From the HBD Archive
Subject: Maple Mead (Not mine, from
Date: 1992-05-13 13:49:43 GMT

I though I would contribute a recipe for maple-syrup mead that was
sent to me by as an answer to an inquiry I made a few
months ago on rec.crafts.brewing about maple mead. I haven't had a chance
to make it yet, but am in the process of procuring the syrup from friends
in Vermont. Below is the recipe I received verbatim:

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3 1/4 lb maple syrup
7 pts water
1/2 tsp acid blend
3/4 tsp yeast energizer
1 campden tablet
1 pkg Red Star champagne yeast

If you are going to make a small quantity of this brew, I sugget that you
follow this recipe fairly closely. I, on the other hand, make mead 5 gallons
at a time and so my recipe for a large batch varies a bit. If you want to
make a lot, try it this way:

in a 6 gallon primary, place:
1 1/2 gallons of maple syrup
4 gallons water
2 tsp acid blend
4 tsp yeast energizer
1 campden tablet
1 pkg Red Star champagne yeast

It'll take about a day to really get fermenting, and should go like crazy for
4 to 6 weeks. Rack off the yeast sediment at that time and then re-rack at
least 3 times at 3 month intervals. It'll be ready to bottle by 9 or 10 months
of age, but the longer it sits, the mellower and smoother it becomes. hope
this is was what you were looking for...let me know how it turns out.

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Just as there is a great variation in honey, there are great variations
in the types and flavors of maple syrup. The quality and flavor of the
syrup depend on the climate and spring weather in the region of interest
and vary greatly from year-to-year. True maple syrup (Mrs. Butterworths ????
arg!!!!!!) can be obtained in different grades which reflect the degree to
which the sap has been boiled down. Typically the marketed, expensive syrup
is Grade A, fairly light in color and fairly light in taste also. Good Grade A
syrup tastes nothing like pancake syrup, it has a woody-tangy taste (best I
can describe it) and is not overly sweet. This will probably make a nice
smooth mellow mead. Lower grades of syrup are darker and sweeter, though I
don't know how available they are in regions where sugaring is not done.
I would use a lower grade syrup for something like a stout as the flavor is
stronger and the color darker. I would think Grade A syrup would get lost in a
true stout. This is of course all theoretical as I have not actually brewed a
beer yet with maple. However, we used to make our own syrup when I was young
and living in Maine, and I look forward to making a maple-syrup based beer.

Hint:: If you have a little left-over syrup sitting in the bottom of a tin
and you can think of anything to do with it, pour a tablespoonful into
a glass of milk and stir it up. This makes a wonderful drink.

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