Author Topic: When is the best time to add maple syrup to our porter?  (Read 1413 times)

Offline Belgian Samurai

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When is the best time to add maple syrup to our porter?
« on: October 25, 2018, 04:15:36 PM »
Hi,

Okay, I know that question in the subject line is way too broad, so here are some details which will make it a bit more reasonable.

About 10-days ago, we brewed what we're calling a "chocolate maple bourbon barrel imperial porter."  ;D It's a 10-gal batch to be keg'd. We were going to do two 5-gal batches, but having limited stove top space, we combined the two batches fully during steeping and boil. See attached two images for ingredient list and quantity. The local brew supply shop converted the recipe to liquid malts for our convenience.

OG: 1.102 (using a refractometer)
FG: 1.064 (8%abv) - expected

So, I did a fair amount of research on the use of maple syrup and thus did not use it during boil or primary fermentation as we didn’t want to lose the maple flavors. I bought 1-gallon of pure maple syrup Grade B (Grade A Dark Amber) for the secondary, which will get racked at the 2-week mark. [EDIT: or soon there after as today is the 2-week mark, but we have done extended primaries in the past due to busy schedules and that's no problem.]  I plan on the secondary fermentation to be 8-weeks, for a total of 10-weeks from kettle to snifter. Question #1: What is the best time to pour the maple syrup into the fermenters to get that rich maple flavor? We can cold crash it and let it continue to develop in the keg whenever needed.

I also bought a 4-ounce bag of French Oak chips (medium roast) and a bottle of Elijah Craig small batch bourbon, because I like the flavor (and Blanton’s single batch was out of my price range as I was already at $190 for the double recipe including ice, etc). Question #2: What point of the secondary should we introduce the bourbon-soaked wood chips? Now, we will have the secondary in a fermentation bucket with a spigot, so we will be able to remove the grain sock with the wood chips anytime as we taste test every day or so. (As far as soaking, I have read 2-7 days. If we soak for more than 2-days, we’ll have to drop in the wood chips a few days after secondary fermentation has started.)

Okay, there’s two initial questions for you all. We have brewed about a dozen batches, but we are always learning, so we may have further questions yet. Let me know if you need any further detail.

Thanks in advance for everyone’s time and effort in their replies.

Images:
[img="https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipNnPzWJBqZyKloQ4ynSbXNlHiKdOX5SvRxd_THk"]http://image 1[/img]
[img="https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipNbqHtGk2pGx7P6IjoyYHGY27tIQrpxK1sSNq0R"]http://image 2[/img]

« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 05:37:16 PM by Belgian Samurai »
Recent batches: Chocolate maple bourbon barrel imperial strong ale
On the drawing board: Belgian citrus wit
IG: @BelgianSamuraiBrewing

Online dmtaylor

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Re: When is the best time to add maple syrup to our porter?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2018, 06:05:17 PM »
I've never tasted maple in a maple beer.  You especially won't be able to taste it in an imperial porter.  Best way to get "maple flavor" in a beer is to cheat and use an Indian spice called fenugreek.  Smells and tastes just like Mrs. Butterworth's.  Just go easy on it, as it is extremely powerful stuff and easily overused.
Dave

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Offline Robert

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Re: When is the best time to add maple syrup to our porter?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2018, 06:09:17 PM »
^^^^
Fenugreek is in fact exactly what they use to flavor pancake syrup!
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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Offline Belgian Samurai

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Re: When is the best time to add maple syrup to our porter?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2018, 05:39:43 PM »
Thanks, I will keep fenugreek in mind next time. I made an edit to my post above as I forgot to mention that the maple syrup was Grade A dark amber and not table-top syrup. ;)
Recent batches: Chocolate maple bourbon barrel imperial strong ale
On the drawing board: Belgian citrus wit
IG: @BelgianSamuraiBrewing

Offline Robert

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Re: When is the best time to add maple syrup to our porter?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2018, 07:21:42 PM »
Thanks, I will keep fenugreek in mind next time. I made an edit to my post above as I forgot to mention that the maple syrup was Grade A dark amber and not table-top syrup. ;)
For future reference, if you really want to use maple syrup, grade A is in fact table syrup.  Grades B and C are much stronger in flavor, and are generally used in cooking and baking.   But fenugreek is much more intense still, and tastes more real than the real thing, if you will.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: When is the best time to add maple syrup to our porter?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2018, 02:00:16 AM »
To your questions, I would start soaking the chips ASAP. If these are raw chips you will get some strong flavor from them pretty quickly. You can add only the bourbon or save the bourbon and add the chips. Or add it all. I would let it sit for a few days and then start tasting it.

As far as the maple syrup, I've never been able to get the flavor to come through but if you're going to use it, add it as late as possible. You can probably add it direct to the secondary and let it go. It should have high enough sugar content to be effectively sterile.


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Offline Belgian Samurai

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Re: When is the best time to add maple syrup to our porter?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 09:28:47 PM »
Thank you to everyone suggesting fenugreek as a preferred flavoring method. I have definitely made note of this tip! :) Judging by your member titles and post counts, I am confident that you know what you're talking about, so please understand the following not to be correcting you, but rather me clarifying some details.

When I mentioned "Grade A Dark Amber" maple syrup, that is the new nomenclature for what used to be referred to as "Grade B" maple syrup. I have also verified with the Maple Syrup farm that I did in fact order the correct one. Here is an alternate source as well:

Quote
Remember, the new maple syrup grades only apply to pure maple syrup, not imitation breakfast syrups or other fake products. While “Grade B” no longer exists (it is replaced with Grade A Dark Color, Robust Flavor), there are still two primary grades of 100% real maple syrup with clear and helpful descriptors.
source: https://www.maplesource.com/pure-maple-syrup-grades-explained

also ...
Quote
The former Grade A syrup is now known as Grade A Amber Color Rich Taste.
The former Grade B syrup is now known as Grade A Dark Color Robust Taste.
source: https://www.barredwoodsmaple.com/maple-syrup-grades.html



Now, for the next point: the brewing progress!   8)
So, currently, the primary has finished it's initial 2-weeks, but we're too busy this week to get to it, so secondary will happen this weekend, thus primary will have been a full 3-weeks and that is okay, because we've done this before without negative results.

This weekend, we'll buy the bourbon, soak the wood chips for several days and then rack into secondary with spigot for tasting and throw in the wood chips in a grain sock. We'll let it sit for a few days and then begin to sample the beer every day for taste, then pull wood chips.

Will keep you posted on progress!
Cheers! 8)
Recent batches: Chocolate maple bourbon barrel imperial strong ale
On the drawing board: Belgian citrus wit
IG: @BelgianSamuraiBrewing

Offline Robert

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Re: When is the best time to add maple syrup to our porter?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2018, 10:17:33 PM »
Thanks for the link on the new syrup grades.  Guess I was behind the times. 
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.