Author Topic: spruce tips  (Read 1412 times)

Offline goschman

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spruce tips
« on: December 10, 2013, 10:11:36 AM »
I am curious as to what exactly spruce tips are. Thinking about next year's Christmas beer already. I have a blue spruce in the back yard...
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 10:22:17 AM »
Spruce tips are the very young first growths from the trees. They are very soft and sweet. They do not have much in the way of sprucey or piney flavor when they are very young.
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Offline goschman

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2013, 10:39:33 AM »
Oh ok...so I assume my mature blue spruce will not help...
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Offline duboman

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2013, 10:48:09 AM »
Oh ok...so I assume my mature blue spruce will not help...

Actually it will work fine but you would need to harvest some of the new growth that emerges in the spring as they begin to grow.
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Offline denny

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 10:51:16 AM »
I encourage you to try a spruce beer before you brew one.  You might change your mind.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 10:54:43 AM »
I encourage you to try a spruce beer before you brew one.  You might change your mind.

+1
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Offline goschman

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2013, 11:06:02 AM »
I encourage you to try a spruce beer before you brew one.  You might change your mind.

I have tried beers with spruce tips. I think it can be successful as long as you keep it subtle
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 11:24:24 AM »
I encourage you to try a spruce beer before you brew one.  You might change your mind.

+1

+10
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2013, 11:25:28 AM »
I've only had two spruce beers that I liked.  I had some of Shorts Brewing's Imperial Spruce India Pilsner at this yr's GABF and it was a really good beer.  The other spruce beers I've had were just too much and I couldn't drink more than a couple of ounces.  Actually, Alaskan's Winter beer is brewed w/ spruce and that's not a bad beer.

As for brewing a spruce beer, not sure if I want 3-5 gallons of a spruce beer taking up one of my taps.
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Offline goschman

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2013, 11:52:51 AM »
My goal isn't necessarily to create a spruce tips beer. The plan is to create a complex, strong Christmas ale utilizing spices and possibly a small amount of spruce tips...
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2013, 12:55:30 PM »
I encourage you to try a spruce beer before you brew one.  You might change your mind.

I have tried beers with spruce tips. I think it can be successful as long as you keep it subtle

I think you should treat spruce tips like vermouth in a martini.  Show them to the kettle then put them away.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2013, 01:14:17 PM »
My goal isn't necessarily to create a spruce tips beer. The plan is to create a complex, strong Christmas ale utilizing spices and possibly a small amount of spruce tips...

don't worry about all the spruce tip haters. I say go for it... next Christmas. This spring when your spruce starts to get those light green tips collect a couple quarts and freeze them.

I think Tom Schmidlin posted some good info on the relative merit of the varying kinds of spruce for this purpose.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2013, 01:25:01 PM »
I say go for it too, but seriously, taste the tips before you decide to use them or not.  If you don't like the flavor, don't use them.  You can try different kinds of trees, and even different trees of the same variety.  They don't all taste identical, and even trees growing right next to each other can taste different.  If you find a good tree keep going back to it, each time you harvest the tips there will be twice as many on those same branches the next year.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2013, 01:27:30 PM »
each time you harvest the tips there will be twice as many on those same branches the next year.

For real?  So you could theoretically make the tree bushier by harvesting the tips?
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Offline fmader

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Re: spruce tips
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2013, 01:32:50 PM »
I just kegged my spruce ale. I used my standard pale ale grain bill and hopped with chinook and cascade. I added about 8 oz of spruce tips with 5 minutes to go in the boil. Tasting notes going into the keg was very citrusy flavor. I liked it and expect it to be good carbed up.

I harvested the spruce tips from the new blue spruce growth in the the spring. You want to get them when they are about the size of the end of you pinky or the size of the tip of a small paint brush. I shrink wrapped them and froze them until I brewed it about 6 weeks ago.
Frank