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