Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Sign In with Google Sign In with OpenID Sign In with Twitter

Categories

In this Discussion

Note to Visitors: Many posts have uploaded pictures that are only visible to logged in members. You may sign up for free and you will be able to see them.

Top Leaders

Top Posters

Who's Online (0)


Feeling generous? Help keep HBF running.
Get the sticker that shows them how you really feel.
Brewing a Maple Brown ale.
  • RedmanRedman
    Posts: 2
    Hey, all! New to this site. I was wondering. I'm brewing a maple brown ale, as the title says, and I need to know what type of maple syrup to use. I've always heard that a syrup with preservatives would hinder the yeast growth. Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,821
    most syrup you can buy at the store isn't really maple syrup. so check the label to start with. anything with high fructose corn syrup is going to be the equivalent of dropping some corn sugar with caramel coloring into your beer.

    once you find real maple syrup (i can get it a costco around me) look to see what they have in it. If you have made it this far and you still have options, go with the one without preservatives if given that choice.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,821
    and welcome to the site!
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 17,347
    I've heard to use Grade B syrup instead of Grade A. It seems counterintuitive. I think B is darker and more flavorful. I could be completely off base though.
    Sign here______________________________
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,654
    Welcome to the site!

    I'll second what Lake said. A good place to look is for "natural" or "organic". Not because those are better, but they're more likely to not be high fructose corn sugar and caramel color.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,654

    I've heard to use Grade B syrup instead of Grade A. It seems counterintuitive. I think B is darker and more flavorful. I could be completely off base though.


    Fry said the same thing about Honey. In meads you want the really light clean stuff. In beer you want the darker stuff that will actually come through a bit.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,821
    agreed, for the beer, stick with the lower grade stuff. it will impart more flavor and actually cost a bit less. both beneficial qualities in brewing.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • CurlyFatCurlyFat
    Posts: 62,079
    I've never used maple syrup, but these suggestions all seem spot on. When you're adding something that's mostly sugar (syrup, honey) you want the most flavorful variety possible since all that sugar will ferment out, so all you'll be left with is alcohol and whatever else was in it. So, I would think "real" is essential, dark and unfiltered would be preferable. And I would definitely avoid preservatives. I, personally, don't think they would hinder a strong, healthy yeast culture, but wouldn't risk a batch based on that assertion.

    "Balls."
    - Thym's 100,000th post

  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617
    Where the heck is the guy who makes gallons of maple syrup from the trees on his property when you need him? @frydogbrews should surely be the authority in this arena!!
    Jesus didn't wear pants
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,498
    I have heard, but never tried..... that using a little maple syrup instead of priming sugar really kicks up the flavor......

    In any event, you would probably get the most flavor out of the syrup if you added it a week or so into fermentation.... most of the aromatics will go out the airlock the first three days or so...
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    hello.
    you can use grade A syrup, just not grade A " extra light amber". and unless you are in a big time syrup making region, you won't find grade A extra light amber anyway.

    any other grade will work just fine with the most flavor coming out of grade A "Dark amber". Grade B is the darkest grade, but the flavors tend to be a little muddled and don't pull through the fermenting process very cleanly.

    here is the break down on grades:
    Color and clarity depend upon the weather, the cleanliness of the tools, the regularity of gathering, and the manner of boiling and straining. As for the flavor, it depends on imponderable qualities: the tree itself, the location, the soil, etc.
    These factors are important in determining the commercial value of maple syrup but are not essential to the identity of maple syrup as such. Maple sap, and nothing else, as the raw material of its making, is the essential ingredient.

    Extra Light: Produced at the very beginning of the season, very pale color and delicate taste. Light transmittance over 75%.

    Light: Produced at the beginning of the season in mid-March. Pale amber in color with a pure, subtle flavor. Light transmittance 61-74%.

    Medium: Produced in the middle of the season this is the most popular grade available. A rich amber color and more pronounced flavor. Light transmittance 44-60%.) p>

    Amber: Produced near the end of the season, it contains a higher mineral content, stronger maple taste and dark color. Recommended for cooking or those who prefer a stronger taste. Light transmittance 27-43%.

    Dark: Produced at the very end of the season, it has the highest mineral content. This is very dark, full flavored syrup often used as an ingredient in cereals and baked goods. Light transmittance 0-26%.

    As far as preservatives, most real maple syrup bottlers don't use them anyway. there is zero need for it. same with honey. the level of sugar is so damn high, that it is already totally shelf stable until the end of freaking time. so, if it says it is pure maple syrup and has other stuff in it, suspicions should be on high alert.

    good luck, let us know how it turns out.
    (also, maple syrup beers tend to need a fairly long aging because the syrup gives off hot alcohol notes at first.)

    CurlyFat
  • CurlyFatCurlyFat
    Posts: 62,079
    Ah...There's the guy we needed!

    "Balls."
    - Thym's 100,000th post

  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    The flavor will certainly depend on the quantity and timing of use I would think. Also the style of base beer you use. A lighter beer will let the flavor of syrup come out more. You could also use multiple times too, late boil, late ferment and for priming. As you taste, if you don't get what you are looking for, add more. Just know it will increase in ABV every time you add it.
  • RedmanRedman
    Posts: 2
    Thanks, all, for the info. It looks like I won't be able to do this beer, because of the aging time. I was trying to have it for Memorial Day Weekend. Some friends of mine are having a bacon themed weekend campout, and I thought Maple would go with the bacon really well. Thanks, again!
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    @redman
    instead of syrup, you could hit it with brown sugar. that doesn't need as much aging time but will throw off a similar flavor because of the unfermentables hiding inside it. it will create a sweeter brew though.

    you could make a bacon beer. its not very hard. you would need to do a fat-washing to make an infusion, but that's easy.

    for a 5 gallon batch, scoop out 2 teaspoons of bacon fat(warm so its liquid) and put it into 1 cup of decent vodka. shake the hell out of it (or hit it with an immersion blender) to start the infusion. then let it sit for 12-24 hours at room temp or a little higher. after that, toss it into the freezer until the fats solidify and run it through a coffee filter to get them all out. then dump into a secondary or whatever your method is, just don't ferment the infusion. it will add big time bacon flavor to your brew.

    C_B