Just getting some sap wet…
I tapped my three Sugar Maple trees this year, and decided to experiment with fermenting it to make wine. I have seen some talk about it online, but no one seems to have a lot of experience with it. So, let’s give it a shot.
My first observation is that Maple sap is not a very efficient sugar source. The sap itself is only about s.g. 1.010 coming out of the tree. Quite tasty though. I drink it by the big glass. It tastes like water with a little sweetness.
I started collecting it in carboys, but as I ran out of room, I would boil it down some and then add more. So, I am not sure exactly what the ratio of sap to final product was. I do know that on this day I boiled a pot of about 8 gallons starting out with a s.g. of 1.010 down to about 1 gallon at s.g. 1.110. This took about 12 hours.
After cooling it, I mixed 1 package of Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast with 1 cup of water, which I brought to a boil and then cooled before adding the yeast. To this I added 1 tbsp of yeast nutrient. The nutrient bottle says to add 0.5 tsp per gallon of wine, the mead book says 1 tsp per gallon. I decided to feed the yeasties so I overdid it.
The mead and wine books also talk about adding acid blends, but of course, I want to see what the natural product tastes like before starting to screw with that stuff.
This will not give me a lot of wine, but I want to see what the product is like before committing much to it. I figure if the sap starts running all over, I can always boil some more down and add it to the carboy.
Bottled the wine on 22.07.2013 using my new corker:
This makes it around 15% ABV, and very dry. It tastes sharp, as would be expected. Med usually needs to age at least a year, and this will be similar.
I bottled it in 6oz bottles so I can give them away to people. Got 20 bottles out of it.