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Old 04-01-2008, 02:39 PM   #11
EinGutesBier
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If you're looking to innovate, do it. However, just to be sure of what you're getting into, test the tips out by making a tea and drinking it. Not only will you have an idea of the imparted aroma and flavor, but you might get an idea s to what concentration would be best.

EDIT: I'm also curious how this turns out.

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Old 04-01-2008, 02:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EinGutesBier
If you're looking to innovate, do it. However, just to be sure of what you're getting into, test the tips out by making a tea and drinking it. Not only will you have an idea of the imparted aroma and flavor, but you might get an idea s to what concentration would be best.

EDIT: I'm also curious how this turns out.
Yeah. I'm not looking to do a "spruce beer". I just want to impart some "essence" of the spruce. I'm hoping to replicate some of that piney aroma you get using chinook.

The idea of doing a spruce tea to validate the flavor and aroma is a good idea.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
Yeah. I'm not looking to do a "spruce beer". I just want to impart some "essence" of the spruce. I'm hoping to replicate some of that piney aroma you get using chinook.

The idea of doing a spruce tea to validate the flavor and aroma is a good idea.
Good call on the Chinook replication. I don't see why an ounce or whatever of spruce tips couldn't be a good adjunct for those who like that piney flavor if you're out of piney hops.

One name comes to mind..."Piney the Elder"...
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:52 PM   #14
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I have not messed around with spruce because I've had only a couple spruced beers that I wanted more than a few sips of. However, I understand that you can easily overdo spruce and that it can take a looooong time to mellow with age. I also understand that, as you mentioned, you do need to boil spruce. If you are interested, go for it, but tread carefully.


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Old 05-15-2008, 06:34 PM   #15
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Here’s my stab at a recipe. I’m modifying a (Kona-esc) haus ale that I love by increasing the malt grains a bit and removing 2 ounces of late addition hops in favor of the spruce tips.

I’m initially looking at 2 ounces of spruce tips for 10 minutes in an 11.5 gallon batch. The IBU’s look a bit low, but I’m counting on the spruce adding some bitterness.

Once I get a visual look at how much that is, I may adjust.

Adirondack Pale
Batch Size: 11.60 gal
Boil Size: 15.13 gal
Estimated OG: 1.044 SG
Estimated Color: 10.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 24.1 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 78.0 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount
14.00 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Honey Malt (25.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)
0.50 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)

1.00 oz Phoenix [12.00%] (90 min) (FWH)
1.00 oz Cascade [6.10%] (1 min)
1.00 oz Sterling [7.50%] (1 min)

2.00 oz Spruce Tips (Boil 10.0 min)

2 Pkgs SafAle American Ale (DCL Yeast #US-56) Yeast-Ale

Mash at 155 for 45 minutes.

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Old 05-15-2008, 08:17 PM   #16
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One of my LHBC members is huge into the "authentic old-style beer" stuff, and has made many a batch of spruce beer. Their best success was a demonstration brew at a local Renaissance festival. They lined the bottom of a wooden keg with pine boughs to use as a mash tun, which apparently worked fantastically. The beer was simple, mostly 2-row with a little crystal and on the heavy side (maybe 1080 OG?). All the pine came from the boughs in the MLT. It was just right; not overpowering, but still very present.

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Old 05-15-2008, 09:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadicalEd View Post
One of my LHBC members is huge into the "authentic old-style beer" stuff, and has made many a batch of spruce beer. Their best success was a demonstration brew at a local Renaissance festival. They lined the bottom of a wooden keg with pine boughs to use as a mash tun, which apparently worked fantastically. The beer was simple, mostly 2-row with a little crystal and on the heavy side (maybe 1080 OG?). All the pine came from the boughs in the MLT. It was just right; not overpowering, but still very present.
That sounds like a fun idea.

I think I'll sample out of the keggle once it's cooled and gauge the aroma. I can always steep more and add to the secondary if needed.
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:38 PM   #18
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Very interested to hear how this turns out - subscribed.

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Old 05-15-2008, 11:41 PM   #19
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10 gallons of experimental beer? You're an animal.

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Old 05-16-2008, 02:57 AM   #20
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10 gallons of experimental beer? You're an animal.
Yep. Good thing I have forgiving taste buds.

I was out tonight...sneaking over to the neighbors yard plucking some big, fat, tender blue spruce sprouts off his tree.

Gear is set up...grains are crushed and hops are measured. Tomorrow (Friday) after work and the experiment begins.
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