View Full Version : New Maple Mead

03-08-2004, 02:26 AM
At the request of my wife, I put together another maple mead.

Here's the recipe:

-2 1/4 gallons maple syrup (Grade A, dark amber from Sam's club @ $9 per 48 ozs)

-2 ounces each of:
Juniper Berries

-Sulfite, yeast nutrient, yeast energizer

-IC/D-47 yeast (Cotes du Rhone)

-a 1000 ml starter at a gravity of 1.080 with a healthy dose of nutrient and energizer.

Assemble the mead thusly:
Using a coffee grinder, grind all the spices to a medium-coarse consistency. Bring 2 gallons of water to a boil, remove from heat, add spices, cover and let steep for 2 hours.

Pour spice mixture through a coarse cheesecloth into fermenter (if using glass, buffer with a cold solution of water).

Add maple syrup and top off to 6 gallons, total. Add nutrients and sulfite, close the fermenter, and place aside for 24 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the starter as described above and let it ferment for 24 hours.

Aerate the must for 1/2 hour using a diffusion stone, pitch the starter, and aerate for another 5 minutes or so.

Place aside, and ferment as per usual.

OG 1.105 pH 4.0

When you are ready to bottle, try racking it into a soda keg and the force carbonate to 4 volumes of CO2. Chill to about 40 degrees, and draw into chilled champagne bottles. Use a plastic champagne stopper and wire hood to finish.

The finished product tastes very interesting and enjoyable. I liken it to a hard rootbeer. Served ice cold in champagne flutes is a sure conversation starter.

For your own personal recipe formulations, I have found that a typical Grade A dark amber maple syrup, when mixed in a ratio of 1 part syrup to 2 parts water, gives a gravity of roughly 1.100.

03-09-2004, 09:28 PM
Interesting recipe, technicly I don't think it is a mead since no honey is involved. I made mine with 1 gallon grade B and ~8 pounds of honey in a 6 gallon batch. So Far mine has retained nice maple charachter.

I didn't go with the medly of spices though, so I'm sure our results will be very different.

03-09-2004, 11:02 PM
I have been pondering what to call a wine made from maple syrup, and I feel that "mead" fits the bill perfectly.

Honey and maple syrup ar essentially the same kind of thing, namely derivatives of the "food" substance that plants pass through their respective vascular transport mechanisms.

Whereas the composition of both vary (and vary among themselves quite a bit, too), they are essentially the same kind of thing, therefore I believe it is valid to call a wine made from maple syrup "mead".

Maybe what is in order is a variation on the word "mead" itself. Like "cyser" is a mead made from honey and apple juice, maybe a wine made from maple syrup should be called something like "acermel" (From the taxonomic name of the sugar maple "Acer saccharum") or something along those lines....

Whatcha think?


03-09-2004, 11:14 PM
Mead by definition is a fermented beverage made of honey. If it doesnt have honey in it, it technically isnt a mead. There are alot of things that are "essentially the same kind of thing" it doesnt make them the same thing. Grapes and tomatoes are both the fruiting bodies of a plant, but if you crushed up tomatoes and fermented them you would be hard pressed to convince anybody that it was wine. Variations of mead such as Cyser do indeed incorporate other ingredients (in this specific example apples) but they still contain the prerequisite honey. You can play with symantics all you want, and really you can call your product anything you feel like...but mead contains honey.

03-09-2004, 11:22 PM
The neat thing about symatics and language is that they evolve to to encompass new concepts. Therefor, I propose the use of the word "acermel" to be used for maple wine/mead.

All those in favor?



03-10-2004, 01:25 AM
I was actually considering cutting my honey with maple, because I already had a jumbo container from sams sitting in my pantry. Guess I'll grab two gallon jugs and try the maple one. I agree with using

03-10-2004, 02:07 AM
I disagree. There is a fundamental difference between a language evolving and the misuse of a definition. Someone pointed out that the name "Acermel" contains the root Acer, refering to maple...but it ALSO contians the latin root mel, meaning honey and would therefore contain both maple and honey. You can call an apple an orange or a cat a dog, and in coloquial terms it may even be accepted, but fundamentally it doesnt make a cat a dog. Just because someone decides to use a word in a way that does not fit its definition does not automatically change what it means. Honestly, i'm not being argumentative, just playing devils advocate. People will argue with you that mead shouldnt even be called "honey wine" because wine denotes a beverage made of fermented grapes.

03-10-2004, 03:37 AM
Hey, Joe...

According to my online copy of a Latin dictionary, the Latin word "mel" can mean "honey", "sweetness", or "pleasantness", not to put too fine a point on it. My acermel falls into 2 of those definitions. ;D


03-10-2004, 04:47 AM
What can i say...i guess i cant really argue with that! ;D By the way i didnt mean to sound malicious in any way before. After reading my previous post i realize it could be misinterpreted as being mean. I had no intention of doing so and apologize if that was the case. Personally i just think mead should have honey in it and was trying to come up with some rational explanation of why that was so. :P

03-10-2004, 06:08 AM
What you are making is refered to as "Mapple wine". In wine making forums they will frequently suggest you talk to mead people about maple wines because of similar challenges you face that typicall winemakers are unfamiliar with. This is named just like "Dandelion Wine" and other None Grape wines are named (even Honey Wine). Fermented orange juice is orange wine, not orange melomel unless it is also made with honey.

Wines without honey have nothing to do with mead IMO.

So much as mapple mead has a name... it is generally refered to as an Acerglyn (sp?). I believe this is because mapple sap more accurately falls under herbs and spices than it does as a fruit. Similar to Vanila Extract, but sweeter of course.
Why Spices are methglyns and fruits are melomels is another topic, but the division is clear is and consistent these days.

You can call your concoction whatever you want of course. You will only alienate the few people who care about propper naming and about mead classifications, or precise language. Many people care little about these things, such sloppy language usage is widespread and I'm sure people could be found who will throw digital molotov cocktails in defense of your right to call it whatever you want. In and of itself that is proof of nothing (nor is my post for that matter).

You are not the first to call a mapple wine a maple mead, you will not be the last. Mead Lovers Digest #19 on 10/17/92, Had people talking about this issue... if only slightly. A poster asked about making mead with pure maple syrup, a responce post came in with a recipe using either maple syrup or honey but distictly called the maple variant "Maple Wine".

As for me... Mead is a type of wine made with Honey. No honey = not a mead. Wine is made from almost anything... but if not made with grapes it must bear a name indicating its source..... this is certainly the definition in the US for purposes of profesional labeling.

Also with me are the Style Guidlines of BJCP. (www.bjcp.org) Style 25 is Mead. All sub-categories of mead are defined and judged based on honey charachter in aroma and taste (along with other style based criteria).

On the Mel ending I wouldn't use it for the reason of it's close accociation with Mead(i.e. honey).

Hydromel French for mead - ( literaly honey and water?).
hidromel - Portugese mead
aguamiel - Spanish mead
idromele - Italian mead

In short all the latin based languages seem to use it or a derivation of it for honey wine.

As far as online latin dictionaries go, Mel always has honey as a definition in those i checked, some expand it to honey qualities, but not all.

03-10-2004, 07:09 AM
Well, ThirstyV, whatever we call it....mead, wine, or Brian's Jungle Juice...that recipe described above is fermenting away very happily, and free to anybody else who wants to give it a whirl...

And, I seriously doubt I will be alienating any of the people I give my *free* samples of fermented maple beverage to... ;D

So, Joe and Thirsty....good discussion. I'll post back here on the progress of my maple *stuff* if anybody is interested.

Zum Wohl!

03-10-2004, 11:11 PM
I have no problem talking about maple wine on a mead forum, if you live anywhere close to TN it would be interesting to swap bottle in a year.... I get some of your spiced maple wine, and you some of my maple mead.

03-11-2004, 12:13 AM
Ha, ha, ha....It's a deal. ;D