Looking for advice on carbonation

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pudman33
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Looking for advice on carbonation

Post by pudman33 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:25 am

Good day,

A little background before I get into my question.

My family taps their own maple trees in the spring and I had some leftover maple syrup from last year and me and my brewmate were waiting to use it in a beer of some sort. We found a good recipe for a Maple Nut Brown so we went that way. We do all grain brewing (biab) using our keggle. For this recipe, we decided to do a small 5G batch as a tester to see how it worked out.

As I type this, the brew is completed and it's currently fermenting. The last step in the process is to add a little more maple syrup for the flavor aspect. That's where we are right now as far as the beer itself goes.

Now on to carbonation and the basis of my question.

For the longest time, we'd go from the fermenter to bottles using a priming sugar. We like to split the beers we brew 50/50 and either drink/share as we see fit. We had a bad experience by overcarbing one of our batches a while back using priming sugar (we obviously screwed it up somehow) so instead of going that way, we decided to just force carb from CO2. We both own our own kegerators at our homes. We've been successful so far using that format.

Since this is a smaller batch, we are looking at trying to just go straight to bottles again instead of moving it in a keg for force carbing it, and then moving the beer to bottles to split up. We are nervous mainly because of the situation around adding maple syrup to the beer now and then wondering if we need to add a priming sugar to carbonate the beer.

Is the natural sugar in the maple syrup going to affect the prming sugar, and possibly overcarbonate the beers again? Do we even need to add a priming sugar if we are about to add the maple syprup for flavoring (will the sugars act as the priming sugar for us)?

Has anyone brewed with actual Maple syrup before and has it affected your carbonation?

My apologies for the long post. I just wanted to get the info in there to get accurate replies. Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to offer advice.
Last edited by pudman33 on Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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wcturnedec
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Re: Looking for advice on carnonation

Post by wcturnedec » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:47 am

pudman33 wrote:Good day,

A little background before I get into my question.

My family taps their own maple trees in the spring and I had some leftover maple syrup from last year and we were waiting to use it in a beer of some sort. We found a good recipe for a Maple Nut Brown so we went that way. We do all grain brewing (biab) using our keggle. For this recipe, we decided to do a small 5G batch as a tester to see how it worked out.

As I type this, the brew is completed and it's currently fermenting. The last step in the process is to add a little more maple syrup for the flavor aspect. That's where we are right now as far as the beer itself goes.

Now on to carbonation and the basis of my question.

For the longest time, we'd go from the fermenter to bottles using a priming sugar. We like to split the beers we brew 50/50 and either drink/share as we see fit. We had a bad experience by overcarbing one of our batches a while back using priming sugar (we obviously screwed it up somehow) so instead of going that way, we decided to just force carb from CO2. We both own our own kegerators at our homes. We've been successful so far using that format.

Since this is a smaller batch, we are looking at trying to just go straight to bottles again instead of moving it in a keg for force carbing it, and then moving the beer to bottles to split up. We are nervous mainly because of the situation around adding maple syrup to the beer now and then wondering if we need to add a priming sugar to carbonate the beer.

Is the natural sugar in the maple syrup going to affect the prming sugar, and possibly overcarbonate the beers again? Do we even need to add a priming sugar if we are about to add the maple syprup for flavoring (will the sugars act as the priming sugar for us)?

Has anyone brewed with actual Maple syrup before and has it affected your carbonation?

My apologies for the long post. I just wanted to get the info in there to get accurate replies. Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to offer advice.
No worries about the long post, the more details the better!! If you are adding the syrup to the primary of an active or complete fermentation the yeast will consume all the simple sugars in the maple syrup and leave you with little to no flavour. I don’t have a lot of experience with maple syrup additions in beer but like I said it’s a simple sugar and the yeast will have no problem consuming all of it.

Possibly you could try priming with maple syrup? Again not much maple flavour will be retained.

Also you could try making a tincture with some fenugreek? It has a distinct maple flavour and I know some folks on this forum have experience with it.

But back to your original question, if you add maple syrup to your primary I’d say you still need to add the regular amount priming sugar for bottle conditioning. Just make sure you give the yeast some time chew through the maple syrup before bottling.


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Re: Looking for advice on carbonation

Post by pudman33 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:30 am

Thanks for the quick reply.

Ya, we were thinking about the maple flavor getting removed if we just add the syrup now, so one of the thoughts we had was cold crashing the fermentation, draining the beer from the fermenter to another vessel then adding the maple for flavoring. before carbonating.

