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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Spruce beer?
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:53 PM   #1
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Default Spruce beer?

A friend has emailed saying he is thinking about making a spruce beer due to shortage of hops. I suspect he just wants to experiment. Anyway, does anyone think it's too late to harvest spruce tips? I think he was leaning towards doing that instead of using essence. It's Ann Arbor, Michigan area.

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Old 05-15-2008, 06:57 PM   #2
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Isn't spruce an evergreen? Can't see why tips couldn't be harvested now?

Interesting; search "Spruce tips" in Yahoo! and you get "Spruce beer" in Wikipedia as the #1 result: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spruce_beer

Plenty of other spruce threads too, maybe the answer is in one of them?: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/search.php?searchid=1492543

From wikipedia, "A number of flavors are associated with spruce-flavored beverages, ranging from floral, citrusy, and fruity to cola-like flavors to resinous and piney. This diversity in flavor likely comes from the choice of spruce species, the season in which the needles are harvested, and the manner of preparation."

So, I'm guessing you can harvest them anytime and you'll just get different flavors from spring growth to normal growth... Interesting...

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Old 05-15-2008, 07:01 PM   #3
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Some of the spruce beer recipes I've seen recommend using the new spring tips. I don't know how early they come out in Michigan, but it might not be too late.

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Old 05-15-2008, 08:48 PM   #4
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I haven't seen the spruce in Madison, WI pop yet and I have been watching them, so you might be good in Ann Arbor too.

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Old 05-16-2008, 12:28 AM   #5
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Yards Brewery in Philly has a Spruce Pale ale thats amazing.

http://www.yardsbrewing.com/ales_poo...ern_spruce.asp

I'd love to find a clone of this.

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Old 05-16-2008, 04:01 AM   #6
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Dude, if you're in the Ann Arbor area, join the club! Ann Arbor Brewer's Guild is one of the older and prestigious clubs in the area; the amount of knowledge you'll find there is simply astounding.

Case in point: Several of the brewers there have made many batches of spruce beer (and I'm pretty sure won awards for it too, but don't quote me on that). Contact Mike O'brien, webpage here: http://www.ypsilantibrewing.com/

Stop by the shop on a Saturday and ask to sample his brew; he usually has a spruce on tap in the back that he'll gladly share. He also sells a lot of homebrew supplies; I get my 2-row from him at the lowest price I can find locally. He'd know best what state the spruce tips are in around here.

Seriously, stop in at the monthly meeting. Second Friday of every month, find out where at aabg.org. Next month's meeting will be priceless; we'll have the Fill In The Hop Ale group project on hand, with the same batch of ale split up into 10, 10 gallon batches and brewed with different hops (we got sponsored by Wyeast and Hop Union). It'll be at NHBC, I highly encourage everyone to stop in! Sadly, I can't make it, but the beer'll be just as tasty without me .

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Old 05-16-2008, 04:20 AM   #7
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check out biermuncher's thread

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Old 05-16-2008, 03:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadicalEd View Post
Dude, if you're in the Ann Arbor area, join the club! Ann Arbor Brewer's Guild is one of the older and prestigious clubs in the area; the amount of knowledge you'll find there is simply astounding.

Case in point: Several of the brewers there have made many batches of spruce beer (and I'm pretty sure won awards for it too, but don't quote me on that). Contact Mike O'brien, webpage here: http://www.ypsilantibrewing.com/

Stop by the shop on a Saturday and ask to sample his brew; he usually has a spruce on tap in the back that he'll gladly share. He also sells a lot of homebrew supplies; I get my 2-row from him at the lowest price I can find locally. He'd know best what state the spruce tips are in around here.

Seriously, stop in at the monthly meeting. Second Friday of every month, find out where at aabg.org. Next month's meeting will be priceless; we'll have the Fill In The Hop Ale group project on hand, with the same batch of ale split up into 10, 10 gallon batches and brewed with different hops (we got sponsored by Wyeast and Hop Union). It'll be at NHBC, I highly encourage everyone to stop in! Sadly, I can't make it, but the beer'll be just as tasty without me .

Actually, I'm from Reed City, but my friend lives near Manchester.

I saw pictures of blue spruce growth while looking for information on this, and it looked like they were showing the light green growth, not the dark green/blue old growth. I am not sure what kind of flavor each one gives. I just wondered if it was too late int he year to get the new growth. Not sure when they arrive or how long they stay "young". I told him to go ahead and try it and let me know how it goes. He's normally an IPA kidn of guy, so this is unusual, but maybe the lack of hops and his also experimental nature is driving the decision. I'm curious too, so hoepfully he will brew some up and it will be good.
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:26 PM   #9
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Driving around Madison last night I would say that they just popped, viewing from bicycle. The new growth I am thinking about is bright green and not the same size as fully opened older growth. Once it opens up fully, the new growth has a slightly different color for the first year or two, but I am going to try to grab some tips when they have not fully opened yet.

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