Spruce Beer

Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

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Spruce Beer

Postby clinebo » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:26 pm

There are many commercial brewers that use spruce tips as a flavoring adjunct to their beers. Alaskan Winter Ale is one such example. As I understand it, the tips of the spruce tree are picked off in the spring when they first emerge from their casings. These tips are added like the final hops at the end of the boil.

A number of years I remember hearing a story about Captain Cook and his crew when they were sailing around the Gulf of Alaska. It seems that they ran out of Grog and substituted it in their daily ration with beer made from spruce needles. Unbeknownst to them, this spruce beer, in addition to alcohol, contained vitamin C that helped ward off scurvy. I imagine that such a beer might have tasted like drinking a Christmas tree. I also imagine they must have used some starch source to convert the alcohol and the spruce needles were used as some sort of perverted flavoring. At any rate, has anyone else heard this story and know what the recipe might have been?
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Spruce Ale

Postby slothrob » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:07 pm

Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing (North Conway, NH) - Spruce Tip Brown

An English style Brown Ale with a rich malt body known for it's balance between malt and hops. Prepared specially for the NERAX, this beer has been dry-hopped spruce tips. The aroma of spruce and malt the nose, biscuit and brown malt in the mouth, finishing with a medium bitterness along with spruce aromatics. Gentle, quaffable and satisfying without being overwhelming.

ABV: 5.4% OG: 1050

I had this one a couple years ago. You could try emailing the brewery and asking for some advice.

I can't say it's anything I would search out again. It's not that far from a piney hop like Simcoe, but still a little too close to a Christmas tree. I'm not a big fan of piney hops either, though.
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Postby wottaguy » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:43 pm

Wow...spruce beer.....

I have tried some commercial examples a while back and I forget who produced it, but i didn't care for it at all. But to each his own...!

I would leave the piney taste and scent to the xmas trees...

But if you really need to you could always use 2 drops of turpentine in your batch of beer to replicate the piney flavors! :D

JUST KIDDING HERE....LOL!!! Please don't do this!!

Smile!

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Piney Taste

Postby Legman » Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:03 pm

No, No, No. Use Pine-Sol. The black lady on the commercial says it's got a distinctive, crisp pine scent! :lol:

I'm with ya on the spruce beer, Wottaguy. I tried one awhile back and it was god awful! I won't be experimenting with that at all.
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Historic Reference

Postby clinebo » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:13 am

I guess I was unclear. I don't wish to attempt a new beer or ale that taste like a Christmas Tree. I was looking for an original recipe of an ale produced in the late 1700 by the crew of Captain Cooks ship.
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RE: Historic Reference (Spruce Beer)

Postby wottaguy » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:03 pm

clinebo,

didn't mean to offend you with my attempt to be humorous. Nothing wrong with trying to recreate a historical recipe no matter from what time period. I find myself doing the same every once in a while. I wish you every success with your research and brew. If you decide to use actual spruce tips, get them during the early spring when they are young and use them right away and sparingly as well. A couple of test batches should get you there....or you can brew one 5 gallon batch and split it in half, then use 2 different amounts for each boil.....just a thought.

here's a couple of links for you:

http://www.agingincanada.ca/TRIVIA.HTM

http://beerrecipes.blogspot.com/2007/12 ... -beer.html

http://www.thebrewsite.com/2005/04/29/spruce_beer.php

Let us know how you make out with this!

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Not Offended

Postby clinebo » Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:31 pm

wottaguy,

No, I was not offended. I just thought my request may have been misunderstood. Regarding a source of spruce tips, no problem. I live on 5 acres in the Matanuska Valley of Alaska and have an unlimited supply.
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Postby wottaguy » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:42 am

great! I hope the links help you out on your quest.

great speaking to you too.

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spruce beer

Postby bfabre » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:09 pm

Hey, You all forgot to think about others on this subject. If you fart it will smell like you shat a christmas tree.
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