Brewing with maple sap

Hello fellow brewers, Ive got a crazy question and hope for any one who has tried this to explain ifn it worked…. Its almost Maple sap collecting time and a friend is big time into it. Well I’ve asked to get 10 gallons of sap and would want to brew using the sap only as my liquid. I don’t know what the gravity is, yet will find out soon. So, I plan on using a pilsner malt, and wonder about hopping, maybe taste till the sweet/bitter ratio is balanced…. Now for the yeast…… many to choose from. I’m not wanting to taste like syrup fer pancakes, any one out there tried this? :roll:

The gravity of my sap is .010. I don’t know if it would work for mash water you would have to check and adjust the ph. You could try it with extract. It won’t taste like syrup though since your not boiling it down. Boil down the 10 gallons of sap and you will get a pint of syrup. Throw that into the pot at the end of the boil. It will add fermentable sugar but you won’t taste it. Up north it’s added just so they can put it in the name I think. I can never taste it.

So you’re thinging of mashing with the sap? I’m not sure how that would throw off the mash efficiency, but it’s an interesting idea.

Or are you thinking of making an extract recipe and using the sap for that?

I’m betting the sap-for-water substitution would also make an interesting mead recipie.

P.S. I have brewed with my maple syrup before. Used the darker syrup in a smoked maple porter. I tasted the smoke more than the maple. It was decent.

I read somewhere (don’t remember) about some guy using this instead of water in a brown ale that he thought turned out good.

I used sap last year for a lambic. Not because I thought the sap would add anything, as there isn’t any hint of maple flavor in there anymore, but I couldn’t boil it down quick enough to deal with all of it on a day last spring when the sap was REALLY flowing. SG was 1.013, so right in line with Brew Cat’s measurement.

No matter what you make, I don’t think you’ll see any flavor contribution from it, unless you make something exceedingly light. There’s just not a lot of flavor in the pure sap.

Hello again fellow brewers, I do appreciate all input. And yes, I’ll be all grain. The maple sap guy uses a RO process fer his sap even before he evaporates it, so will the gravity be the same as what Brew Cat and Porkchop had, time will tell. What about yeast then, I would stay with ale, maybe a higher attenuation kind? My thinking is that yeast then gobbles up the sugar and leaving maple flavor more pronounced? I will use 8 gallons fer the brewing/mashing process, and plan to fire up my boil kettle while mashing, so I can cook down the remainder sap. Again not wanting a big maple syrup, so I will need to watch the malliard process. Hops, well, I will fiddle with fuggles, especially because I have some needing to get used. WHEW! This is the fun part of brewing, being able to get out of the box and play! Input from you that give input is great help. I see some have played with the sap… Warm weather is just around our corner, so I will still be asking until time to preform!! Thanks Sneezles61

Looks like I’ll start collecting in a couple of weeks. I want to check the ph. You should check yours and we can compare. I’m wondering if it depends on the ground water.

I think I vaguely remember an article like that in BYO. Made me want to give it a try. I did one time add about a pint and a half of maple syrup in a beer, and was unable to taste it at all. I’m guessing that that sap would have even less flavor to add, but you never know until you try.

Have to wonder what the solute content would be? Could make a big difference on the mash.
But then again, doubt anyone would send in a sap sample to Ward labs for analysis.
I have a few maples out in the back yard. Might have to tap them if Spring ever comes around here.
Back in my weird experimental phase(2nd ever batch) I primed a batch with maple syrup. Could not taste any maple flavor, but after all it was a honey ginger wheat with WAY too much ginger.

I used Grade B maple (IIRC about a quart to a 5G batch) in a Canadian Breakfast stout and maybe it was psychological, but I definitely tasted it.

I added at about 4-5 days into the fermentation, dissolved in some distilled water. Some have said that the time of adding simple sugars (like maple syrup or honey) does not matter. Either at 1 minute, flameout, or during ferment, you will have the same result. I have just gotten in the habit of adding them during fermentation though, and it has worked for me.

As far as your yeast question, I would think you would want (depending on the style you are going for) a moderately attenuative yeast, like a British Ale yeast/S-04. So much of what one tastes with maple is the sugar, so to the extent you can have a more dextrinous, slightly sweet (at least up front) beer, it will remind the drinker more of maple syrup, and the woody notes will come through a little better.

One other thought, you could toast up some maple chunks and age it on those as well if the flavor isn’t prominent enough.

Hello, today I’ll get a sample of maple sap to check sugar and PH. It isn’t running quite well yet. I have yet to test some after it has gone through the RO process…… I will get ready for next W/E to brew…… sneezles61

I’ll put some taps in next week, the snows been two deep. It’s going to run good this year.

As in two feet, which is actually true. Sometimes autocorrect is actually correct.

OK back from the sugar shack, and my findings are, gravity 1.006, Ph 8.1…… Now, the red bellied sap sucker, (he is native american too), doesn’t think its quite time fer collecting as it hasn’t been below freezing here for 2 days. Next week we will drop into mid 20’s at night and he says it will change the sap. He uses brix and his readings are 2-3 from the tree… Hey brew cat, we haven’t any snow to speak of here, about a 45 minute drive south of Lake Superior, later!! sneezles61 :cheers:

I think the sugar % will go up. PH looks high to mash with .I think I would boil 5 gallons of sap down to one gallon add that to the boil. Mash for five gallons of wort. That’s six gallon boil. That’s what I would try. Also boil the sap hard that may get you a stronger flavor.

OK, yes I thought way too high a Ph, could correct it. The sap collector likes the small, weenies wanking brews, so I’ll keep this one down. I got to do some deciphering about my grain bill now… :roll: Thanks sneezles61

oh yeah, just fer fun, I put a dab of finished product on the refractometer and the screen went completely white.It only reads to 1.130…. Sap man sez he finishes about 66 brix!!, about 1.264 off the top of me head!! :cheers: Sneezles61

Pour that over some vanilla ice cream. Post your recipe I’m following this closely.

well brew day with maple sap did not happen…. the sap man cooked all his sap and didn’t save any fer me to brew…. He’s now saying the buds are beginning to pop and sap isn’t running good at all… :frowning: will need to brew something different since yeast is started…