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General Category => Other Fermentables => Topic started by: erockrph on November 27, 2012, 06:56:32 PM

Title: Maple Wine
Post by: erockrph on November 27, 2012, 06:56:32 PM
I've been starting to get an itch to brew a Maple Wine lately. Anyone here have any experience with one? I'm thinking of handling it exactly like a sack mead: Mix in enough water to target OG of 1.150; mix the hell out of it to aerate, pitch 71B rehydrated with GoFerm, staggered nutrient additions & degassing, etc. Does this sound reasonable?

I'll hit up a couple of my local sugar shacks until I find the best Grade B syrup I can get my hands on and hope I can score a bulk discount.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: Jimmy K on November 27, 2012, 07:03:09 PM
Never done it, but sounds reasonable. I'd expect it not to have many nutrients so treating it like honey should work. I'd check the pH too and consider adjusting acidity.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: morticaixavier on November 27, 2012, 07:39:05 PM
Let me know how it turns out. I have wanted to do one for a really long time but the cost ohhh the cost. I am putting 2.5 lb of maple in the barley wine I brewed this weekend and even that's gonna cost 30 bucks. you are going to need like 5 lb per gallon or more to got to 1.150 if my math is not completely off basically you are talking about 1:1 dilution with water. Syrup comes in around 1.3~1.4 so a half gallon will weigh a little over 5 lb (at 39*f).

When I was a kid in VT I could walk up the road and get a half gallon of syrup for 8 bucks if I brought my own container. I suspect even with a bulk discount a 5 gallon batch is going to be in the area of 150-300 bucks.

I will do this someday I really will. In the meantime I will follow your adventures.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: Jimmy K on November 27, 2012, 07:45:03 PM
A friend who makes TONS of mead told me that years ago he made a maple mead with 1/2 maple and 1/2 honey. Sadly I never had any, but he said it came out tasting much like bourbon.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: erockrph on November 27, 2012, 08:19:22 PM
Yeah, only going to do a 1-gallonish pilot batch specifically because of the cost.

Speaking of bourbon flavor - I was thinking of aging this on wood. I'd love to use maple, but I don't think I've ever seen maple cubes/chips/spirals anywhere. Although, if my only option is oak, I may wait for a future batch to try that.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: Jimmy K on November 27, 2012, 08:28:50 PM
You can buy some maple at the local big home improvement store. It won't be toasted, but I'm not sure if toasted maple is good. Actually, I have no idea what, if any, flavor maple wood will provide. Looks like only have couple (The Bruery and Lawson's Finest) breweries have made maple barrel aged beer.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: Jimmy K on November 27, 2012, 08:32:01 PM
Woodford reserve did a maple aged burbon with toasted, but not charred maple barrels.
 
http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2010/09/do-maple-barrels-look-different.html (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2010/09/do-maple-barrels-look-different.html)
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: erockrph on November 28, 2012, 03:23:34 PM
Interesting info about the toasted maple. I think I can find chips for a wood smoker and try my hand at toasting them. Thanks for the tip.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: andrew000141 on November 28, 2012, 06:32:52 PM
ive heard that using sap has more maple flavor than the actual syrup but i presume the gravity of that is low, maybe just add maple syrup to maple sap? let us know how this turns out cause i have a few good friends who make maple syrup. They already challenged me to make them a maple wine or beer after they tried my rum raisin braggot
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: morticaixavier on November 28, 2012, 06:56:41 PM
ive heard that using sap has more maple flavor than the actual syrup but i presume the gravity of that is low, maybe just add maple syrup to maple sap? let us know how this turns out cause i have a few good friends who make maple syrup. They already challenged me to make them a maple wine or beer after they tried my rum raisin braggot

maple sap has very little flavour and is only about 2-3% sugar. It's nice and if you can get acccess to enough it is amazing just carbed up all by itself. very slightly sweet. Lawsons Finest in VT makes a beer using sap as the brewing liquour but for a wine I think you would have to use syrup just to get the gravity you want. If you make your own I suppose you could stop the boil when you hit your target OG but I don't know that you would get the robust flavours you get with the long 20:1 reduction boil,
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: Jimmy K on November 28, 2012, 07:02:34 PM
ive heard that using sap has more maple flavor than the actual syrup but i presume the gravity of that is low, maybe just add maple syrup to maple sap? let us know how this turns out cause i have a few good friends who make maple syrup. They already challenged me to make them a maple wine or beer after they tried my rum raisin braggot

