We're just about ready to tap a few birch trees for sap. Last year we simmered the sap from 160 liters down to about 11 and brewed three 1Gallon carboys of Birch Beer. We wanted to keep it simple and see what it would taste like all on its own. The results didn't really impress me but my girlfriend loves it. I'm wondering if anyone has tried a good recipe that includes some interesting and natural added ingredients. I'm told that many of the original Root Beers were made with birch sap. I wish we had stockpiled some sarsaparilla root that we could use.
I love the idea, and am aware of the tradition of the use of birch sap and buds. But I happen to be allergic. On the typical skin test, out of a possible 4, I was a 4++++... they really didn't have a way to quantify how allergic I was. The area of the test site swelled up like a tennis ball for three days. I have itch reactions in the mouth and down the throat to any food related to birch, and members of the rose family. But environmental exposure hasn't resulted in anaphylaxis yet, so I'm hopeful I won't have to move out of its growing range.
Still, I don't think I will be enjoying birch internally. I don't even know if it's safe for me to take chagga, and that just grows on birch.
But I may soon have the opportunity to tap some maples seasonally, though, and maple beer or maple jack sounds potentially delightful.
Good luck, and keep us posted.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein