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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > spruce ale?
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:42 AM   #1
VA Brew
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Default spruce ale?

I am looking for a good spruce ale recipe (extract or partial mash) to brew?

Also, what is the taste different in using pine needles instead of spruce?

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Old 03-30-2008, 04:55 AM   #2
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I really can't help with the recipe, sorry.
However, I do know a guy in my brewclub who did a spruce ale. I spoke to him just today about it just today and he mentioned adding the spruce to the boil as a late addition. He would add them during the last seven minutes of the boil. Otherwise the spruce flavor would be too strong.
Hope that little snippet helps.

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Old 03-31-2008, 12:33 AM   #3
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I haven't done one yet, but plan on collecting spruce tips this spring for an Alaskan Winter ale clone this fall. If you use spruce, use the spruce tips, which are the light green tips seen on the new spring growth. I looked around on the internet for awhile for a source of actual spruce tips to no avail, but there is extract available. But I have heard if you use extact, use it sparingly.

Not sure what the difference between pine vs. spruce would be, but I imagine pine would make it too... piney.

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Old 03-31-2008, 01:38 AM   #4
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I read somewhere, want to say the joy of homebrewing by papazian that using pine was very bad. I just ordered some spruce essence from NB to try one myself. I think he had a recipe on the book for it but not sure.
Ben

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Old 03-31-2008, 01:58 AM   #5
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I have spruce trees running up and down the road behind our house and I plan to harvest as many new tips as I can in a few weeks. Can they be dried / frozen...? Or what would be the best way to long-term store them.

It think they'd be great as just a slight addition to a pale ale. I think they'd capture some of that Chinook aroma.

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Old 04-01-2008, 05:16 PM   #6
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I think if you freeze them in an airtight bag they should be good... kind of like hops!

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Old 08-29-2011, 02:35 PM   #7
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Default spruce ale recipe

Just found your forum today while searching for Spruce Ale. I have brewed Spruce Ale for 10 years, with great success.
The recipe is very simple:
6-6.5 pounds of dark DME
2 oz. hallertau hops (bittering)
1 pound 60 L crystal malt
dry ale yeast - I use Safale US-05
Spruce
Steep the crystal malt at 150 degrees for 20 minutes, strain, and add all other ingredients for a 60 minute boil. No other additions. Ferment for 2-3 weeks, then bottle with 1-1/4 cups dark DME.
For the Spruce, the smaller the tree the better, as the lower branches on large trees have less sap and flavor. I use 7-8 pieces of spruce, about 8-9" long each, from the ends of the branches. Rinse the spruce well in cold water to remove spider webs, bugs, and bird droppings.
I have always brewed this ale in August, when the spruce trees have finished growing and have lots of light-green new growth.
The Spruce aroma and flavor tend to fade significantly after 3-4 months, so this is best consumed while fresh. If the initial flavor is too strong for your taste, let it age another month before sampling.
I have never tried using any other type of evergreen in a beer.

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Old 01-09-2012, 04:20 PM   #8
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Any thoughts about combining rosemary with spruce in a beer? I'm planning a similar recipe to brewmasterscott's spruce ale, but was thinking of either adding rosemary to the end of the boil, or adding a sprig of fresh rosemary to the secondary to accentuate the pine/spruce aroma.

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Old 01-11-2012, 10:22 PM   #9
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I also just finished a beer similiar to brewmasterscott's except mine has a pound of smoked peat malt. It has a smokey character but not overpowering. I wanted to add some evergreen aroma and flavor and thought spruce might work well. But Im limited to adding to keg at this point. Any suggestions Scott? Do You think the spruce would compliment the smoke? Or any other ideas for complemmenting the smoke. Its for a beer thats suppose to embody the NW. Thanks

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Old 06-23-2013, 04:36 PM   #10
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I just picked 5lbs of CO Blue Spruce tips and am planning this recipe.

9lb CO two-row base malt, 3lbs soaked in water and smoked over cherry and oak for three hours

5oz spruce tips @ 60 min
8oz spruce tips @ 5 min
Danstar Windsor yeast

60 min mash @ 154
ferment @ 68 for three weeks and bottle

I'm going with the Windsor instead of the Notty to leave a touch more malt in the finished beer. Any thoughts???

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