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-   -   Spruce Tips Ale (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/spruce-tips-ale-349083/)

vtchuck 08-21-2012 09:01 PM

Spruce Tips Ale
Working on a Spruce Tips Holiday Ale and looking for suggestions and
ideas, especially from those who have brewed with spruce.

Using Norway Spruce tips picked and frozen this spring.

Doing a smaller batch and will bottle and age. Likely will use
an English yeast:

Spruce Tips
21-B Seasonal/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer
Date: 8/21/12

Size: 3.25*gal
Efficiency: 75.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 210.31*kcal per 12.0*fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.063 (1.026 - 1.120)
Terminal Gravity: 1.016 (0.995 - 1.035)
Color: 21.36 (1.0 - 50.0)
Alcohol: 6.21% (2.5% - 14.5%)
Bitterness: 56.2 (0.0 - 100.0)

6.5*lb Pale Ale Malt
0.5*lb Special B
0.25*lb Caramel 30°L
0.5*lb VictoryŽ Malt
0.25*lb Pale Chocolate Malt
0.75*oz Chinook (13.0%) - added during boil, boiled 60.0*m
2.5*oz Spruce Tips - added during boil, boiled 10.0*m


Denny 08-21-2012 09:03 PM

Have you ever had a spruce beer before?

vtchuck 08-21-2012 09:12 PM


Originally Posted by Denny (Post 4349950)
Have you ever had a spruce beer before?

A couple of times... Harpoon brewed one last year. And I had another at
Vermont Brewfest a few years ago

BierMuncher 08-21-2012 09:14 PM


Denny 08-21-2012 09:32 PM


Originally Posted by vtchuck (Post 4349972)
A couple of times... Harpoon brewed one last year. And I had another at
Vermont Brewfest a few years ago

OK. Just wanted to make sure you knew what you were for.

vtchuck 08-21-2012 09:33 PM


Originally Posted by BierMuncher (Post 4349975)

Thanks for the link... I read through it before, but the advice seems to be all
over the place. And I think Norway Spruce is somewhat milder than Blue...

Maybe I'll just go with what I've got and "dry-spruce" if I think it needs more
spruce. I'd rather under-do and correct than end up with an undrinkable
spruce bomb

Kelpdog 11-11-2012 01:24 AM

Moderately old thread revival... How did this come out? I'm planning on brewing my honey ginger spruce dark lager tomorrow. Last year we had harvested a bunch of spruce tips, but stupidly left them in the fridge. One ziplock bag was good but the second was moldy. SWMBO convinced me to use a drop of her spruce essence. I'm not positive, but believe it was the essence that gave a harsh almost grittiness to the beer. And they were over carbed. Tried popping one every week or two for four or five months after brewing after letting it batch age for eight weeks before bottling and then another three in bottles.

I was ready to give up as they were almost undrinkable, and had even talked with a friend about running the batch through his still. Then the magic happened...another friend who had helped build the recipe had gotten a six pack just after bottling. After one he had had enough and dropped off the six pack with me at happy hour in the local pub. One of our party asked to try one and so we popped one open. Suddenly they'd become quite good and got better over the next couple of months.

I was brewing partial mash at the time so the recipe below is my attempt to switch it to all grain. Last year I planned to use 3 ounces of spruce, but have no real way of knowing what we used. This year I plan to mash with an ounce, late boil (10-15 min) with an ounce, and dry spruce with an ounce of crush. Early spruce tips have a definitive citrus character. Oh, and I'm using Sitka spruce harvested in last spring and frozen.

Batch size 6 gallons
Target OG 1.058. FG 1.018. ABV 5.2%
SRM 19
IBU 28

Malt & Fermentables
6 lb Two Row
2 lb Munich
1.5 lb Honey (late addition)
.75 lb Black Barley
.75 lb Black Patent
.5 lb Crystal 40
.25 lb Crystal 80
.25 Carapils

60 min .5 Columbus
15 min .25 Willamette
Flameout .25 Willamette

1 oz mash
1 oz 15 min boil
1 oz secondary

Ginger 3 oz @ secondary

Wyeast 2112 California Lager

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