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Re: Looking for advice on carbonation

Post by wcturnedec » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:49 am

pudman33 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:30 am
Thanks for the quick reply.

Ya, we were thinking about the maple flavor getting removed if we just add the syrup now, so one of the thoughts we had was cold crashing the fermentation, draining the beer from the fermenter to another vessel then adding the maple for flavoring. before carbonating.
Would you bee keeping the second vessel at cold temps? Even after crashing the temps as which you'd be bottle conditioning would allow what yeast is remaining to ferment the maple syrup.
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Re: Looking for advice on carbonation

Post by pudman33 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:03 am

wcturnedec wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:49 am
pudman33 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:30 am
Thanks for the quick reply.

Ya, we were thinking about the maple flavor getting removed if we just add the syrup now, so one of the thoughts we had was cold crashing the fermentation, draining the beer from the fermenter to another vessel then adding the maple for flavoring. before carbonating.
Would you bee keeping the second vessel at cold temps? Even after crashing the temps as which you'd be bottle conditioning would allow what yeast is remaining to ferment the maple syrup.

Interesting. Something I had not considered if I am being honest.

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Re: Looking for advice on carbonation

Post by wcturnedec » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:09 am

pudman33 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:03 am
wcturnedec wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:49 am
pudman33 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:30 am
Thanks for the quick reply.

Ya, we were thinking about the maple flavor getting removed if we just add the syrup now, so one of the thoughts we had was cold crashing the fermentation, draining the beer from the fermenter to another vessel then adding the maple for flavoring. before carbonating.
Would you bee keeping the second vessel at cold temps? Even after crashing the temps as which you'd be bottle conditioning would allow what yeast is remaining to ferment the maple syrup.

Interesting. Something I had not considered if I am being honest.
Again this is all from my readings and what I know about simple sugars and yeast, rather than first hand experience. So experiment with however you like, its just beer!

Check out this link on fenugreek seed (if you can get your hands on some) for some maple flavouring.
On tap: Xmas Beer, Multigrain Saison, American Porter
Fermenting: ESB, Italian Pils, Maibock
Coming up: Brett Saison
Bottled: RIS, American Barleywine
Souring: Golden Sour, Sour Saison, Sour Red, Golden Sour II

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Re: Looking for advice on carbonation

Post by pudman33 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:14 am

wcturnedec wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:09 am
pudman33 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:03 am
wcturnedec wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:49 am


Would you bee keeping the second vessel at cold temps? Even after crashing the temps as which you'd be bottle conditioning would allow what yeast is remaining to ferment the maple syrup.

Interesting. Something I had not considered if I am being honest.
Again this is all from my readings and what I know about simple sugars and yeast, rather than first hand experience. So experiment with however you like, its just beer!

Check out this link on fenugreek seed (if you can get your hands on some) for some maple flavouring.

Thanks again, I will check this out.

Hopefully someone here has some experience brewing with maple syrup and can offer other suggestions and advice as well.

Chris

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Re: Looking for advice on carbonation

Post by elreplica » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:41 am

Just a caveat about fenugreek...you need to be Uber careful with it as it is potent. I have a bunch if you’d like to exbeeriment...pm me if you’re interested.
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Re: Looking for advice on carbonation

Post by elreplica » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:48 am

And...it may serve you well to prime carb with maple sugar in the keg...my last Maple Cascade needed a couple adjustments. I did not however prime in the keg but had to add some more syrup to impart a maple flavour - and to reduce some fenugreek bitterness - to the secondary before force carbing the 50 liter batch. BTW I brewed this batch for Saltbox Brewery out of Mahone Bay and released it at King St Brewing Company as their inaugural LaHave River series.
At Bat: several Czech Pils
On Deck: Cream Ale
In the Hole: Kolsch
Clean Up: Tall Ships Ale clones
On tap: Propeller Pils, Festa Cream Ale

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Re: Looking for advice on carbonation

Post by pudman33 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:02 pm

elreplica wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:48 am
And...it may serve you well to prime carb with maple sugar in the keg...my last Maple Cascade needed a couple adjustments. I did not however prime in the keg but had to add some more syrup to impart a maple flavour - and to reduce some fenugreek bitterness - to the secondary before force carbing the 50 liter batch. BTW I brewed this batch for Saltbox Brewery out of Mahone Bay and released it at King St Brewing Company as their inaugural LaHave River series.
Interesting, and thanks for the advice. I appreciate the offer on the Fenugreek. I will chat with my brewmate and see what he thinks. We are both in the Halifax area but if we decide to take you up on your offer, I will be in touch.

Chris

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