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Maple Sap Extract Beer

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Llcoole83:
Excuse me if this has been asked before but I'm new, so sue me.

Anyways, I am only 5 batches into my brewing career so I haven't made the jump to all-grain brewing just yet but I love in Northern Michigan where people are just about to start tapping maple trees for the syrup season so I want to make a beer with sap instead of water.

Every recipe I have found online is all-grain but I assumed I can just adapt any by skipping a corner or two with extract. Have any of you tried maple sap beer brewing? What is a good base beer to go with the favors? Anything I should be aware of with the higher OG before even doing anything? How much maple syrup should I add to the secondary to boost the maple flavor?

I of course am looking to make a 5 gallon batch.

Thanks for the help.

denny:
I've heard this question asked many, many times over the last 16 years.  While I haven't tried it, the answer I always hear from people who have is don't bother.  You gain noting by using the sap.  Maybe someone here will have a different answer.

brewbaker:
Hmm. Lawson's Finest in Vermont does a Maple Triple ale brewed with 100% maple sap.

Per their website:
"Enticing, rich and complex, this creation defies easy description. Our 'once-a-year beer' is brewed only during sugaring season with 100% maple sap from our friend Paul Marble in Fayston, VT. No water added! Just barley, hops, and ale yeast. ~10.1% a/v"

It is expensive, I paid $25 for a 500mL bottle, but good lord was it a maple sensation. I dont know what they do differently aside from using 100% maple sap, but it is damn good and has a damn good and strong maple flavor!

GO FOR IT!

morticaixavier:
Maple sap has a lovely very mild sweetness and just a hint of woody maple flavor. I've not made a beer with sap but I think there are a couple folks on here who have. I've brewed with maple syrup and that can certainly give you some flavor but it takes alot. this is not a cheap beer.

The last maple beer I did I used 2 kg of maple syrup in a 5 gallon batch, that's ~60 bucks work of maple in this neck of the woods (admittedly far from the source) and the flavor is mild but apparent.

The 'problem' with using sap is that much of the flavor we think of as maple syrup is created during the boiling process so the sap just doesn't taste like much. It is a lovely drink be itself and when I lived in vermont there was a company making maple sap soda, basically just carbonated sap and that was really nice.

the best bang for your buck flavor wise is to prime with maple syrup. it still takes a fair amount, another 8-12 ounces per 5 gallons.

In terms of gravity, the sap is only about 1-2% sugar so it's not really something you have to worry about.

Llcoole83:
I have the ability to get my hands on plenty of syrup and sap for free in exchange for a couple bottles of the finished product, so cost is not an issue.

So would it be best to just boil with 100% sap and then just add syrup to secondary? If so, I've heard somewhere to put 16-20 ounces of syrup in. That sound about right?

Should I use a simple pale ale as the base beer or something else? The idea of a maple porter intrigues me.

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