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Old 04-29-2010, 05:14 AM   #1
akchris
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Default Birch beer with spruce tips

So after a dozen or so all grain batches with excellent results, I dove into the unknown again. I have been consistently brewing my own recipes with success...and then I get a phone call from my buddy Fred. Fred says "Hey Iv'e been tapping birch trees on my property and I have a spare 10 gallons of sap. Can you make beer with it?" I says sure I can.

Fred brings over 10 gallons of sap. I had toasted 2 pounds of grain the night before hand planning on brewing an IPA and I had a fresh bag of 2 row in the pantry.

Here is the recipe:

9# 2 row
2# toasted 2 row (soaked for 1 hr in water and toasted for 2 hrs at 350)
.5 oz Magnum 14%AA @60
1 oz Cascade 7.2AA @20
1tsp Irish Moss @20
1 pint birch syrup (Reduced from 10 gallons that he brought over for pancakes.) @20
1 oz spruce tips @20
1oz cascade @7
Dry hop with 1oz Cascade
Nottingham yeast

Mashed in 154deg with birch sap.
double batch sparge, 7 gallons pre boil.
60 min boil to 5.5 gal

Hit temps perfect ended up with 1.064 OG
expecting to finish around 1.018-1.020, but not sure what to expect from the birch syrup.

This stuff smelled like a walk in the woods on a spring day, hope I didnt over do it with the spruce tips. I'll let you know how this turns out. The hydro sample was fantastic.

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Old 04-29-2010, 05:22 AM   #2
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Mashed in 154deg with birch sap.
Did you use the birch sap before it was reduced as your mash water?

Sounds like a really interesting brew. I'm really curious how this will come out.
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:24 AM   #3
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Yup, It tastes like a light sugar water, and is about the same consistency.

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Old 04-29-2010, 05:25 AM   #4
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Yup, It tastes like a light sugar water, and is about the same consistency.
If it's anything like maple sap it should ferment out almost completely and leave only the essence of flavor.
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:27 AM   #5
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If it's anything like maple sap it should ferment out almost completely and leave only the essence of flavor.
Thats what I was hoping for, I'm also hoping that the syrup ferments out most of the way, or I may have mashed too high.
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:32 AM   #6
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Thats what I was hoping for, I'm also hoping that the syrup ferments out most of the way, or I may have mashed too high.
The mash temp will effect the converted sugars from the malts. Since the sugars from the sap are already in sugar form I don't think the mash temp will effect it. If there are any starches in the sap that were converted during the mash the mash temp may effect it. This is mostly speculation since I don't know the make up of birch sap.
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:38 PM   #7
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Could you detect any spruce aspects using only 1oz? Im making a spruce ale, and using several CUPS of spruce tips.

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Old 04-29-2010, 08:08 PM   #8
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to taste the spruce you have to use a TON of cuttings. i used LOTS and never got the spruce flavor i was looking for. i then made the bad decision of buying spruce essence and dumping in the entire 2 oz bottle. DO NOT DO THIS!! it's a spruce bomb now and doesn't taste very good at all. FAIL!

i'm really, really curious about the birch sap, though. i've read about it and entertained the thought of it. i just don't know how to go about it... kudos to you for using it, i'm sure it'll taste great!

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Old 04-29-2010, 09:17 PM   #9
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Could you detect any spruce aspects using only 1oz? Im making a spruce ale, and using several CUPS of spruce tips.
The hydro sample had a good spruce flavor to it, I just didn't want to overpower the brew with the stuff.
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:19 PM   #10
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The mash temp will effect the converted sugars from the malts. Since the sugars from the sap are already in sugar form I don't think the mash temp will effect it. If there are any starches in the sap that were converted during the mash the mash temp may effect it. This is mostly speculation since I don't know the make up of birch sap.
I wasn't so much concerened with starches in the sap, I was more concerened with unfermentable sugars in the sap and syrup. Thinking I should have mashed a little lower to make up for it with the grain conversion....If that makes any sense.
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