Maple syrup mead - has anyone tried making one with no honey whatsoever?

A curious question - I’ve found some recipes for mead with maple syrup as an ingredient, but so far, they all have honey in them. (The technical term is apparently “acerglyn”…)

I’m vegan, and I don’t consume any animal products, including honey. Is it possible to make a mead with no honey whatsoever? If you’ve got any recipes, I’d appreciate them.

Thanks in advance!

Generally, such things are simply called “wine” or for lower alcohol with more or less carbonation – “beer”. Prince Albert was said, according to the wine-making book I read, to have been a big fan of birch wine and birch beer. Ref: C.J.J Berry, First Steps in Winemaking.

I enjoy making country wines, where the fruit isn’t a wine-making grape and they’re often just fine.

There are a gajillion recipes a Google away for you. However, figuring it out for yourself is pretty simple: a certain sugar level ferments to a certain alcohol level. Around 10% alcohol isn’t too “hot” – so boozy you can taste nothing else, won’t kill yeast while fermenting (they die, or at least slow down production around 13-15%) and won’t spoil easily (store finished wine in a cool place.) You can use the maple syrup label to determine sugar content and dilute mathematically or measure sugar content of the diluted syrup with a floating hydrometer.

I think that many of those things called “wine” are made from beet or cane or grape sugar. The other ingredient (‘birch’) is there to add flavor, yeast, or an excuse of “healthiness”.

Stuff that isn’t made from beet/cane/grape sugar mostly tastes so bad it has to be distilled to make it drinkable, and is then called wine (rice) or spirits (potato)

Some people think that Mead is on the edge between drinkable and undrinkable.

No, there is birch wine. Some guy try to ptich it on Dragon’s Den, though it was generally disliked. Regardless, I can’t imagine anyone using birch sap to “add yeast”.

Your other comments are also pretty wrong. Cider has had a bit of resurgence the last decade or so, which isn’t distilled. Sake (rice wine) is not distilled. Many spirits are made from grains than potatoes, many of the same grains used in making beer - so they obviously don’t need to be distilled to make them palatable.

You can certainly make it, but it won’t taste like mead. It’s more of an earthy, slightly sour wine. There’s a place that made some for a sale a few years ago, but I’m not sure if it’s still made.

If you want to give it a try, you’ll need to add some yeast nutrient to get healthy fermentation. I recommend using a hydrometer so you have some control over the residual sweetness and alcohol content. For example, if you want something around 8% alcohol, dilute the syrup to 15 Brix. If you want it to finish sweet, use a yeast that dies out below the maximum potential alcohol.

For your first batch, just start with syrup, yeast, and nutrient. Once fermentation is complete, you can take small samples and experiment with additives like lemon juice, fruits, or spices. You can play around with adding stuff during fermentation in later batches, once you figure out what tastes good.

As CarnalK said, there’s a huge variety of stuff that not made from those sugars, isn’t distilled, and is delicious. Besides the obvious beer, there’s also plum and pear wine, which is quite popular. Blackberry, blueberry, and strawberry wines aren’t as common but can be very good. On the other hand, cane and beet sugar are almost always used for distilled alcohol.

I’ll note that you can expect different results for sap vs diluted syrup. Heating the sap results in some complicated chemistry.

Random googling tells me syrup is typically 66 brix. So you could just use a meat recipe and dilute accordingly.

You’ll probably want something acidic added. I find plain mead kinda meh.

I recommend making and tasting and tasting and tasting different variations. For Science.

Is it possible to make a mead with no honey whatsoever?

No. By definition.

Otherwise, what TroutMan said.

Every country wine recipe I’ve tried making (including blackberry and plum) or looked up, has required added beet/cane sugar. Without adding sugar, most fruits only ferment out at about cider strength, 4-5%, iirc.

They do that with grape wine sometimes too though since not all grapes are created equal.

Rice Wine Wikipedia. They don’t get it to 20% just by leaving it in a warm place.

And you don’t make Birch Wine out of Birch Sap. You add Birch Sap to the mix. It makes it (made it) ‘healthier’. For people who don’t drink alcoholic drinks, but do have a little wine for their digestion…or are too classy to drink rum or whiskey.

Just like you don’t make elderberry wine out of elderberries. You add elderberry flowers to get the correct yeasts.

Here’s a review of the reference I specified:

Historically, the birch was “boxed” – that is a chuck of bark was cut out and the sap collected, and it was used to make wine, for Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria.

There’s not likely much difference between Old World birch sap, and New World maple sap. This is a country wine, one of may drinkable fermented wines made of something other than proper grapes. Country wines aren’t “real” wines with some odd fruit flavor added.

They’re not popular outside of home wine-making. That doesn’t make them non-existent. The original post, meant to make a fermented beverage out of maple sap is a country wine recipe “rediscovered” by someone new, coincidentally very similar to a historical recipe, but for a change in tree species.

That’s a page about rice wine in general, across Asia. Sake (i.e., Japanese rice wine) is not distilled.

Japan does have distilled rice wines, Shochu and Awamori, but they’re not Sake.

Umm, you do make elderberry wine out of elderberries, I’ve made it myself (actually I tend to do mixed blackberry and elderberry, it’s better than either individually). Elderflower wine just has elderflowers in for flavour, but elderberry is made from the fruit, just like normal wine from grapes.