Using wood in the boil kettle.

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

kabob34

New Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Boston
Hey guys,

This is the first thread I have started, but I have been surfing these forums for about a year and a half. So hello everybody!

Anyways, I am from New England and I have always loved the taste of birch beer. I love the flavor profile and I think it would be very interesting to have in a beer. With that being said, I have some black birch hanging around and the will to make this happen. I am considering throwing this into an oatmeal stout or maybe even a pale ale, where the flavor would be showcased in full force.

I was wondering what the best technique is to achieve this flavor? Aging, or adding the wood to the boil kettle? Birch beer is usually made by boiling the twigs and bark, so why wouldn't that work? I have read about using birch syrup but from what I have read it doesn't seem to achieve the flavor I am looking for. What do you guys think?

Thanks!
 

TopherM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
3,973
Reaction score
458
Location
St. Petersburg
I personally have never used woods, but I'm pretty sure you are supposed to dice it up and put in the secondary, not in the boil.
 

outside92129

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2011
Messages
1,215
Reaction score
73
Location
Carlsbad

BeerChef17

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
226
Reaction score
11
Location
Washington
my vote would be to break the wood up into small pieces and add to the secondary. The oil is a good idea as well although the wiki page says "Alcoholic birch beer, in which the birch sap is fermented rather than reduced to an oil, has been known in the region from at least the mid-nineteenth century." I think by just using the oil it wouldn't be consumed by the yeast.

But I think the best flavor would come from fresh birch wood that was still running sap
 

a_potter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
156
Reaction score
4
Location
flint
My dad has been talking about a similar sap idea of replacing some of the water in a porter recipe with maple sap. You might save this idea till spring and tap some birch trees instead.
 

rdr0912

New Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I know this is an old post, but just wondering if you (or anyone) has tried using birch in brewing? I spoke with my local supply store about this and they suggested adding the wood to either the primary or secondary, NOT during the boil. Since they have never heard of using birch, they couldn't answer my next questions...use dried chips or fresh, living chipe and branches from a tree??
Thanks
 
Top