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Old 11-21-2013, 03:22 AM   #1
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Default Juniper infused strong/old ale

Anyone out there have experience brewing with juniper?

The current 5G recipe I have planned is:

13lbs 2-row
1.5lbs 60L Crystal
0.5lbs Biscuit
0.5lbs Special B
1.5lbs Demerara Sugar

2 oz Fuggle@60
1 oz Juniper (crushed) in mash
1 oz Juniper (crushed) @ 5

Mash @ 154F

Bulk aging for 4-6 weeks, bottle aging for 6-8 months.

I am less worried about adhering to a style and more about balancing the piney bitterness of the Juniper with the sweetness of the malt. I definitely want the Juniper to be the star of this beer without turning it into pinesol.

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Old 11-21-2013, 06:46 AM   #2
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Default Juniper Old Ale

*subscribed*

Looking forward to hearing what you end up doing with this one! Sounds tasty!
--LexusChris

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Old 11-21-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
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It's probably going to be late spring or summer 2014 before I have any real status, but hopefully I will get this brewed up in the next couple of weeks.

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Old 12-02-2013, 04:24 PM   #4
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Brew day done!

I tweaked the final recipe to look like this:

Grains/Adjunts (16.0 lbs) -
12.5 lbs Rahr 2-Row Malt
1.5 lbs Crystal Malt 65L
0.5 lbs Special B Malt
0.5 lbs Biscuit/Aromatic Malt
1.0 lbs Demerara Sugar (added at 10 minutes to flameout)

Hops/Herbs (4.0 oz) -
1 oz of Dried and Crushed Juniper Berries (added directly to the mash)
2 oz Fuggles @ 60 min
1 oz of Dried and Crushed Juniper Berries @ 10 minutes

Yeast/Misc -
1/2 tsp Irish Moss @ 10 min
Nottingham Yeast

Nailed the mash and gravity. Can't wait to see how it turns out but thats not going to be for at least 6 months I wager.

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Old 02-12-2014, 12:43 PM   #5
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Update on this -

Good news - This beer had absolutely no right to be as good as it is so young. Its so good I am going to make another batch this weekend which is saying something because I almost brew the same thing twice.
Bad news - The juniper added zero character to this beer. Nada. Nothing. Zip. I know what juniper tastes like and there wasn't even a hint of it. So if I wanted to use juniper again I would likely double or even triple (or more) the amount used.

I would say as far as a strong ale goes this was a success but as far as a juniper infused strong ale... That would be a failure.

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Old 02-13-2014, 06:38 AM   #6
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I'm going to do a juniper beer this spring I'm going to wait to harvest the new growth from some sitka spruce.

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Old 02-13-2014, 07:37 AM   #7
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Out of curiosity, did you use the dried juniper berries from the brew store or did you use some that you collected yourself? If you collected them then what species were they?

Bummer that it didn't have the juniper flavor. Maybe some juni berries added to a secondary or keg for bulk aging?

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Old 02-13-2014, 01:27 PM   #8
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I used dried juniper from organic store bulk section. I would love to go and collect wild juniper which is supposed to grow in the mountains nearby, but that would be a task-and-a-half just to locate a bush. Plus I think most wild edibles are only around for a few weeks in the summer around here so I would need to time it well. I really want to do a proper sahti one of these summers by collecting juniper branches from Rockies and harvesting yeast from berries. It would be epic.

I made a mead a couple years ago and bottled a half of them with a few juniper berries and it did show a hint of juniper which was nice. Maybe bottle aging with juniper could work, though I would probably do a half and half again to see if I could pick up a difference.

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Old 02-13-2014, 03:09 PM   #9
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In my part of the states we have quite a few juniper. It helps that I have a degree in forestry so tree id is easy.

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Old 02-14-2014, 02:18 AM   #10
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I made a beer that used quite a bit of juniper late in the boil and added to secondary that had quite a bit of late additon fugggles in it as well. The juniper didn't come through nearly as strong as I would have thought it would.

What helped 'brighten' up my beer quite a bit was adding a few oz of dried juniper berries to some gin and letting it soak for a few weeks. I added that in at bottling time, and even though it didn't come out as piney as I would have liked still, it added a kind of 'freshness' to the beer that brightened it up.

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