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Old 03-15-2013, 03:35 PM   #1
fayderek14
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Default Brewing with Juniper Berries

Every summer one of my brewing partners throws a Christmas in July party. Its a hige gathering with lots of feiends, family, food and of course beer. We have just recently begun our endeavor into the homebrewing world and we thought that xmas in July would be a great chance to get a large group of people to try our brew.

Now we have begun to discuss what we want to make. The style is stile unclear but we know that it will most likely be an ale. We want it to be light and refreshing for a hot summers day. The biggest thing we wanted to do was to incorporate juniper berries into the brew to give that pine tree taste that will remind people of Christmas. Now we dont want it to be ober powering, but just enough so you can taste it.

If anyone has any recommendations or recipes for a beer like this I would love to hear it. Thanks

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Old 03-15-2013, 03:37 PM   #2
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You can look at some of the discussions in the similar threads box below.

I don't know if I'd want something "christmassy" with them, I think of juniper more with gin...so I would do something light like a wit or a kolsh.

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Old 03-15-2013, 03:38 PM   #3
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I don't know anything about much, but i do know that Juniper Berries are what makes gin not taste like vodka. I can't see it being a good beer flavor.

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Old 03-15-2013, 03:40 PM   #4
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And from googling around, less is more in this instance.

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Old 03-15-2013, 03:56 PM   #5
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I made a pale ale (the Bee Cave Haus Pale)with juniper berries; it is easy to overdo it with them. If you are still insistent to use them, crush them fist, then make a tea. I actually boiled them in an amount of water rather than steeping; I found it brought out more of the flavor and aroma. With just the steep, I didn't get the flavor I was looking for, it tasted spicy. I also sanitized with Starsan and dry hopped with a new batch of crushed berries, I'm not sure if that did anything or not.

All that aside, I don't think juniper is "Chrismas-y". I think you should be looking more at spruce tips.

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Old 03-15-2013, 03:58 PM   #6
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Even in most food recipes, the amount of berries is miniscule. It's pretty potent stuff.

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Old 03-15-2013, 04:10 PM   #7
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Juniper berries (along with juniper branches for filtering the grain bed) are a crucial ingredient in an unhopped Finnish rye beer called Sahti.

I made one batch for giggles some years back (I'm 1/4 Finnish) and epically overdid it on the berries. Smelled like paint thinner, but tasted better than I expected. I have a reformulation of that recipe slated for brewing this Fall.

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Old 03-24-2013, 09:37 PM   #8
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I have a good friend who made an IPA with Juniper and Cardamom this past winter. I have to say, I thought it was excellent. If you're interested I can see if he'll send me his recipe. He had some modifications in mind. Pretty sure it was an LME recipe, too. Let me know if you're interested.

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Old 03-24-2013, 09:50 PM   #9
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A local brewery does a juniper and rye that works well. As has been mentioned, go easy on the juniper. The rye adds a little bit of a spiciness that balances the pine flavor on the backside of the palate.

They make a tea first and dump the liquid in after straining it. You don't want juniper berries, particularly dried ones, in your beer, really. They are very tar-ey and hard to get out/clean.

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Old 03-24-2013, 10:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlauMaus View Post
I have a good friend who made an IPA with Juniper and Cardamom this past winter. I have to say, I thought it was excellent. If you're interested I can see if he'll send me his recipe. He had some modifications in mind. Pretty sure it was an LME recipe, too. Let me know if you're interested.
I'd love to see the recipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloobie View Post
A local brewery does a juniper and rye that works well. As has been mentioned, go easy on the juniper. The rye adds a little bit of a spiciness that balances the pine flavor on the backside of the palate.

They make a tea first and dump the liquid in after straining it. You don't want juniper berries, particularly dried ones, in your beer, really. They are very tar-ey and hard to get out/clean.
That sounds like a good flavor combo.

Got me interested now, I've got a ton of berries from getting into sausage making. looks like I ma have to give something a try.

The heat was out in the building we hold church in and I was drinking tea just to keep warm, and had Earl Grey for the first time in god knows how long....I'm thinking earl grey and juniper berries might be interesting. Especially with a little rye as well.

It seems like Irish ale yeast might be a good yeast profile for it as well.
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