That Time Of Year…

Cold nights, warming days, snowbanks shrinking and longer hours of daylight… Spring is coming, they say…

At my house, that also means sap – maple sap, with which I make a gallon or two of syrup for household use, and with which I also brew at least one maple-influenced beer…

My maple beers go in one of two ways – sometimes I brew something light in color and bitterness to showcase the maple; alternately, I use maple as the base of a rich dark beer. That is the case this year – my last lager of this season is a Baltic Porter, big, sweet, black as night, smooth and delicious.

Maple Baltic Porter, 3 gallons, all-grain


  • 4 gallons condensed maple sap (from 9 gallons fresh)
  • 5 lbs. brown malt (I had Crisp and Simpson’s on hand)
  • 1 lb. Carafa II
  • 1/4 lb. roasted barley
  • 1/4 lb. chocolate malt
  • 1/2 lb. amber candi sugar
  • 1 oz Denali hop pellets (15.4% aa)
  • White Labs Copenhagen Lager yeast (WLP850)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup for priming


Reduce 9 gallons fresh sap to 4. Crush grains. Mash for 45 minutes at 154°F. Runoff sweet wort (no sparge) and bring to a boil. Add candi sugar. After 15 minutes, add 1/2 oz Denali pellets. Boil 25 more minutes and add remaining Denali pellets. Boil 5 minutes and turn off heat. Chill to 70°F and pitch yeast. Ferment at 65° for eight to ten days. Rack to secondary, lager as close to 40°F as possible for three weeks. Prime with maple syrup and bottle. Condition cool (50 – 55°F) for three weeks.

OG: 1074

Optional: I am aging this brew on rum barrel oak chips in the secondary. Why not?

3 Replies to “That Time Of Year…”

  1. Thanks for the recipe, Scott! I have a question about doing Baltic Porters at the lower end of ale temperatures. Do you recommend using the same yeast you used or a cold-tolerant ale yeast?

    1. I always* brew Baltics as lagers – this is the first time I have used the Copenhagen, so we’ll see how it finishes… Had good luck using Kölsch/Altbier yeasts in the past, as well as one of the “Cal Common/Steam”-style cultures… but even then I did try to pseudo-lager them…

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