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Thread: Maple

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
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    469

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    It's maple sugaring time in CT and it got me wondering. Has anyone used fresh maple sap instead of water in a mead.I understand it's about 2 percent sugar .Does any one have any recipes as I have access to sap.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
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    3,031

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    Go for it! I have not personally but have tasted one that was outta sight. The flavor contribution might be pretty modest, as the sugars ferment completely out, but there are subtle persistent flavors IMO. Go ahead and use sap instead of water; I'd recommend a traditional (not otherwise flavored) mead to let the maple's contribution be perceived, something in the off-dry region perhaps. Do take care to sanitize this must well as harvested saps are going to be seriously "alive".

    Another thought: if you make syrup, you could make that same mead, ferment dry, and sweeten a bit with syrup so you do get the flavor more assertively. Report back on this one please! Post if you'd like some more specific recipe recommendations off the cuff; someone else may have tried this.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    estevan, sask, canada
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    185

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    If ya want fresh water,go birch,Its even now used to control after affects after cancer treatment.Can boil down and make syrup also,but less syrup is gotten than in the surger maple.
    B. roger eagles

  4. #4

    Post

    Jack, I have not tried that. It sounds interesting.

    What I have done was make some maple wine out of some grade B maple syrup. I added some nutrient as I was unsure of what was natural. It fermented to completion like most of my wines and has gotten fairly clear. When I racked it to secondary the taste was different. Dry for one. I think I started with a 12% potential ETOH. There was a bit of a twang on my tongue. Not bitter, but something almost like a faint coating remaining on my tongue. My hope is that it would age better as I made 5 gallons of the stuff. On aroma, I think it was not anywhere near as maply as pure syrup, quite different in fact. Kind of like how honey when made into mead does not have the same aromatics.

    I used grade B because I thought it would have more flavor compounds. I'd pull it our to rack again today but I have already made enough of a mess with kegging 3 brews, brewing another, and bottling a case. The wines and meads will wait...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
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    Recent posts on Mead Lovers Digest have added factors to my thinking exercise on a Maple sap mead.(what do you think about on your drive to work)
    For non-subscribers,I will quote:


    Subject: Maple Wine v. Maple Mead
    From: Russ.Hobaugh@erm.com
    Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2005 16:35:58 -0500

    Don't "waste" the honey on this! Maple wine is one of my favorites, and I
    now have a batch that is over 5 years old--it just keeps getting better! I
    have only tasted one maple mead with both honey and maple syrup, and it
    was not that good. However, there are several people in my home-brew club
    that do maple wine, and they all have turned out good to awesome! The
    longer you let it age, the better it will be. Mine was over 2 years old at
    bottling!

    Russ Hobaugh

    610-524-3409 office
    610-745-0782 mobile

    ------------------------------

    Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1158, 7 February 2005
    From: Aaron <gumbyk@ureach.com>
    Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2005 23:59:54 -0500

    > Subject: Maple Wine v. Maple Mead
    > From: MeadGuild@aol.com
    > Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2005 14:30:18 EST
    >
    > I started brewing Maple Wine with the intention of adding honey to it.
    > Much to my surprise the Maple Wine is fermenting out extremely quickly.

    Dick,
    I have made a very simple maple mead, as follows ( a small
    batch, but Maple syrup is expensive down here in New Zealand):
    1 qt maple syrup
    1 lb clover (or other very light flavoured honey would work)
    water to 1 gallon (heated to aid dissolving honey)

    chuck the whole lot into a small carboy. I used Gervin C wine
    yeast which is a champagne yeast. It fermented quickly, and fell
    clear just as fast when it had finished. I didn't even get a
    chance to put it into a secondary. One day it was fermenting
    like crazy, and the next it stopped.

    I didn't take an O.G reading, but it finished around 1.010.

    tastes great, and ages well.

    Aaron Marshall

    end quote

    Because I am still a beginning meadmaker(mazer?),I'm a little confused.
    Is the flavor of Maple so subtle that it can easily be overpowered by the flavor of the honey?
    If the sap is 2 percent sugar,how does this relate to SG?How much honey would be needed for a 1 gal. batch(honey stash running low).
    To sterilize sap I could boil.By boiling I would evaporate water and increase the sugar content.It doesn't make sense to boil down to syrup and then add water.I wonder what would be the optimum sugar content for the sap for it to be used in a mead recipe?
    I do not make maple syrup.I have a good friend who runs the sugar house for a local nature center.We often compare honey and syrup and there are many similarities.He uses a hydrometer to measure SG and apparently this is how you can tell when the syrup is done.I also think they use temperature in some way.
    The numbers still confuse me.I'm having trouble connecting percent sugar,SG.and percent alcohol.Honey isn't honey unless it's less than 18 percent water.How does that relate to finished syrup?
    As far as syrup grades go,I like my honey and my syrup dark and strong flavored.
    And as for birch,we have black birch and it has a very distinctive aroma.I can't imagine what that would taste like in a mead(or a wine )

    Jack

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
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    The trick is these folks either boiled down their sap substantially to get the sugar content to the needed 11 or 12%, or have a serious ton of extra money laying around for buying syrup. If you do buy syrup, try to go for true maple syrup, not the cheaper flavored sugar solution which IMO tastes pretty shabby fermented out. But then, I had trees growing up and our house was dripping with the humidity of a 40:1 boildown for the good stuff!
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    estevan, sask, canada
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    I got 10 gallons of maple wine and it took 2 years to get good.Seems like it tastes mollases.Is this normal or what did I do wrong.
    B. roger eagles

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    estevan, sask, canada
    Posts
    185

    Post

    I just use the paper birch sap for wine or meed cause the flaver of the liquidis so neutral and pure,to boil for syrup,yew get about 5%,lots lower than maple.
    B. roger eagles

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