Author Topic: Spruce tips  (Read 383 times)

Offline fatherabbott

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Spruce tips
« on: May 08, 2018, 01:14:39 AM »
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?

Offline Ale Farmer

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
    • View Profile
Re: Spruce tips
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 01:43:32 AM »
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.
George

Brew and grow...

Bottled:Spruce Ale, Smoked Porter, Spruce Porter, Chinook APA, Wit, Marzen, ESB, Vienna Lager, Nut Brown Ale, Amber Ale.

Fermenting: Irish Red Ale

Next Brews: Mild, APA, Brown Porter, Spruce Porter

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3448
    • View Profile
Re: Spruce tips
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 02:46:41 AM »
I think the recent Zymurgy article recommended whirlpooling with 4 oz. however I’m not sure if it was a hoppy beer or not.
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

Fermenting: 
Up Next: Euro Pale, IPA

Offline mabrungard

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2385
  • Water matters!
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Spruce tips
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2018, 11:48:17 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.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks

Offline Adam

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 62
    • View Profile
    • High Altitude Home Brew Supply
Re: Spruce tips
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2018, 07:08:22 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.
Fermentation at Elevation

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19444
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Spruce tips
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2018, 07:37:30 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.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8873
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Spruce tips
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2018, 07:41:22 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.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline mabrungard

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2385
  • Water matters!
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Spruce tips
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2018, 08:14:37 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.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8873
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Spruce tips
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2018, 08:16:55 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.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline chumley

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 972
    • View Profile
Re: Spruce tips
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2018, 07:57:50 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.