spiced ale, spruce beer, all-grain
Source: Darren Aaberge (email@example.com),
HBD Issue #1169, 6/25/93
I bottled the beer last weekend and was able to sample a couple of glasses.
You can definitely tell that there is something different about this beer,
but if I didn't know that there was spruce in it I probably would not be able
to guess that it was. Also, Papazian says that spruce beer tastes something
like Pepsi, but I think that takes a big stretch of the imagination. There is
no detectable hop flavor and very little bitterness in this beer. Next time I
brew this beer, I will probably increase the hops a little. I think that I
used the right amount of spruce.
One important lesson I learned is that the hops make a much better filter bed
than the spruce needles. I brew in a keg with a copper manifold on the bottom
for draining. Since I added the hops first, they settled first and made a
nice filter bed. During clean up, I noticed that after I removed the hops,
the needles kept clogging the copper manifold.
Here are some other things that may be of interest:
Scott Stihler says that you can also dry "hop" with spruce. He also
says that he has frozen spruce growths to use latter, but the flavor
diminishes a little, so you need to use a little more.
Lisa St. Hilaire says she has also added white fir to spruce beer,
which has a tangerine-like aroma, but says to avoid using white spruce.
So, that is about all I know about spruce beer. So far, it seems like a good
beer that is definitly worth brewing.
- 10 lbs american 2-row malt
- 1/2 lb crystal 40 Lovibond
- 1/3 lb chocolate malt
- 1 oz cascade hops (aa=7.6%, 60 minutes)
- 1 pint fresh spruce growths (30 min.)
- German Ale Yeast
I mashed all grains together and did a protien rest at 122 degrees for 30
minutes and then mashed at 148-152 degrees for 1 hour.