-9168 or email me at timlenahan@msn.com.

    Tim

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    tunkhannock, pa
    Posts
    4

    maple syrup

    Hello to all, is see this post is about 4 years running but still relevent. so my 2 cents are, try using fenugreek. its a kidney shaped seed with great maple flavor and works well if you don't want to add any more fermentables.
    Cheers!
    Michael Simmons
    Raisingthebarinpa.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Taos, NM USA
    Posts
    341

    Mountain molasses

    Another option for maple syrup flavor is mountain molasses. It's the same as maple syrup in creation, but it is from a different maple (Acer negundo) called Box Elder. Dank and rich flavor like very dark maple syrup. Takes more sap to make a gallon of syrup.

    Now is the time of year to buy syrup.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    43
    Thanks for the sugestions guys!!

    Yes Tim I am brewing with a seven bbl system. I composed the letter yesterday quickly not reviewing what I wrote.
    This friend of ours that recently moved from the eastern states to Alaska brought out some of his syrup for us to try. Oh my gosh, his backyard stuff was incredible. So now I have ten gallons sitting in my cooler that he set up the purchase for us.
    This gives me a good direction to go and I will post how the batch turns out and what percentages I end up with.
    By the way so far, (Three years commercial) I've been extremely lucky keeping the bad microbes at bay. However this is the first run at keg conditioning. If the brew doesn't turn out at least my oatmeal will be happy for a long time.

    Cheers,
    Frank Kassik
    Kassiks Kenai Brew Stop

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