The Maple Sap batch of beer

Beer brewing, wine aging, whiskey fermenting, soda pop carbonating.  Talk about it here.
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Postby GORDON » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:37 pm

Starting in a couple weeks-ish I am going to start tapping my Maple trees. In this part of the world tapping time is supposedly February-April, when the temps are below freezing at night, and above freezing during the day. That is when the sap is flowing.

Now, I read that when you boil it down it is something like 50:1, water to syrup. 60 gallons of sap gets you 1 gallon of syrup. That tells me is is mostly water. That tells me it might make an interesting and unique 5 gallon batch of beer. :-D The maple sugar will ferment right along with the malt. We'll see what happens.

I am probably going to brew it up with an American Light kit.... I have had that kit before so I can compare it with the pure water version, and the kit itself is a proper light beer, so the hops and such will not be overpowering and I can see if I can taste the difference.

I don't actually expect much of a difference, but it will be interesting to be able to say the beer came out of that tree in my back yard.
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Postby GORDON » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:11 pm

Just tapped my first tree. Had to walk through 2 feet of snow to get out there, about 150 yards out. Damn. Lot of snow out there.

I should have gotten pics but I was busy carrying a drill and hammer and taps and shit. I will get some pics this evening when I check the flow and possibly change the container. I have no idea how fast it will take to fill a gallon milk jug. If it is too slow I will tap another tree... I want at least 2 gallons a day flowing.
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Postby GORDON » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:51 pm

Just tapped another tree, to show my kid how to do it. The first tree had about 2.5 inches of sap accumulated in the milk jug, about 6 hours accumulation. The second tree was big enough to do 2 taps. I have a 3rd tree handy if needed.
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Postby GORDON » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:46 am

Holy shit, that sucked.

Just went out to check my sap collection containers... I don't know if they would fill overnight, or not (I don't think they do... was below freezing overnight, and I guess sap doesn't flow then).

We were above freezing yesterday and below freezing last night.... which means my 2 feet of snow froze a hard crust on top. I couldn't walk in yesterday's path because the compressed snow was too hard and deflects my feet. Blazing a new trail means I have to stomp to break through every step, and then the edges of the snow hole cut up my ankles and shins on the upstep. I am literally bleeding right now.

Fun hobby.




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Postby TPRJones » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:32 am

Yes, but how much sap did you get?
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Postby GORDON » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:00 am

Zero collected so far. The containers were less than half full this morning, and frozen solid.

Right now it is pouring rain with a high of 45 expected. I will check them this evening after the rain stops, and hopefully the snow is not an ice crust.

Ankles are bloody.
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Postby TPRJones » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:20 am

Deliciousness has a price. This is the rich dark secret of maple syrup.
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Postby GORDON » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:21 am

I like the cut of your jib.
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Postby TPRJones » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:27 am

Where I come from a man just doesn't go around eyeing another man's jib. It isn't proper.

You just keep your eye on the prize and keep working on that joy juice, son. We're counting on you to break the sweet and sticky tyranny of the Canadians.




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Postby GORDON » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:13 am

It was raining like a bitch yesterday evening so I didn't check the containers.... this morning, I have 3 gallons full. The two that were tapped into the big tree were overflowing... will need to make an effort to check that one twice a day.

I took a drink of this dryad booty juice.......... interesting. Tastes like pure water with very faint sweetness.

This means I will have enough to brew this weekend.




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Postby GORDON » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:58 pm

The bigger the tree, the more taps you can use.

Image

Image
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Postby TPRJones » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:03 pm

Wait a minute, is that thin layer of white the snow you were crying about because it was being mean to you? After all the shit you gave Atlanta for shutting down with 1" on the ground?
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Postby GORDON » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:15 pm

1. That's under the tree. Thinner under the tree. 2 feet deep around the tree, a few days ago. Still over a foot most places.

2. That's also after about 4 days of melt and a rainstorm last night. Pics are from today.

I can post pics of other things that have a bare patch around them, if you'd like to see.




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Postby TPRJones » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:17 pm

Alright, alright, I'll take your word for it.

Ye greet northern pansy. :p
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Postby GORDON » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:22 pm

I just learned Toledo is 1 inch away from breaking the all-time winter snowfall record.... and we are expecting snow Sunday night.
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Postby GORDON » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:24 pm

Do you southerners recognize the ropey, viney thing in the second pic, near the jug? I don't remember if y'all have those down there.
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Postby TPRJones » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:02 pm

Is the viney thing not, well, a vine?
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Postby GORDON » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:11 pm

Yeah, but what is it?
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Postby TPRJones » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:22 pm

Are there types of vines?

I think some of the southern hardwood forests to the east have vines. But not over here in Texas, most of our heavily wooded areas are pine woods, which don't seem to support much in the way of vines. The only other place I've lived that had heavily wooded areas was over in the Rockies where it was all aspens, which also don't support many vines. My vines experience is pretty much limited to watching Indiana Jones and Tarzan movies and playing Pitfall.




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Postby GORDON » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:57 pm

I don't think anyone else is even reading this thread.

Wild grape vines grow up around here if you don't stop them. I will probably kill that one next year... they can smother a tree if you let them, and now that tree is going to work producing sap.
Fuuuuuuck YOU.


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