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"Speed Aging" with Maple and a bit of maple syrup.

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"Speed Aging" with Maple and a bit of maple syrup.

Postby Ratabilly » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:36 pm

Okay so last night was my first time experimenting with wood and aging. The only half decent wood i could get my hands on lately to try and toast was maple. So i put 5 sticks about 3/4" x 3/4" x 6" in the toaster over at 400f for 1.5 hours and then at 450f for 35 minutes. As a result they were pretty dark, but not turned into charcoal. So i stuck those in a quart mason jar ( not really knowing how much to use) and dropped a pint of 50%ABV on there. Shook it a bit and let it sit. The results were almost immediate. An hour later it was already colored lightly like canadian whiskey. Before going to bed, i took a look at it and it was pretty dark... I couldn't help myself, i had to taste it since it's my first time and im way impatient :!:

It did taste a bit different, but it wasnt very distinct and i started thinking about how long it takes for the aging process, and what is actually happening while the spirits are aging. Then i thought about how when you age on oak, it will eventually leech out the vannilins and sugars and then transfer those flavors into the spirit.

Here's where something along those lines happen... :idea:

I thought to myself well hey, if thats where the vanilla and "sugary" tastes come from when aging on oak, how could i emulate those flavors since those compounds aren't found in maple (such as vannilla and sugars as i didn't use sugar maple, just regular maple). So i had the idea of putting a spoonful of maple syrup in the jar with the sticks, and let it sit overnight and see what happens. Well im having a taste right now and its pretty good IMO, but im far from being a connoiseur at anything. The wood taste is way more pronouced and you can actually taste hints of what it smelled when i was toasting the wood, along with a hint of maple syrup which reminds me kind of when you get the vanilla taste in whiskey.

That was done overnight in about 18 hours, and there is definitely a difference in color and taste...

I dont know if i did anything good or bad here, but i thought i'd let people know the result of this little experience as i though it gave an "older" taste to something that was nowhere near being aged.

Those are my thoughts and experience with maple wood, next time around i will definitely try sugar maple in a more traditional way of aging and omit the syrup.
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Re: "Speed Aging" with Maple and a bit of maple syrup.

Postby punkin » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:00 pm

Yep, maple syrup can give flavour to undeveloped spirit. Before i got my barrels and i aged exclusively on oak sticks i used to add 10ml/litre of maple syrup.

As my stocks built and i could age longer than 6 weeks and stretch it out into months i found i no longer neede it and the sugary notes were a distraction from the real 'sweetnes' brought from the grain by the wood.

Now i use my barrels and stick finishing i wold never use it unless i was trying (for some ungodly reason) to copy a Southern Comfort style liquer.

But it's certainly a good cheat, as you found, while you build stocks. :8)
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Re: "Speed Aging" with Maple and a bit of maple syrup.

Postby vb » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:03 pm

yup, its a quick and easy way to get something ready to drink "right now".
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Re: "Speed Aging" with Maple and a bit of maple syrup.

Postby Squint » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:15 pm

if you like the taste Ratabilly you done good,

leave the sticks, in for longer if you feel youu want more colour, flavours

experiment, if you like it and are happy with it that's great, :) don't forget to keep notes for next time
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Re: "Speed Aging" with Maple and a bit of maple syrup.

Postby upinthehills » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:33 am

Doesn't need to suger maple to taste good. I don't know if they all taste good, but cut down a random maple in my yard last year and it started spurting sap out so I collected it in pails and it made the best syrup I've had. Only a cup though. Wish I'd been taping it for years before I cut it down. Hmmm, have to look around my yard for some more... I think it was a silver maple, but not sure.

Try some more of those sticks or this your stuff down a bit over time and see what you get.
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