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Maple Brandy

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Maple Brandy

Postby RandyMarshCT » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:28 am

The following is my Maple Brandy recipe. I'm posting it on a few forums to see if I can get any constructive feedback or determine if anyone else uses maple syrup as a primary fermentable (if it looks familiar). Obviously this recipe can (and should) be scaled down for a trial, but I don't have any reason not to make this much since I only do it once a year now... and I love the quality of product I get from 20 liter barrels.

This ingredient list is for 44 gallons of wash. I do 2 single runs (22 gal each) through my 4-plate column and combine all the hearts to fill a 20 liter oak barrel @ 58% abv.

8 gallons maple syrup
2 32oz jars molasses
8 lbs brown sugar
8 packets of bakers yeast
Go-Ferm Protect

I mix up half the wash at a time since I use 25 gallon fermenters.
Boil 6 gallons of water and add 4 lbs sugar, 1 jar molasses, and 4 gal syrup.
Add mixture to fermenter and top up to 22 gallons
(I top up to 20 gal and use my hydrometer to finish topping so Og = 1.075/1.080)
Make yeast starter with 4 packets yeast & Go-Ferm Protect and pitch.
Ferment 2 weeks minimum (syrup ferments slow, like honey)
Single run through flute; recycle feints from 1st run to 2nd run
Fill barrel at 58% abv (2nd use; first use is bourbon) and wait 4 to 5 months
Proof to 42% abv and add 1 pint of maple syrup for total of 7 gallons
Bottle

I know Maple Syrup is expensive. I have friends in upstate Vermont (USA) that make it and they sell it to me cheap ($30/gallon... I know that doesn't sound cheap, but it is). My goal was to make a spirit I enjoyed, not to formulate an inexpensive recipe for production. I think the go-ferm protect is unnecessary as there are nutrients in the brown sugar and molasses, but when I've tried to get advice on this in the past I've mostly been ridiculed... and when I have that much money in syrup at stake I don't want to take any chances... so I go with what has worked for me in the past and throw it all in there. It's just a modified version of my rum recipe with the syrup as the primary fermentable. This stuff tastes like everything that's right with the world. Any questions, comments, or criticisms are welcome.
The same RandyMarshCT from AD, HD, ADI forums, ARC-forum, Moderndistiller, & Brewhaus.

Life member, representative, and proud supporter of the Hobby Distiller's Association.

http://www.hobbydistillersassociation.org
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Re: Maple Brandy

Postby Mud » Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:07 pm

If you're on ADI I bet it kills you to call this a brandy. :lol:

Are you continuing the boil after the maple syrup addition? And $30 for a gallon of syrup is cheap. This year it was $50 direct from the sugar shack around here.
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Re: Maple Brandy

Postby Kapea » Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:30 pm

I'd love to try making some distilled maple spirits. I tasted some at the ADI conference. It was delicious!

I'd offer to trade tropical honey for maple syrup, but the cost of freight from here to there is brutal. It doubles the cost of everything shipped in and out of here (unless you fill a whole 40' container).
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Re: Maple Brandy

Postby RandyMarshCT » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:05 am

Mud, it kills me to try and call this spirit anything.. haha. I've asked so many experienced distillers (pretty much every tour or seminar I've attended) what it should be called... everyone's answer is different. It drinks like a whiskey... but it's not grain. It has sweet, similar properties to aged rum... but it's not sugar-cane (even though maple sugar is mostly sucrose). I use the word brandy... but it's not fruit. I absolutely hate the idea of calling it Maple Liquor (or likker, for that matter). I am on ADI but I keep pretty quiet over there. :D It's a bit of an un-nameable bastard spirit... but it's quite good, especially in ginger beer or straight.

I stop the boil when I add the syrup, using the temperature for pasteurization mostly. I've recently determined that an essential step in making this spirit is a secondary (5 week) aging on soft maple after it comes out of the oak cask. I do this in a carboy with honeycomb "barrel alternative" sticks from these folks: http://www.blackswanbarrels.com/honey-c ... ternative/

Kapea, I'd love to trade if I could just figure out a way to afford to come out there on vacation. I don't think that's going to happen any time soon, though. If I hit the powerball, I'll bring some right out.
The same RandyMarshCT from AD, HD, ADI forums, ARC-forum, Moderndistiller, & Brewhaus.

Life member, representative, and proud supporter of the Hobby Distiller's Association.

http://www.hobbydistillersassociation.org
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RandyMarshCT
 
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:27 am
Location: RI, USA
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26 Gallon Boiler

3" potstill w/ liebig

4" 4-plate Flute (perf)

3" Offset Crossflow VM/LM Hybrid (under construction)

Re: Maple Brandy

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:30 am

RandyMarshCT wrote:Mud, it kills me to try and call this spirit anything.. haha. I've asked so many experienced distillers (pretty much every tour or seminar I've attended) what it should be called... everyone's answer is different. It drinks like a whiskey... but it's not grain. It has sweet, similar properties to aged rum... but it's not sugar-cane (even though maple sugar is mostly sucrose). I use the word brandy... but it's not fruit. I absolutely hate the idea of calling it Maple Liquor (or likker, for that matter). I am on ADI but I keep pretty quiet over there. :D It's a bit of an un-nameable bastard spirit... but it's quite good, especially in ginger beer or straight.

I have the same problem, for many of the same reasons, with my distilled mead. Grain or no, it sips like a whiskey, and that's how I drink it.
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