Sunday, May 6, 2012

Maple Triple

I love the flavor of maple syrup and my Belgian triple was my best Belgian of all. With some East Coast Yeast - 13 Trappist Ale in hand I am setting about another Belgian experiment replacing candi sugar in my triple with grade B maple syrup.

This beer is loosely inspired by a beer I've never had from Lawson's Finest Liquids; a nano brewery in Vermont which produces many beers. Some of their beers are made from maple sap and offer up as a characteristic flavor maple. This beer is aged in oak/maple/liqueur barrels. I've had Acer Quercus from Lawson's/Bruery and they did a decent job of getting maple flavor into that beer so I can only imagine what their signature maple beers are like. I'll be bottling this in champagne bottles so that I can carbonate them at an appropriate level and cork and cage them for aging. I might as well just buy a champagne corker with the lambics and Belgians I hope to make. I'll see what renting one costs as I can already anticipate needing it at least annually.

(read more after the break.)

Maple Syrup comes in grades and gradients. Grade A maple syrup comes in 3 gradients: Light Amber (75% translucent) which is the copper colored transparent maple syrup you're probably used to, Medium Amber (74.9-60% translucent) is a dark copper, and Dark Amber (59.9-40% translucent) is darker even still bordering on brown. Grade B(39.9% or less translucent) maple syrup is quite dark. Grade B is normally used in cooking and baking because as the syrup condenses it has more of the flavor compounds

Beautifully clear wort.
Recipe Specifications:
Boil Size: 6.43 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.078 SG
Estimated Color: 13.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 17.1 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 81.4 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

11 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) 76.2 %
4.0 oz Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) 1.7 %
3.0 oz Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) 1.3 %
3 lbs Maple Syrup (35.0 SRM) 20.8 %
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] - Boil 90.0 min 17.1 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)
1.0 pkg ECY Trappist Ale

Mash Schedule: 
Single Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 14 lbs 7.0 oz
Mash In Add 15.29 qt of water at 162.9 F 152.0 F 60 min
Mash Out Add 8.00 qt of water at 202.7 F 168.0 F 10 min
Batch Sparge with 2.23 gal water at 168.0 F 

Warming up in some luke
warm water to pour easier.
Brew Day:
I started early and it took 8 hours start to clean. Cleaning up after yourself is almost as important as anything else you do. If you want the women in your life to support you hobby clean up after yourself. Right away. The sparge was a bit slow, but not stuck at all. The new mill at Siciliano's grinds the grains to a finer grist. The maple syrup smelled great when I added it to the brew kettle at flame out. As fermentation kicked off the CO2 escaping the airlock smelled of dark fruit and sweet malts. I hope to make some maple syrup cookies, or try some other maple things asap. I know sugary beverages can ferment if not handled carefully. I hope to keep this maple syrup from spoiling as I use the remaining two pounds for something else. Maybe more brews.

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