Brewing Wild Fruit/Spruce = Lavin 1118 question

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Apr 26, 2019
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hello people.
i have brewed everything in the past from ginger beer to wild picked flowers, always with bread yeast and never a failure. (except on time i did a tropic molasses brew that tasted like cancer)

i recently bought some Lavin 1118 to step into the next level and planning to brew some Spruce "beer" in the next week. i was wondering will 1118 be as forgiving as my past bread yeast? i never had a problem with acidity from wild fruit like Elderberry in the past that contain alkaloiid.

i am not looking for high alcohol only about 5%, as i like to drink without being poisoned.
1118 is usually used to get higher Abv. It runs 20% or better. It also has a tendency to strip some of the flavors from the brew.
I only used Lavin 1118 one time. It worked good for a 15% wine, but I would never use it in a low ABV country wine. Maybe try some cider or ale yeast. I have used Nottingham ale yeast a lot and like the results

BtW, please tell us more bout your spruce beer? I am trying to learn more about low ABV brews and that sounds interesting.
well i am no expert, its basically making the strongest spruce juice you can from boiling tree branch tips in water then adding some sugar and brewing it. i wait for all bubbling to stop then i bottle it and add a teaspoon of sugar into each beer bottle, capping them. wait 2days (while shaking each bottle 3-4times a day) then they MUST be refrigerated. my biggest problem was sealing the bottles caps enough for the bottle to pressurize. i had to chop of the bell of my butterfly capper and welding it to a shank in order to use my pressdrill to cap the bottle correctly.

the result, last year, was a very faint tasting soda fizzing just like in the store. except mine didnt taste very much. this time i will try to take newer greener branch tips. maybe add some sap?, but i must research it first if its safe to consume.
well its quite empty of information. the relevant part is this:
"Cuttings from new growth are best for brewing. Make a tea by boiling the branches in water for 30 minutes. Strain out the branches and add this homemade spruce essence to your mash or boil."

the thing is that boiling branch tips makes for quite a very weak taste.
i checked and yes, spruce gum/sap is quite eatable/drinkable and VERY potent spruce essence. in my country Spruce Beer isnt Beer but juice without brewed grains. i looked in the past for recipe, but never found any good one. i will try to make it only with sap this time. as the branch tips thing isnt worth the trouble.

if i remember this thread i will post back the result. sadly i cannot conved the taste.
i've made two different 'evergreen tips' meads, made from tea made by pouring boiling water over the tips and letting it steep until cool. the soft fresh spring tips are very strong in flavor and boiling them isn't necessary.

i thought i had measured the tips by weight, but looking at my notes, it was by volume. the first one used about 3 .75 cups of chopped spruce and hemlock tips and tastes nice, but not as strong as i wanted. the second used about 7 cups of chopped frasier fir tips and has a thicker, more resinous mouthfeel and deep piney flavor. really nice when i'm in the mood for it. these numbers are from 1 gallon experimental batches.

in my experience it's worth the trouble to forage a decent quantity of young tips. older needles and twigs are going to be much harder to extract flavor from.