Brewing Secrets from the Wort Hog…How our Mapils is made!

Hello All!

We decided that it is finally time to make our blog an actual blog; amazing isn’t it! So here it goes…

I’m guessing that most everyone is wondering what is next for Biloba as we continue to grow. The last year showed us that there is a thriving craft beer movement in the Brookfield area, and we are seeing more new customers every week. We realize that you want to see more styles of beers and desire that some of the ones we introduced find their way back home. Well, we will give you both – starting with one of our favorites…Mapils!

Last year we tried a new malt and yeast that produced interesting, but not desired results. This year we went back to the original recipe that I (the “Wort Hog”) have been making for years (longer than any other brewer in Wisconsin!), and after one week it is fermenting along very nicely. Jean and the other family members don’t like the fermentation odor, but if you ask me when I’m in I’ll explain why.

We started by tapping some 50 odd sugar maples on our farm in Kiel, Wisconsin in mid-March this year and the logistics of this operation are … well ridiculous! First we have to drill the trees, pound in the splines, run several hundred feet of 5/16 plastic hose, link 8 trees together, and then collect the sap in 55 gallon plastic barrels (we had 7 bbls in the woods). Next we have to monitor the lines and bbls daily since our pesky deer population loves to run into the lines and break them free. To collect the sap for transport we drive our family minivan though the woods and bucket the liquid into 15 gallon carboys in the car. We strap them to the seats and use the extra seat belts to hold them upright (if I ever had an accident, it would not be a pretty picture!). We transport them back to Brookfield, bucket them into a pump setup over a span of 4 weeks and FINALLY into our large fermenter and cooler, while holding the sap at 38 F. At times friends and family think I’m crazy and wonder why I do the things I do, but it is a labor of love!


The sap flowed slowly at first but I’m happy to say that we collected 450 gallons of the sweet liquid. Last week we brewed approximately 10 bbls of the Mapils using a very light colored malt and a yeast know to impart a slight fruity, dry, slight malty pilsner flavor. Wondering when it will be on tap? Well, you will just have to keep watching our Facebook page, but remember it is limited production and when it’s gone it can’t come back until the sap starts to flow next year.

For the home brewers out there, I’m going to start sharing recipes…well sort of. I love a challenge, so you will have to see how well you can mimic this beer on you own setup with the limited information I give you, or you can ask for some clarification (if you are so inclined), but only in the brewery! You just need to come in, sample the beer to see if you can detect some subtleties to help you match it.

Mapils Recipe 2015

OG 12.22 Plato (1.048 SG)

FG 1.5 Plato (1.005 SG)

Malt: Briess Pilsner and Carapils (Did you know we are 100% Briess always?!)

Water: There is none! We use 100% Sugar Maple Sap that has the same composition as Pilsen water plus something else you will have add (big hint in many ways)!

Yeast: Wyeast 2001 Urquell

Hops: Sterling and Cascade

Mash temperature 152 -148F for 60 minutes

Lauter at 170F

Boil for 60 minutes with four hop additions:

  1. 10.5 IBU Sterling 60 minutes
  2. 3.7 IBU Sterling 30 minutes
  3. 2.7 IBU Sterling 15 minutes
  4. Sterling and Cascade at whirl pool

Crash the wort to 52F, inoculate with the yeast. Lager for 30 days at 40F or colder if your setup allows it. Be very conscious of oxygenation during transfers or other movements. Pilsners are very susceptible to oxidation both from air and light.

(For extract brewers, use Briess Dry Pilsner extract in place of the Pilsner malt)

Best of luck to you – doubtful that your brew will even come close to mine!

-Gordon, the Wort Hog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s