Actually, most of the maple syrup flavors are due to caramelization of the sugars during the boil.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: erockrph on January 02, 2013, 04:17:21 PM
Just to keep this thread updated, I got this batch started on Friday. I have 1 & 5/8 gallons of 1.151 OG must churning away. I couldn't source any local Grade B syrup in the quantities I was looking for, so I grabbed 3 of these on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005C3IVN8/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i05 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005C3IVN8/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i05)

It had some good reviews and tastes really nice. I'll keep everyone posted on how this turns out. If it works out well I'll be hunting the farmers markets in the spring for local syrup.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: brewmichigan on January 02, 2013, 04:36:14 PM
I have a buddy who's in-laws run a maple syrup business. He said he gets maple syrup from them every year and decided to do this a few years ago. The first batch was good but a little hot. He has since perfected the recipe and methods and the latest one I tried was really good.

His friend, who is a brewer, decided to do a big batch of it. He has almost one barrel of it fermenting right now and it tastes spectacular. I'll email him and ask about his process.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: Jeff M on March 03, 2013, 11:36:26 PM
Got a Progress Report on this? I live in MA and my brewing buddy loves maple flavors, And his dad works in Vermont, so we could source syrup on the cheap.

Cheers,
Jeff
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: bonjour on March 04, 2013, 02:55:00 AM
I have a buddy who's in-laws run a maple syrup business. He said he gets maple syrup from them every year and decided to do this a few years ago. The first batch was good but a little hot. He has since perfected the recipe and methods and the latest one I tried was really good.

His friend, who is a brewer, decided to do a big batch of it. He has almost one barrel of it fermenting right now and it tastes spectacular. I'll email him and ask about his process.
if it's who i think it is th Maple Wine is awesome.

Treat the syrup as honey, diluting to your target OG and follow the modern day (Ken Schramm of Schramm's Meads, he wrote the book) Mead process.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: erockrph on March 04, 2013, 03:11:32 AM
That's funny, I was just coming here to post a bit of a followup. I racked to secondary and took a sample today. 3 months in and it went from 1.151 to 1.058. My basement has been a lot colder than usual this winter (last year it barely dipped below 62F, this year it's been mid-to-low-50's since January). I'm hoping that things are still going slowly, because it is still way too sweet if it finished up here. The gravity sample was still a lot like sipping maple syrup. At this point it calculates to be about 12%, but the sweetness completely masks the alcohol. There is a nice warming in the belly at the end though. It's still pretty hazy at this point.

At this point my gameplan is to recheck the gravity in another week or so. If its still stalled out then I will bring it up to room temp and see if it goes any further. At that point I'm not sure if I should pitch another packet of yeast, or if I should brew another batch at a lower gravity (thinking 1.080-1.100 range) that should ferment down to around 1.000 and use that to blend back.

The lees at the bottom of the fermenter were quite interesting. There was a fine layer of pitch black sediment on top of the yeast layer. I wish I had taken a picture.

Thanks for the interest. I'll keep you updated on how things are going.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: Jimmy K on March 04, 2013, 06:41:44 PM
I remember Ken Schramm giving a mead presentation saying that you usually get 100 points of attenuation out of yeast (max).  If that's true, yours might be finished at 93 points fermented.  You could maybe get it further with distillers yeast?  Blending might help. Age may help it dry out too.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: erockrph on March 04, 2013, 09:59:35 PM
I remember Ken Schramm giving a mead presentation saying that you usually get 100 points of attenuation out of yeast (max).  If that's true, yours might be finished at 93 points fermented.  You could maybe get it further with distillers yeast?  Blending might help. Age may help it dry out too.

I generally get 120-130 points out of 71B in meads using staggered nutrient additions when fermented in the mid-60's. The only significant change to my process (aside from using maple syrup instead of honey) was the significantly cooler temps. But yes, I have strongly considered that it could just be finished at this point.

Since my calculations put it at about 12% right now, I'm concerned whether that's too high to pitch more yeast into. I'm also not sure whether I should add any more nutrient additions if I do go that route.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: bonjour on March 04, 2013, 10:02:52 PM
Add a growler of yeast slurry, a full working population from a neutral source

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 using Tapatalk 2

Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: erockrph on March 08, 2013, 05:10:27 AM
Well, it's officially stalled out. Same exact gravity reading today as it was 4 days ago. I brought it up to room temp just in case that may restart things, otherwise I may try making a starter in a low gravity maple syrup must to see if I can get it to take off. Otherwise, it looks like a new batch for blending is called for.

