What about maple syrup? It’s thick, sweet, and inviting, and when it’s warmed up by the heat of your pancakes, waffles, or fried chicken, there’s nothing quite like it. Maple syrup—the real Mccoy, not that thin, overly sugary, artificial flavoring–added stuff—is a delight. Breakfast shouldn’t get all the fun, and brewers know that. However, it’s a fickle ingredient, and using the right amount and adding it at the right time is key.
Sean Lawson, founder and brewer at Vermont’s Lawson’s Finest Liquids offers this advice: “The easiest way to add maple syrup to a homebrew is to simply add the syrup at the end of the boil. Usage varies greatly from a cup (237 ml) or two (473 ml) per 5-gallon (19 l) batch to as much as a half gallon (1.9 l). Use less for a beer that is lighter in color and/ or lower in alcohol; use more for a darker and/or higher-alcohol beer,” he says.
“Homebrewers who want to spend the extra time and effort to add additional maple notes to their beer might consider an addition into secondary fermentation (before the beer has finished attenuating). I’ve also successfully used maple syrup for priming beer in bottles, kegs, and cask. Use just a little bit less than corn sugar.”
For more about brewing with maple syrup and other sugars, see “Sugar Rush” in the Best in 2017 issue of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®.