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Old 06-24-2012, 04:19 PM   #1
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Default All-Grain - Don't Bring Me Down Ale (Spruuuuce Porter, BIAB style))

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Safale US05
Yeast Starter: No-dry yeast
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.050 @ 80%
Final Gravity: 1.013
IBU: 24 Tinseth
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: 23.2
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 64F 2-4 days Raise to 68F 4 weeks total
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): Never
Tasting Notes: It has such an interesting flavor. It is almost Pepsi like as Charlie says.

This is an all grain conversion of Charlie Papazian's Kumdis Spruce Porter. This is the second time I brewed this, the first being Charlie's extract version. I increased the spruce tips and added some sassafras root but not enough to get any flavor out of it so I left it off the ingredients. I always brew a beer around the time of the year I lost my little brother to a car accident so that beer is usually called Angel Over My Shoulder beer for that year. I really, really, really like this beer. It has such an interesting flavor. It is almost Pepsi like as Charlie says. I will make this one over and over. It really is great to make around Christmas time with that aroma! I do Brew In A Bag.

Label I made for the extract version:


The Beer:


Grains
7 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 77.8 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 2 10.4 %
10.2 oz Wheat, Torrified (1.7 SRM) Grain 3 6.6 %
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.2 %
9.64 # Total

Hops
0.55 oz Northern Brewer [8.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 18.0 IBUs
0.10 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.60 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 6.0 IBUs

Other
6.00 oz Spruce Tips (Boil 60.0 mins) Spice 7 -

Mash
60 minute mash at 156F BIAB

Water Volumes
Batch Volume = 5.5 gallons
90 minutes x 2 gallon/hr boil off = 3 gallons
9.64# x 0.05 gallons/# absorption = 0.48 gallons
8.98 gallons, use 9 gallons

Salt Additions (My water is very void of minerals)
23.2 SRM = Ruby Brown which means I need 50 mg/l Ca and 75 mg/l HCO3 so I will use Calcium Carbonate (chalk)

CaCo3 is 40% Ca and 60% CO3
My base water is 2 mg/l Ca so I need to add 48 mg/l Ca
9 gallons of mash water = 34.07 Liters
34.07 L x 48 mg/l = 1635.36 mg Ca total needed
40% x Ca = 1635.36
Ca=1635.36/40% = 4,088.4 mg = 4.1 grams
CaCO3 is 1.8 grams per teaspoon
4.1 grams / 1.8 grams per teaspoon = 2.27 teaspoons so I’ll add 2-1/4 teaspoons of CaCO3

Tasting Notes (I am by no means a pro)

Appearance: Dark, darker than the suggested SRM-the tips must darken it. Fluffy 2 finger head dissapates a bit to 1/2 finger large and small bubbles.

Aroma: Sweet, a little roasty, very light menthol or mint-it is a hard aroma to nail down.

Taste: Like a less sweet pepsi. Very hard flavors to describe but it is very good. You have to taste it to understand how hard it is to describe.

Mouthfeel: Thin, medium carbonation bite on the tongue. Dry finish.

Drinkability: Neither overpowering flavors nor heavy. Easily quaffable. Might not do well followed by a very light beer but it doesn't blow out your taste buds.

Overall: Brewed it twice so far. Will tweak slightly next year with a bit more hops. Maybe something to increase head retention. Fiddle with the mash temps for a little more body.
The spruce tips:


I brew this at night. For the stars. You see, right after my brother died, I went back to Alaska to pack up and come home. I had to drive from Fairbanks to Anchorage and of course it had to be one of the coldest few days. My car barely kept the cold from freezing me to death. I had to use a cassette case to scrape frost off the inside of my windshield. My car kept stalling from the gas freezing in the lines. At one point the car died. I turned the key and she wouldn't start. Again, no go. I looked up in the sky and a single star twinkled. I pray on that star that my car would start because I knew if it didn't, I would be found frozen to death on the side of the road. My car started. For the rest of the ride, that single star shown above twinkling every once in a while. My car held out and I made it to my destination. Now I believe in Angels-I have my own.



My brewing partner-he's shown up every year I brew.


More spruce information on my blog:
http://littlehouseonthesandpit.wordpress.com/?s=spruce


Last edited by Daddymem; 06-24-2012 at 04:29 PM. Reason: Added information
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:45 PM   #2
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This year's batch came out really good. The other night I finished one and someone gave me a Guinness...not even close, I'll take the Spruce Porter please.

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Old 05-10-2013, 04:17 PM   #3
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Cheers buddy. Lost my brother in a car accident aswell, 18 years old. Such a tragedy.
The date is this monday and i plan on brewing a coffee stout since he loved coffee ice cream.
This might be my recipe for next years batch or for the batch i brew on his birthday.

Thx again for the inspiration!

To your segment on angels i find it very touching.
I see my brother all the time and its true they are there to help us and guide us in the right direction.
Hes my number 25. My birthday, my old house adress and quarters...i find them EVERYWHERE!

Cheers buddy!

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Old 06-07-2013, 08:37 PM   #4
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This has to be one of the best beer names I've seen.

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Old 11-16-2013, 11:54 PM   #5
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I just won 1st place in Specialty Beer Group entered as Category 23 with this beer.

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Old 01-05-2014, 06:48 AM   #6
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What kind of spruce did the tips come from? Does the species of spruce even matter? I am interested in brewing this and I am sure I can find some Sitka spruce in Oregon to pluck the tips in June.

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Old 01-05-2014, 12:38 PM   #7
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I don't know what kind of spruce they came from, I got them from my friend who cut a ton off a tree in his yard and shared. I'm sure it makes some difference what species, but not sure how much of a difference.

I brewed this up as an ale for this year's batch and added some dry hopped Northern brewer. Hoping to get more "tree" in the nose.

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Old 07-13-2014, 07:15 AM   #8
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Great recipe. I brewed this in may using fresh tips from Sitka spruce on the Oregon coast. Very unique and pleasant flavor. I think I'll probably brew it again next spring.

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Old 07-13-2014, 07:49 AM   #9
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Been considering doing an "Alba" style spruce ale so I find this intriguing. Will any spruce do? How would you distinguish a spruce from a short needled pine? Spring new growth harvest? Tell me more more more!

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Old 07-13-2014, 11:10 PM   #10
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Thanks! I love this beer. I screwed up this year and forgot to source some spruce tips so I probably won't be able to brew it this year. Boo. If anyone knows where you can get spruce tips, let me know!

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