Ever wondered "can I make something from maple sap?". I have. There's just something about sap that's fun, it's like tree water, and, its bountiful. There has to be some great use for it, right? You bet, maple sap can be used to make maple syrup.
Sarcasm aside, if you haven't had it, maple sap tastes like, water--nothing at all. Ok, maybe spring water--a high quality one. It's pure tasting, no chemical overtones like you might taste in city tap or metal flavors from a well. It tastes clean, and pure, it just doesn't taste like much.
But, it's still an interesting thing that you might have around if you tap a tree, and to impress your friends, or more likely, children, you could try making some sap soda. I got the idea after having a couple gallons of sap laying around, but not knowing exactly what would become of them, and after reading Pascal Baudars book the New Wildcrafted Cuisine, where he makes a number of fermented drinks and similar things.
Admittedly, using the word "sap" in the description of a drink is kind of a misnomer, since, to get any flavor you have to add reduced maple sap, which is, of course maple syrup, but, whatever, it's fun to say. The only other thing to mention is that I don't like soda, well, I do, I just don't like to drink sugar all the time. So, know that my soda might taste a little on low on the sugar scale, so let your palate be your guide.
Glass vessels can explode
If you're not used to fermenting things in glass containers, and specifically liquids with added yeast, store your fermented sodas in plastic containers, at least until you get the hang of carbonation. After a while, there may not look like bubbles and carbonation in a container, but if it hasn't been opened recently, there will be, and with the carbonation comes pressure can come the danger of exploding glass, and bottle bombs.
Here's some tips for avoiding that.
- Don't leave your soda fermenting out too long at room temperature, once you see some fermentation after a day or two, put it in the fridge
- Enjoy the soda in a couple weeks
- Open the soda over a sink, or outside, to avoid sticky overflows
Maple Sap Soda
- Plastic or glass bottles, such as growlers
- 2000 grams sap 8.5 cups
- 150 grams maple syrup roughly ½ cup, or to taste
- 1/16 teaspoon champagne yeast literally a tiny pinch
- Mix the syrup, sap, and yeast, and allow to ferment in a container such as a plastic pop bottle open for 2 days, or until the fermentation is visible, then seal, and refrigerate. When the container is visibly swelled from the fermentation, you can open the bottles and enjoy.
- After 2-3 more days, crack open the container and try some, you can put the container back in the fridge, tightly sealed. Enjoy the soda within a few weeks, but make sure to check on it occasionally as the fermentation will continue and it can overflow if left too long.