spruce beer?

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spruce beer?

Postby alms66 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:12 pm

Have you ever made one before? Do you like them?
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Postby aleguy » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:03 am

You can't get fresh spruce tips around here. That tree just doesn't grow this far south. You might want to try Juniper beer instead. Junipers grow here, so getting the greenery shouldn't be much of a problem and the berries are available in any supermarket.
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Postby alms66 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:23 pm

I'm actually going to try using the spruce essence instead of fresh tips. I put a couple of drops in a brown ale last night to try it, and I think it's pretty good. It's not something I'd want to drink all the time, but it's still pretty good.
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Postby alms66 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:18 pm

Kegged the Spruce Porter tonight and took a quick sample drink from it. It's a little bit overly strong right now, but it'll mellow with time. That's 3/4 bottle of spruce essence in a 3 gallon batch. I'm going to try and bring it by the next meeting, but can't make any promises yet.

I used the other 1/4 of the spruce essence bottle experimenting with other (store-bought) beers. I've found that the spruce goes really well with a highly bitter IPA, though it sort of takes over the aroma and a lot of the hop flavor as well, but it's good, which surprised me a bit. Spruce goes well with any dark beer (porter & stout), as I expected. Another good combination is spruce and smoked beers, which I also wasn't expecting. Of course, all of that is my opinion, yours may vary. ;)

So that adds three new beers to the list of things I want to brew:
Bourbon Spruce Porter (just spruce instead of vanilla)
Smokey Spruce Ale (nice smoke/spruce balance, might do one pale, one amber and one brown)
Spruce IPA (like I hinted above, highly bitter IPA, with no flavor/aroma additions, just spruce added)
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Postby alms66 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:24 pm

After force-carbonating overnight, the spruce porter has mellowed nicely. It's definitely still strong on the spruce, but it's much more pleasant now, as opposed to being slightly medicinal when it was not carbonated and I took a small sample. I'll be sure to get it to the January meeting - I'm almost sure I'll make it at this point, which is great news in and of itself, at least to me. ;)
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Postby jimmiec » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:54 pm

A spruced porter sounds pretty good especially for a Christmas or winter beer. Unfortunately I can't make it to the January meeting to try it but I sure wish I could try some.
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Postby aleguy » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:44 pm

If you do an IPA, I would use Simcoe as flavor hops to complement the spruce rather than leaving the late kettle additions out completely.
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Postby alms66 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:42 pm

Yea, the pine-like flavor profile of Simcoe would probably make a good compliment to the spruce.
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