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Maple Sap Beer ?

PoppiYYZ Apr 8, 2013 11:56 AM

It's made from the last sap from the spring maple sugaring season that isn't considered good for much and results in a drink high in alcohol with a strong maple flavor.

Is anyone other than Sean Lawson in Vermont making this traditional brew ?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012...

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  1. pinehurst Apr 8, 2013 12:40 PM

    There's (not unexpectedly) a few folks in Canada doing it. St Ambroise Erable in Quebec, Sap Vampire in Alberta, Lake Of Bays Spring Maple Belgian Blonde Ale (Ontario). I have good luck finding beers from the province of Quebec in NH (Fin du Monde, etc)....but I don't know of any American brewers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pinehurst
      PoppiYYZ Apr 9, 2013 06:20 AM

      Thanks pinehurst,

      I'll contact the producers, but after looking into our suggestions, I think they are just maple syrup flavored beers. I'm interested in finding a real brew made from the late Maple Sap harvest.

      BTW There is also an excellent maple syrup / whiskey liqueur out of Quebec called Sortilege. Very tasty stuff.

    2. Jim Dorsch Apr 8, 2013 02:32 PM

      It's been a long time since I read this:

      http://www.amazon.com/Wines-Beers-Old...

      I'm pretty sure I read about maple sap beer in this book, along with many other interesting beverages they used to make in New England.

      I noticed a link elsewhere to an ebook version at a good price.

      1. l
        LStaff Apr 11, 2013 11:36 AM

        Not sure even Sean Lawson is making this traditional brew which sounds like its made from mostly sap and maybe some sugar. I think Lawson's maple beers are mostly malt based.

        7 Replies
        1. re: LStaff
          Jim Dorsch Apr 11, 2013 11:48 AM

          It looks like you're talking about the Maple Tripple, described below as being made from barley, hops, yeast and maple sap, with no water added. Wow.

          http://www.lawsonsfinest.com/beermenu...

          1. re: Jim Dorsch
            Tripeler Apr 11, 2013 04:36 PM

            Jim,
            Did you mean "maple sap with no water added" or that no water was used in the brewing?

            1. re: Tripeler
              Jim Dorsch Apr 11, 2013 06:54 PM

              The description on this page says no water added at all:

              http://www.lawsonsfinest.com/beermenu...

              Here's what it says:

              2009 Maple Tripple - Enticing, rich and complex, this creation defies easy description. Our 'once-a-year beer' is brewed only during sugaring season with 100% maple sap from our friend Paul Marble in Fayston, VT. No water added! Just barley, hops, and ale yeast. ~10.1% a/v

              1. re: Jim Dorsch
                Tripeler Apr 11, 2013 09:49 PM

                Thanks for the clarification. Apparently, the sap that comes directly from the tree doesn't have the gravity or density that bottled maple syrup has.

                1. re: Tripeler
                  Jim Dorsch Apr 12, 2013 03:00 AM

                  Thanks for pointing that out. The whole thing makes more sense now.

                  1. re: Tripeler
                    s
                    SP1 Apr 12, 2013 06:29 AM

                    Correct. The sap direct from the tree has a viscosity very close to water. So it's pretty easy substitute sap for water in the brewing process. You have to boil it down to make the syrup. About 40-50 gallons of sap will make 1 gallon of syrup. To brew with any real quantity of syrup would be super expensive.

                    1. re: SP1
                      PoppiYYZ Apr 13, 2013 07:18 AM

                      Couple of discussions over technique and recipes for sap beer here. Sap is used as the primary liquid, but syrup can be added to boost the maple flavor.

                      Would really love to try some...

                      http://vermonthomebrew.com/using-maple-sap-syrup-homebrewed-beer
                      http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/maple...

          2. s
            SP1 Apr 11, 2013 11:59 AM

            Fiddlehead, in Burlington, VT, made it last year. Not sure if it was draught only though. Good luck getting ahold of any of the Lawson product, I think you have to camp out at the Warren General Store...

            1. Davydd May 10, 2013 05:58 PM

              As a past home brewer and also a tapper of Maple trees to make Maple syrup I have a little experience with both. In fact I use much the same equipment. Maple sap is mostly water. It looks like water. It feels like water. It has a faint, very faint Maple taste. It does leave a little bit of sticky feel to your fingers. You boil it down 40 to 1 to get the syrup content that is left by boiling out the water. So I suppose you could just add the same amount of pure Maple syrup to your brew to get a similar result. Basically what the article is saying is that that end of season sap produces too dark of a syrup to sell commercially so just use it to make beer same as water. Is there any magic to using sap over tap water? Well, its totally untreated water for what that is worth.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Davydd
                PoppiYYZ Apr 19, 2014 05:30 AM

                Well I scored 5 gallons of premium grade Sap from a Syrup maker and a home brew Pale Ale recipe (substituting the water with sap) is now bubbling away in the basement. The wort had a hint of maple flavor with a pleasant lingering maple after taste. Hope the maple flavor holds up after fermentation is complete.

                If anyone has tried Lawsons Maple Tripple or Fiddleheads Maple Sap beer and can describe the type of beer (pale, amber, stout,...) and flavor profile (bitter, hoppy,...) I can adjust the recipe for next years batch.

                Will report back when ready to drink in a couple of weeks.

                1. re: PoppiYYZ
                  s
                  SP1 Apr 21, 2014 07:45 AM

                  Keep us updated!

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