Maple syrup is one of my favorite foods. I have a sweet tooth, but maple syrup has always seemed more nutritional than simple sugar syrup. And you know what? It's packed with vital minerals (this gallon of wine will have about 20 doses of the daily value of manganese). And there is something exciting about pouring a quart of maple syrup at one time. I really recommend trying this recipe for that reason alone. Forget the expectations of a complex, full-bodied white wine in the spring and enjoy fermentation at its simplest level. Great ingredients, yeast, drink!
|Pouring the syrup|
This wine is beautiful in its simplicity. You start with four ingredients and add yeast. No chopping fruit or any of that hassle. This is minimum barrier to entry fermenting.
3 quarts water
1 quart Maple Syrup
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 tsp acid blend
1 packet Pasteur Champagne yeast
Heat the water. I used Arrowhead spring water, but only because that was what I had on hand after my trip to Bass Lake last weekend. The water doesn't have to boil, you just need it to be easy to combine the syrup and water. Pour in the syrup when the water is around 140F - around when it gets too hot to stick your hand in. I bought my syrup at Trader Joe's for the decent price of ~$17 for a quart. I would love to hear if anyone brews this recipe from their own syrup, or from a local source to them. Ain't no sugarwood in California.
|Enough for a gallon of wine|
Turn off the heat and stir the syrup so it completely dissolves and mixes in. Quickly add the yeast nutrient (the yeast needs a little help with these really concentrated sugars) and acid blend (this should help with the end flavor balance) and stir those in too. Dump the whole lot into your clean primary fermenter and wait for it to cool down to room temperature or 5-10F above that.
|Tule barges into the shot of the champagne yeast|
Now the must or sugary-water-mix is cooled, it's time to add the yeast. You can use any wine yeast, especially those intended for white wines. But the champagne yeast is a great robust option for us, and the price is really really right!
And that's it for now. Airlock that sucker and wait for a month before moving it into the secondary fermenter. I'll make an update when I get to that stage, around November 14th. Until then, good luck and good fermenting!