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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: fatherabbott on May 07, 2018, 07:14:39 pm

Title: Spruce tips
Post by: fatherabbott on May 07, 2018, 07:14:39 pm
I have harvested some spruce tips from my blue spruce. Thinking of making an IPA using them for that piney taste. Any thoughts on how much to use and when?
Title: Re: Spruce tips
Post by: Ale Farmer on May 07, 2018, 07:43:32 pm
Great to hear that you are using spruce--I've been making spruce ales and porters the last few years. That said, my experience with spruce tips is that they are not piney but more floral/fruity. I don't use Blue Spruce, though--mine are Norway.

As for how much, I've found a little goes a long way--and it depends on how much you're brewing, what the grain bill is, etc.
Title: Re: Spruce tips
Post by: Iliff Ave on May 07, 2018, 08:46:41 pm
I think the recent Zymurgy article recommended whirlpooling with 4 oz. however I’m not sure if it was a hoppy beer or not.
Title: Re: Spruce tips
Post by: mabrungard on May 08, 2018, 05:48:17 am
Properly harvested spruce tips are not piney. They are citrusy. Improperly harvested tips are piney with pinesol notes. Not pleasant.

If you want piney in your beer, then a late addition of Chinook can do wonders for adding that character.
Title: Re: Spruce tips
Post by: Adam on May 08, 2018, 01:08:22 pm
Properly harvested spruce tips are not piney. They are citrusy. Improperly harvested tips are piney with pinesol notes. Not pleasant.

If you want piney in your beer, then a late addition of Chinook can do wonders for adding that character.

Can you provide more info on how to properly harvest?  I am interested in trying spruce but don't know when to start picking.
Title: Re: Spruce tips
Post by: denny on May 08, 2018, 01:37:30 pm
Properly harvested spruce tips are not piney. They are citrusy. Improperly harvested tips are piney with pinesol notes. Not pleasant.

If you want piney in your beer, then a late addition of Chinook can do wonders for adding that character.

Can you provide more info on how to properly harvest?  I am interested in trying spruce but don't know when to start picking.

You want the tender young branches.  Cut off the last 6 inches or so.  Bruise them, then add to the boil for 5-10 min.
Title: Re: Spruce tips
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 08, 2018, 01:41:22 pm
Properly harvested spruce tips are not piney. They are citrusy. Improperly harvested tips are piney with pinesol notes. Not pleasant.

If you want piney in your beer, then a late addition of Chinook can do wonders for adding that character.

Can you provide more info on how to properly harvest?  I am interested in trying spruce but don't know when to start picking.

From previous web searches, the best time is after the red cap falls off, they are lime green.

There are plenty of blogs and videos on the web.

I had a Ft. George Spruce beer a few years back. It remindeded me of a citrusy beer using cascade hops, but no hops were used.
Title: Re: Spruce tips
Post by: mabrungard on May 08, 2018, 02:14:37 pm
As Jeff points out, they are when the feathery, lime green tips are just coming out. Pick only that portion. I haven't seen tips that were any longer than several inches, here in the Midwest. I've only collected the tips, not whole branches.
Title: Re: Spruce tips
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 08, 2018, 02:16:55 pm
The variety of spruce has some flavor impact. Sitka Spruce beers have been nice. The ones Short’s uses in their Spruce Pilsner, not so much, more like pinesol.
Title: Re: Spruce tips
Post by: chumley on June 21, 2018, 01:57:50 pm
Never weighed them, but I use about a quart of blue spruce tips the last 10 minutes of the boil per 5 gallons.  I usually use a noble hop variety for bittering for about 15 IBUs. 

I usually make a light amber beer with them. Pretty tasty.