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Old 12-17-2009, 01:39 AM   #1
payton34's Avatar
Dec 2009
grand rapids, michigan
Posts: 193

HELLO i WAS WONDERING IF ANYONE HAS A RECIPE FOR SPRUCE BEER? I have three big spruce trees in my yard and come spring i could cut the new tips. but i don't know how much i would need

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Old 12-17-2009, 02:13 AM   #2
Marko73's Avatar
Oct 2007
Clayton, North Carolina
Posts: 617
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There is a simple one in The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian:

6.6 lbs dark lme
4 oz new growth of spruce trees
2 oz Vanguard or Hallertauer hops (boiling)
American Ale Yeast

The directions say to add everything up front and boil for 60 minutes.

I was thinking about brewing this in the spring myself so lets compare notes!
"It is sheer folly to be taken by the hand and led down the path of better brewing by someone who says that they know it all. No, it is your experience that counts most. It is your experience that will always lead you to more questions."

~Charlie Papazian

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Old 12-17-2009, 02:32 AM   #3
Dec 2008
New York, NY
Posts: 324
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Come on, you have to try some late additions, right??

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Old 12-17-2009, 09:33 AM   #4
LexusChris's Avatar
May 2009
Orange County, CA, CA
Posts: 525
Liked 32 Times on 27 Posts

I saw a recipe for Spruce Ale in Buhner's book.. something like for each gallon of water, boil 2-3 ounces of fresh spruce boughs for 60 minutes. Remove from heat & remove spruce. Add 1 lb of molasses and stir until it dissolves. Cool to pitching temp, add yeast.

With grains, there is a spruce beer recipe in the November BYO magazine, replicating a craft spruce beer from Fort George Brewing. It is based upon Pilsner malt as the base grain and using 1oz/gal spruce tips at 60 mins of boil, another 1oz/gal spruce tips at flame-out, and about half-oz/gal for 'dry-hopping'.

Two different approaches, but both seem to say a total of 2-3 oz of spruce per gallon for the batch. Sounds tasty! Will have to try that in the new year.

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Old 12-17-2009, 09:48 AM   #5
Apr 2007
western/central new york
Posts: 1,509
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I have been considering this for a long time. I think I would go with a 60 min and a flame out addition.
damn I gotta brew something

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Old 12-17-2009, 01:05 PM   #6
Aug 2009
Atwater, OH
Posts: 4,317
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From BYO

Fort George Brewing Spruce Budd Ale
Brew Type: Extract
Style: Specialty Beer
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Volume: 6.00 gal Boil Time: 60 min

Taste Notes
Like a walk in the forest.

Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
5 lbs 2.2 oz Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM) Dry Extract 65.1 %
2 lbs 12.0 oz Pilsen Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.0 SRM) Grain 34.9 %
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
5.00 oz Spruce Tips (Boil 0.0 min) Misc
5.00 oz Spruce Tips (Boil 60.0 min) Misc
5.00 oz Spruce Tips (Secondary 7.0 days) Misc
1 Pkgs Pacific Ale (White Labs #WLP041) Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile Estimated Original Gravity: 1.048 SG (1.030-1.110 SG) Measured Original Gravity: 1.060 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.015 SG (1.006-1.024 SG) Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Color: 3.6 SRM (5.0-50.0 SRM) Color [Color]
Bitterness: 0.0 IBU (5.0-70.0 IBU) Alpha Acid Units: 0.0 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 4.3 % (2.5-12.0 %) Actual Alcohol by Volume: 6.3 %
Actual Calories: 268 cal/pint

Carbonation and Storage Carbonation Type: Corn Sugar Carbonation Volumes: 2.4 (1.8-3.0 vols)
Estimated Priming Weight: 3.8 oz Temperature at Bottling: 60.0 F
Primer Used: - Age for: 4.0 Weeks
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F

Steep specialty grains in 2gal @ 150F for 30 mins.

Can substitute WLP041 (Pacific Ale) with Wyeast 1332 (Northwest Ale)
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)

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Old 01-19-2010, 07:52 PM   #7
Dec 2009
Traverse City, MI
Posts: 324

Add me to the list of up to try this one. By spring I should be set up enough to give it a shot. Anyone else in?

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Old 01-19-2010, 10:19 PM   #8
JLem's Avatar
Jan 2009
Attleboro, MA
Posts: 3,637
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Originally Posted by Chuck_Swillery View Post
Add me to the list of up to try this one. By spring I should be set up enough to give it a shot. Anyone else in?
I used spruce tips last spring in a "barley wine" (not sure what else to call it). I like it enough that I am going to try a blonde/golden ale with spruce tips this year. I'll bitter with some hops (not sure what yet - but maybe some Crystal or Mt. Hood or Liberty - though something American might be nice too) and some spruce and then add some late spruce additions. The flavor of fresh spruce tips is quite nice and not really what you would expect - I'd say more fruity than piney.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:10 PM   #9
Mar 2010
Baltimore, MD
Posts: 4

I just noticed the new Spruce buds just starting to appear today. I bet they will be ready to brew with in the coming weeks. I want to try the BYO recipe, but I am concerned about adding the spruce tips in secondary fermentation. How would I pasteurize them to avoid contamination without losing the flavor? Has anyone tried dry-"sprucing"? What works well?

Beer Haiku Daily

Planning: American Wheat, Saison, Hop Burst AIPA, Oak Aged Imperial Stout
Drinking: Blizzard ESB, Nut Brown, American Brown, American IPA, Robust Porter, Irish Red, Belgian Dark Strong, American Pale Ale, Spruce Ale, Semi-Sweet Mead

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Old 04-12-2010, 08:23 PM   #10
Dec 2008
New York, NY
Posts: 324
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

Those sprouts are going to be covered in wild yeast. You couldn't pay me enough to put that in my beer. I'd suggest soaking them in vodka for a week, and then dumping the whole thing in for the dry hop. Vodka should extract some nice flavors and kill the yeasties, and not add too much hooch to your brew, overall.

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