Ask Mr. Wizard

Brewing with maple syrup


Mark Daspit • Tracy, California asks,

I recently brewed an old ale with an OG of 1.082 and an FG of 1.015. During the last 10 minutes of the boil, I added about 12 ounces (340 g) of maple syrup. The pre-fermentation sample to obtain the OG had a very nice maple aroma and flavor to it. I siphoned the beer into an aging vessel for some long-term storage and am now considering my options. Given the high alcohol content, I want to bottle it and drink it sparingly so that I can see how it matures over time. My intent is to have a low volume of carbonation, say on the order of 1.5 using maple syrup so that I can reintroduce that aroma and flavor. My understanding is that maple syrup is sucrose, and to obtain a CO2 volume of 1.5 in 5 gallons (19 L), it would require approximately 4 ounces (113 g). The final amount in the aging vessel is about 41⁄4 gallons (17 L). What adjustments do I need to make given that I am using maple syrup in liquid form? How should I be measuring this and what amount is appropriate for 41⁄4 gallons (17 L)?

  Wizard responds: I assume that the maple syrup aroma faded some during fermentation and that is the reason why you wish to add more maple syrup to the beer at the
Response by Ashton Lewis.