Maple Sap

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Aje1967, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. Aje1967

    Aje1967 New Member

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    Hello,

    My friends and I tap a few maple trees every year and make maple syrup. I am thinking seriously about taking 7 gallons (or so) of sap and brewing a beer with it. I have no idea what minerals are in maple sap and no idea if there is enough flavor to even notice it in a beer. My question is, considering the above, what style beer might be a safe choice that might even taste great?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I would think that for it to have any effect you would need to use the end product, and then if you use it in brewing I'm not sure it would offer much flavor, but being a simple sugar like honey it might dry the beer up a bit. Maybe use some maple syrup when packaging a porter. Having said that I am pretty new at this, others will have better thoughts than I.
     
  3. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Ok, that was not good advice at all, adding sugar when bottling on top of priming sugar could put you in bottle bomb territory. When kegging it would likely also get consumed by the yeast, but shouldn't be dangerous. Probably the only way to get maple flavor would be with maple extract.
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Just try it. Seems that about 40 to 1 is the ratio of sap to syrup so in a 5 gallon batch of beer you should realize the same flavor contribution as adding a little over a pint of syrup. More sap/longer boil will get you more flavor. I'm sure that a lot of the flavor of maple syrup comes from the mailard reactions in the long boil to get syrup but you should get something interesting.
    You'd want something very light and fairly bland to get a sense of the flavor contribution. I'd make a cream ale with nothing but 2-row and 20% rice and light hopping with something like Hallertau and maybe a little Hallertau Blanc at 5 minutes. That would give you a nice, light beer with flavors that will compliment the hint of maple that you should get.
     
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  5. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    I think this a great idea! You could take a gravity reading of the sap and work from there. If it is low in gravity why not mash with grain to get the preboil you are looking for. Many options.
     
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  7. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    I would do something darker, brown ale or porter. I'm not sure it will be noticible maple flavor since its not boiled down first. But you can always try then add syrup in secondary for more maple taste if it needs it.
     
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  8. Aje1967

    Aje1967 New Member

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    #8 Aje1967, Feb 7, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    It is boiled down...just not to the concentration that it would be in making syrup. As I noted, the flavor contribution from the 7 gallons would be similar to the amount of syrup you'd make from 7 gallons - somewhere between 1 and 1.5 pints.
     
  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You don't get the Maillard reactions (browning, "caramelization") either. That means little to no flavor other than sugar. I'd imagine it would be a whole lot like adding weak sugar water to the beer and my recommendation would be make syrup from the sap and add sugar to the beer.

    Or wait until you've made the syrup, then add it.
     
  12. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I referenced Maillard reactions and yes, there'd be considerably less of that, but I don't think that you'd get nothing at all in terms of maple essence. I don't think it would be equivalent to just adding table sugar, for instance. Even just working with toasted maple wood (it's a guitar thing) you get a definite hint of sweet syrup rather than just wood dust.
    It's all conjecture until the OP makes some beer...he can set us all straight. :D
     
  13. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Yup. If the reaction is nessecary for maple flavor then you could maybe boil longer for a boost. Lots of possibilities ,fun exbeeriment. Keep us posted with how you finish this.
     
  14. pvguy

    pvguy New Member

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    Hello,
    I am in the process of collecting maple sap to brew a pale ale. Sap is Potential Alcohol of 2%, or SG=1.012. My quandary is how to allow for this in my recipe. It is a 5.5 gallon batch and I would be using the sap for the infusion and sparge water; total of 8 gallons. I am thinking of two options: 1. adjust my efficiency from 70 to 75% to allow for the sugar in the water. 2. Add the sap to my list of fermentables. Since water (sap) weighs ~ 8#/gallon, I would put 64 pounds for the sap. Has anyone done this and, if so, which method did you use...or another?
    Regards, Tom
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Use points. Points are the thousandths of the SG readings. In your case, your sap is 1.012, or 12 points. For argument, say you are using 10 gallons of it. Multiply the 12 points by the 10 gallons to get 120 total points of gravity. Let's say your final volume (assuming no losses) is 5 gallons. Divide the 120 by 5. It's added 24 points of gravity to your beer.

    That seems a high gravity for maple sap.
     
  16. pvguy

    pvguy New Member

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    Hello Nosybear,
    Thank you for your prompt reply and the methodology. I appreciate it.
    Yes, 24 points seems very high for the sap. What I'd like to do is be able to plug the sap into the BF Fermentables list for my recipe. I've done that for one of my methods using sap and it "seems" to work as I thought it would. However, I'm not convinced of this and was wondering if any members had tried this method. Or a similar method with something like maple sap.
    Regards, Tom
     
  17. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    If using the sap as mash and sparge liquid I would want to know the PH. Maybe Ward Labs has tested samples and would be willing to provide the PH and salt #s.
     
  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    For the sparge, only the pH would be "that" interesting (the brewer can add salts to taste at packaging). A good pH meter is all he needs.
     
  19. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    I see some references on the web to a PH range of 6.0 - 7.3. I think it would be nice to know the Calcium level but could assume it to be low.
     
  20. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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