I did some measured dilutions with water using the gravity sample. Undiluted, it is smooth but warming going down, syrupy, and has notes of bourbon and maple.

I then diluted it 3:1 with water. The resulting dilution (approx 9% abv, 1.044) was not quite as warm, but still quite syrupy. At this level of dilution a fruity vinous character really starts to shine through.

The final dilution was 3:2 with water. This calculates to about 7% and 1.035. At this dilution the vinous character drops off, but it becomes even more fruity. There is still quite a bit of syrupy sweetness left at this point.

I'm thinking that if I'm going to make another batch to dilute, I need to plan on something that will get me in the low-to-mid 1.020's and keep my abv above 9%. I think there is a lot of room for experimentation here once I drill down my process a bit better. I like both the bourbon character I got at higher abv as well as the vinous character from more moderate levels. Despite the underattenuation, I'm liking where this has gone so far.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: morticaixavier on March 08, 2013, 04:15:21 PM
This sounds delicious to me as is. Granted I have been known to drink a shot of maple syrup  ::)

I suspect that syrup has even less nutrients for the yeast than even honey or grape must. It is cooked so long and essentially clarified by that process that I would think very little but sugar and mailard left overs are still there.

If you can without messing up the flavour you might try another nutrient addition with your new starter.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: brewmichigan on March 08, 2013, 04:18:36 PM
I have a buddy who's in-laws run a maple syrup business. He said he gets maple syrup from them every year and decided to do this a few years ago. The first batch was good but a little hot. He has since perfected the recipe and methods and the latest one I tried was really good.

His friend, who is a brewer, decided to do a big batch of it. He has almost one barrel of it fermenting right now and it tastes spectacular. I'll email him and ask about his process.
if it's who i think it is th Maple Wine is awesome.

Treat the syrup as honey, diluting to your target OG and follow the modern day (Ken Schramm of Schramm's Meads, he wrote the book) Mead process.

Yes, it is who you think it is. Follow what Fred said here. I contacted him but never heard back.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: erockrph on March 08, 2013, 07:13:23 PM
This sounds delicious to me as is. Granted I have been known to drink a shot of maple syrup  ::)

I suspect that syrup has even less nutrients for the yeast than even honey or grape must. It is cooked so long and essentially clarified by that process that I would think very little but sugar and mailard left overs are still there.

If you can without messing up the flavour you might try another nutrient addition with your new starter.

I had a similar thought with the nutrient. It's hard to tell whether there's any residual DAP flavor going on because the sweetness is high enough to mask most of that. I will definitely put some nutrient in my starter, and I may add one more addition to the wine when I add the starter to it.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: erockrph on January 25, 2014, 05:55:48 AM
I thought I'd update this thread since I recently bottled the batch. After my attempts to restart fermentation I pretty much put the fermenter in an upstairs closet and forgot about it for many months. I was about to dump it since I needed to reclaim the fermenter, but I gave it a taste first. Although it is still quite sweet, something magical seemed to happen. The alcohol mellowed out and the sweetness (while still there) rounded out quite a bit. It seems to be in the ballpark of a cream sherry, and is a real nice sipper now. FG is now down to 1.050 (it had initially stalled at 1.058).

Here are my tasting notes:

Appearance is ruby/copper with some haze (I never ended up fining it). The nose is vinous, with a big sweet maple note. There are hints of vanilla and dried fruit/raisins. There is also a woody cedar/oak note.

On the palate, it is winy and quite sweet, with a lot of maple syrup character. There is a moderate acidity that helps balance the sweetness. Alcohol is notable. I also pick up some wood, vanilla and a sherry/raisin note. The mouthfeel is full with some juiciness and a bit of tannin. The finish is drying with wood and maple lingering as the juiciness starts to fade.

Overall, I am pretty happy with how it turned out. I think the complexity is just starting to develop now and will hopefully develop even further over time. I was surprised how much wood I picked up, but I'm guessing that using good quality grade B syrup makes a difference here. I''m glad I went with 71B for my yeast choice, since this really needs some acidity to balance out the sweetness.

