Spruce tip white stout?

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Zanatrik

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I am considering brewing a spruce tip white stout (or call it an ale if you prefer) and trying to figure out if it’s going to be any good. I’d love to get a 2nd+ opinion. I want a nice thick body, and slight resinous flavor without feeling like I am chewing on pine. I thought the honey and smoked malts might balance the pine flavor, kind of like a sitting around a fire the snow in the woods in late December.

I do want it to be a little…different, but still drinkable, not one of those where you are happy you had just one.

56% pale malt
16% flaked oats
8% biscuit
8% carapils
8% honey malt
4% cherry smoked malt

1oz mt hood 60 min
1oz cascade 20 min
.5 oz willamette 15 min

4 oz spruce at 30 min
lutra kveik yeast
 

hottpeper13

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All I can say is that my spruce tip IPA fermented with Lutra is disappointing as the flavors are muted. I have all the same ingredients and will make the next one with Voss to see if it's recipe or yeast. Also you might want to rethink the amount of honey malt,my current honey Kolsch is overboard and I only increased it from 4 to 6 oz in an 8 lb grain bill.
 

Kickass

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Typically a white stout has cocoa, vanilla, or coffee. Or some combo of those three. Regardless, the concept of what you’re describing doesn’t quite work for me. I think there’s conflicting flavors abundant. But, give it a shot and see how it goes.
 

AlexKay

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Are you gathering the spruce yourself or getting it from somewhere/someone? I've been interested in brewing with spruce but haven't done the research for good sources yet.

For the recipe, I'd swap the pale malt for Maris Otter or the equivalent; no reason to not get some more flavor in there. And my personal experience with Carapils is that it does nothing in my beers.

Cherry is good, but if you can get your hands on some alderwood-smoked malt (I buy Stjordal malt from Sugar Creek), I think it would do good things in this recipe.
 
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Zanatrik

Zanatrik

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All I can say is that my spruce tip IPA fermented with Lutra is disappointing as the flavors are muted. I have all the same ingredients and will make the next one with Voss to see if it's recipe or yeast. Also you might want to rethink the amount of honey malt,my current honey Kolsch is overboard and I only increased it from 4 to 6 oz in an 8 lb grain bill.
Thanks for the notes on the honey, spruce, and lutra!
 
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Zanatrik

Zanatrik

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Typically a white stout has cocoa, vanilla, or coffee. Or some combo of those three. Regardless, the concept of what you’re describing doesn’t quite work for me. I think there’s conflicting flavors abundant. But, give it a shot and see how it goes.
Yeah, I do know those notes usually make the white stout, but am hoping the oatmeal and thicker body might make up for some of that. I was worried any one of those three common flavors would interfere with the spruce. Any thoughts there?
 
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Zanatrik

Zanatrik

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Are you gathering the spruce yourself or getting it from somewhere/someone? I've been interested in brewing with spruce but haven't done the research for good sources yet.

For the recipe, I'd swap the pale malt for Maris Otter or the equivalent; no reason to not get some more flavor in there. And my personal experience with Carapils is that it does nothing in my beers.

Cherry is good, but if you can get your hands on some alderwood-smoked malt (I buy Stjordal malt from Sugar Creek), I think it would do good things in this recipe.
Thanks for the notes! I’ll take a look at the Morris otter and the alder wood smoked, sounds interesting! what is your perception of the flavor difference there?

I’ll have to solicit some more feedback on carapils. I read about it and thought I’d add it for body, but seems like if it doesn’t do that it won’t be worth it.

I was going to buy the spruce from spruceontap.com, they have some seemingly good options there and have been helpful about providing ideas and feedback.
 

AlexKay

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Thanks for the notes! I’ll take a look at the Morris otter and the alder wood smoked, sounds interesting! what is your perception of the flavor difference there?

I’ll have to solicit some more feedback on carapils. I read about it and thought I’d add it for body, but seems like if it doesn’t do that it won’t be worth it.

I was going to buy the spruce from spruceontap.com, they have some seemingly good options there and have been helpful about providing ideas and feedback.
Alderwood smoke has a sweet aftertaste that’s not what you want in some beers (say, a smoked porter) but hits the spot in others (I just made a smoked braggot, and it played very nicely with the honey.). I like cherry but sometimes it seems a little harsh; alderwood is very smooth.

Post again when you have feedback on spruceontap.com — I’d seen their website but a first-hand report would be great!
 

Steverus07

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Yeah, I do know those notes usually make the white stout, but am hoping the oatmeal and thicker body might make up for some of that. I was worried any one of those three common flavors would interfere with the spruce. Any thoughts there?
Have you thought of a lactose addition to increase body?
 
