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  1. #1
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    Anyone ever ferment maple sap or syrup?

    I am wondering if anyone has ever fermented maple sap or syrup into a tasty beverage? I'm not talking about making an addition of maple syrup to a beer. I'm talkin' straight maple sap fermentation to a finished product like a dry mead. Any experience out there?
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  2. #2
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Sure, lots of people have. It's called Acerglyn

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    mmmmmmm, I would drink it.

  4. #4
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    I am looking for any recipes that some might have for a pure Acerglyn, thanks for that term btw. A lot of the recipes I've seen call for the addition of sugar or honey to balance the alcohol with sweetness. I myself prefer the dry type, I don't go in for the sweet stuff as much. I would really love to see a recipe with a starting and finishing gravity recommendation in order to know if I need to boil down the sap volume. I'm also curious about what kind of yeast is recommended and if there is a need for yeast nutrient to be added during fermentation. I'm thinking of asking someone I know who has been able to syrup in the past if it would be possible to get a few gallons for an experiment. I'm anxious to give it go.
    Last edited by dbhammercycle; 04-24-2013 at 10:32 AM. Reason: grammer
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  5. #5
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    You had me at maple syrup..I could/can just drink the stuff
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  6. #6
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    Anyone ever ferment maple sap or syrup?

    Acerglyn is frequently described in mead circles, hence the honey. In fact, acerglyn by definition probably includes honey as a fermentable. There are specific terms that way for mead with berries, mead with apples, mead with grapes, mead with grain, mead with spices, etc, etc.

    As far as gravity goes, it puts you into wine territory. So to go dry, your SG will depend on the yeast strain you use and its tolerance for alcohol. When I make a must to ferment, I do a little reverse calculations to find a target starting gravity. I add my sugar and then dilute with water to reach my target gravity.

    My last batch didn't work that way since I was using peaches that retain a lot of their sugars in cell walls which makes gravity readings pretty useless.

    With syrup it should be easy. Start with boiled down syrup, then add only enough water to hit a target gravity for your chosen strain of yeast to ferment dry. Pretty sure straight sap will be too dilute.

  7. #7
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    I use maple sap instead of water. Not for flavor, but for the fact that it's pure filtered water sucked out of the ground by a tree. I think it has a sweet, earthy flavor that comes across in the beer, especially a lighter one.

    Remember that it takes 40 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup!

  8. #8
    orthonormal
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    I am looking for any recipes that some might have for a pure Acerglyn, thanks for that term btw. A lot of the recipes I've seen call for the addition of sugar or honey to balance the alcohol with sweetness. I myself prefer the dry type, I don't go in for the sweet stuff as much. I would really love to see a recipe with a starting and finishing gravity recommendation in order to know if I need to boil down the sap volume. I'm also curious about what kind of yeast is recommended and if there is a need for yeast nutrient to be added during fermentation. I'm thinking of asking someone I know who has been able to syrup in the past if it would be possible to get a few gallons for an experiment. I'm anxious to give it go.
    Starting gravity is entirely up to you and how much alcohol you desire in the finished product. If you use a white wine yeast like Lalvin ICV-D47 (popular for making mead), you'll be able to ferment dry up to ~15% ABV, so a starting gravity of under 26 degrees Brix (sorry, I think in wine terms, you can look up the translation to SG). Definitely use a yeast nutrient like Fermaid K if you're fermenting to wine-like alcohol levels or you'll end up with sulphur issues (you don't want to have to resort to using copper to fix this, trust me) and/or a stuck fermentation.

    Edit: Depending on personal taste and/or willingness to risk spoilage, you may also want to add tartaric acid pre- or post-ferment. Potassium metabisuphite is helpful to avoid spoilage but if the pH is high, it takes a lot to get a reasonable amount of free SO2 for protection.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by barrettgremlin View Post
    I use maple sap instead of water. Not for flavor, but for the fact that it's pure filtered water sucked out of the ground by a tree. I think it has a sweet, earthy flavor that comes across in the beer, especially a lighter one.

    Remember that it takes 40 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup!
    That sounds like one awesome beer whatever the style.
    Last edited by dbhammercycle; 05-02-2013 at 09:30 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    Depending on personal taste and/or willingness to risk spoilage, you may also want to add tartaric acid pre- or post-ferment. Potassium metabisuphite is helpful to avoid spoilage but if the pH is high, it takes a lot to get a reasonable amount of free SO2 for protection.
    I have experience with mead and beer brewing. I also have/use a refractometer so Brix units is no problem. Thanks for the additional edit info. I don't usually take pH readings, but it probably is a good idea as another measure of control for my brews. I was thinking of using a smack pack for dry mead or perhaps champagne. I've had good luck with them in the past for my meads. I'll look into some of the varieties of dry yeast as well before I start anything.

    I appreciate everyone's 0.02, but so far no recipes so I'll just have to throw it together and see what happens. A true experiment it will be. Keep the opinions coming. Thanks
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  11. #11
    orthonormal
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    I have experience with mead and beer brewing. I also have/use a refractometer so Brix units is no problem. Thanks for the additional edit info. I don't usually take pH readings, but it probably is a good idea as another measure of control for my brews. I was thinking of using a smack pack for dry mead or perhaps champagne. I've had good luck with them in the past for my meads. I'll look into some of the varieties of dry yeast as well before I start anything.

    I appreciate everyone's 0.02, but so far no recipes so I'll just have to throw it together and see what happens. A true experiment it will be. Keep the opinions coming. Thanks
    pH meters are nice but a bit of a pain to care for. If the probe tip dries out, there's a good chance it's ruined. Even so, I find it a useful tool. It takes 100 times as much K2SO4 to get the same amount of free SO2 at pH=4.0 as it does at pH=3.0 and I prefer to minimize my sulfite additions.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

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