I doubt if I'll brew this again, since it's a real sipper and the stockpile I have will likely last a decade at the rate I expect to consume it. If I did, I think I'd still try to shoot for 1.020-1.030 range for FG. I think it would be a lot more drinkable down in that range.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: el_capitan on January 28, 2014, 02:45:46 AM
Interesting.  That's technically called "acerglyn."  A friend and I made 5 gallons of syrup last year.  I use my stash as a refined sugar substitute.  My wife uses it in my morning muffins  ;D

BUT, once I get a sugarbush of my own set up, I could see myself doing a small batch. 

The thin black layer on the bottom of your fermenter was probably niter, or "sugar sand" as it's commonly called.  It's a natural sediment that forms in the syruping process.

Here's Don O's writeup (http://www.donosborn.com/homebrew/acerglyn.htm) of his attempt, with photos. 

I've made a maple porter with sap as the brewing liquor, and 1 quart of homemade syrup added at 15 minutes.  It wasn't too bad.  Still, the syrup seemed to really thin the beer out and leave a strange sweet/tart character that's hard to describe.  Not worth repeating. 

I'd really like to get a RO setup, and use that in the syruping process.  I could concentrate the sap quite a bit, and also produce RO water for brewing at the same time.  That would be the way to go.  We'll see where I'm at in 15 years or so...

Thanks for sharing your info.  I haven't had too much success with "country wines" yet I'm always intrigued to try another. 
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: pete b on March 05, 2014, 02:12:51 AM
Thanks for this post, very interesting. We are a couple months away from bottling a maple tej- maple syrup, honey, hops, and maple sap instead of water, started in may of 2013. Let you know when we taste it.
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: pete b on March 30, 2014, 02:54:11 AM
Just bottled and sampled maple tej started 3/24/13
Used 3 gallon maple sap
1gal maple syrup
6 lbs local raw honey
5 vanilla beans
7 black tea bags. (Steeped 7 min)
Lavalin d47 yeast
1oz styrian goldings hops added to must
2weeks in primary then racked to carboys (5gal + 1 gal)
Racked to carboy 11/24/13 after secondary at 65-70 degrees
Aged 1year at 55-60 degrees
Tastes great. Lightly sweet, countered by bitterness and astringency of hops and tea. Really do taste mineral flavor from sap.(i think).
Can' t wait to taste with Ethiopian food and oysters!
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: pete b on March 30, 2014, 03:02:42 AM
Btw realize i had said this was started 5/13 but records show it was started 3/13
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: pete b on April 04, 2014, 01:27:28 AM
We have about ten gallons of sap on hand and in addition to that will have 2-5 gallons maple syrup tomorrow. May the experiments begin!
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: RandyMarshCT on April 16, 2014, 02:28:17 PM
Interesting.  That's technically called "acerglyn."

Here's Don O's writeup (http://www.donosborn.com/homebrew/acerglyn.htm) of his attempt, with photos. 



Nice write-up. I've been fermenting maple syrup for a little over a year and never heard of the term acerglyn. Thanks for the link!
Title: Re: Maple Wine
Post by: 58limited on October 05, 2014, 09:51:54 PM
I made a maple wine in 2013 that turned out great. It was a 4 1/2 gallon batch with a total of 1 1/2 gallons of grade B maple syrup. I started with 1 gallon maple syrup for a 4 gallon batch and this gave me a starting gravity of 1.086. After 10 days it had dropped to 1.040 and I decided the staring gravity was too low for a true wine so I added another 1/2 gallon of maple syrup which brought the gravity up to 1.066 (If I had added all of the maple syrup at first starting gravity would have been about 1.112). I also added more yeast nutrient and some energizer. Final gravity at the two month mark was 0.988. WOW! This fermented to 16.5%! I decided to treat this like a port and I aged it with some pecan rum-soaked oak cubes from Texas Star Distillery. I then back-sweetened it with 4 cups of maple sugar (gravity went up to 1.012) that I rendered from the remaining maple syrup and fortified with 2% brandy like a Port. It is amazing. I made another batch this year but added 1 cup less of the maple sugar.

Here is my recipe:

1 gallon maple syrup
add water to 4 gallons
4 tsp yeast nutrient
2 cups raisins
6 yeast energizer tablets (these were 15 year old tablets i got back in college - brand unknown)

When the gravity dropped to 1.040 I added:
1/2 gallon maple syrup
1 tsp. yeast nutrient
4 yeast energizer tablets.

When fermentation finished (Gravity-0.988) I added 4 ounces of the rum-soaked oak cubes and let them sit for a month. Then I racked, added the maple sugar (4 cups) and 12 ounces of good quality brandy.