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Zanatrik

Zanatrik

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Have you thought of a lactose addition to increase body?
I did, but not sure if that is what I want. The last beer I made was lactose and I have a few vegan folks I know that I wouldn’t mind being able to share beer with. I also think it’s more of a challenge to make a little more body without it. I know maltodextrin is a vegan option, but not sure that is the way I want to go either. What would you do?
 

MJd

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I’ve made a spruce tip beer with Pilsner malt. Slight bittering addition with Saaz to keep it earthy and not overpowering, then 0.75 oz/gallon spruce tips for 15 minutes. That seems to be the correct amount of spruce to get the flavor in, but not taste too strong.
You may want to bump the spruce addition up just a little with the addition of other flavors/more body, but I wouldn’t recommend anything over 1 oz/gallon unless you want to drink a Christmas wreath.
 

hottpeper13

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When I need more body I use rye malt. I can't taste it at 10%. Oat malt is good also and I made a wonderful brew at 36%. Both of those mill better with a little conditioning.
 
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Zanatrik

Zanatrik

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I’ve made a spruce tip beer with Pilsner malt. Slight bittering addition with Saaz to keep it earthy and not overpowering, then 0.75 oz/gallon spruce tips for 15 minutes. That seems to be the correct amount of spruce to get the flavor in, but not taste too strong.
You may want to bump the spruce addition up just a little with the addition of other flavors/more body, but I wouldn’t recommend anything over 1 oz/gallon unless you want to drink a Christmas wreath.
thanks!
 

AlexKay

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There’s a recipe for spruce + alderwood smoked ale on Brulosophy: Here.

(They use Stjordal, which is Sugar Creek’s name for its heavily alderwood smoked malt. Sugar Creek’s Ye Olde Pale Ale is swappable with Maris Otter (though I prefer the former.))
 
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Zanatrik

Zanatrik

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There’s a recipe for spruce + alderwood smoked ale on Brulosophy: Here.

(They use Stjordal, which is Sugar Creek’s name for its heavily alderwood smoked malt. Sugar Creek’s Ye Olde Pale Ale is swappable with Maris Otter (though I prefer the former.))
I’m happy to see the flavor notes I’m looking for aren’t way off base for everyone!
 

MJd

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You're welcome. Obviously a way different beer than you are making, but I feel like the spruce addition rate is the variable with the most (for better or worse!) opportunity to tip the balance of the flavor.
 
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Zanatrik

Zanatrik

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You're welcome. Obviously a way different beer than you are making, but I feel like the spruce addition rate is the variable with the most (for better or worse!) opportunity to tip the balance of the flavor.
I agree, seeing your spruce rate makes me feel confident 4oz in a 5 gallon batch wouldnt make it taste like a car air freshener, especially given the different style and potentially other flavors associated. That’s my big concern, everything else is just varieties of more common beer flavors.
 
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Zanatrik

Zanatrik

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So, I am considering ditching the Kveik and going to a SafAle S-04. The more I read the more concerned I become that the yeast will negatively impact the body. Am I being too squeamish?
 
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Zanatrik

Zanatrik

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Have you made this beer yet? Planning ahead for spruce tip beers and hoping to get your feedback.
I did make it but it’s still conditioning, so jury is still out. However I can say that I have not been able to taste the spruce in any of my samples yet. I’m 7 of 14 days into conditioning, I can certainly report on how it is once all the way done.

I ended up putting in about 4oz of tips for a 5 gallon batch at 30 minutes of boil. Hard to tell you how much I might choose to use next time, maybe go up incrementally to 6oz. I am also playing with the idea of making a simple syrup with spruce tips for priming sugar to get some of that flavor in later on.

But all that said, it still seems like a pretty decent beer, especially for my first all grain.

Also, FWIW, I would put the spruce tips in a hop spider or nylon bag. They got stuck in my outlet tube then again in my siphon, that was loads of fun, but I learned my lesson!
 

hottpeper13

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Kegged my spruce tip IPA fermented with Voss and WOW what a difference from Lutra.
Used 7 oz of tips picked just after the brown skin sloughs off but still tight,at 60 min. Can't discern any pine from the hydro sample but it's tasty.
All my research says to use new growth. Well it's new growth for a year, until the next new growth arrives.
Which new growth phase has the best flavor without becoming tannic? Next year I'm thinking of letting them spread but still remain that bright green, they get a little longer too.

Oh, Voss is my new go to IPA yeast.
 
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