Author Topic: Christmas Tree IPA  (Read 2558 times)

Offline jindenver

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Christmas Tree IPA
« on: November 11, 2011, 11:09:00 AM »
Hey Brewers!

I'm getting ready to make a Christmas Tree IPA next weekend and I'm still having trouble finalizing a recipe. What I want to do is take a pretty standard IPA, but add some pine flavor, but most importantly, a nice pine aroma to it. I'd prefer to avoid any syrups, as I've read a lot of things about disastrous results with that kind of additive, but I'm not sure what else to do. Some have suggested using actual piece of a pine tree, but I'm not completely sure how to go about it.

Do any of the much-better-than-my-homebrewing brains out there have any suggestions tips or experiences to share?

Thanks so much!

Offline hamiltont

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2011, 11:11:22 AM »
Hey Brewers!

I'm getting ready to make a Christmas Tree IPA next weekend and I'm still having trouble finalizing a recipe. What I want to do is take a pretty standard IPA, but add some pine flavor, but most importantly, a nice pine aroma to it. I'd prefer to avoid any syrups, as I've read a lot of things about disastrous results with that kind of additive, but I'm not sure what else to do. Some have suggested using actual piece of a pine tree, but I'm not completely sure how to go about it.

Do any of the much-better-than-my-homebrewing brains out there have any suggestions tips or experiences to share?

Thanks so much!

Use a good amount of Chinook Hops for flavor & aroma & dry hop. You'll enjoy the pine....  Cheers, and happy brewing!!!
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2011, 11:17:26 AM »
unfotunatly, if you want to use real pine you are brewing at the wrong time of year. you want to use the fresh light green tips of the branches as they start growing in the spring. I beleive you want to use spruce but I cannot now recall the particular varieties favored.
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Offline snowtiger87

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2011, 12:53:48 PM »
Spruce is supposed to best and your are correct about the new growth aspect.

However, if the tips were exposed to the boil for a short time (last 15 minues?) maybe the harsher components could be avoided.
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Offline denny

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2011, 01:36:17 PM »
I once tried a pine beer someone brewed.  Kinda reminded me of Pine Sol.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2011, 01:40:57 PM »
I once tried a pine beer someone brewed.  Kinda reminded me of Pine Sol.

the aroma of pine-sol comes from Yarrow, or it did originally. Also a olde-tyme brewing herb and a really good herb to know about. The leaves when dried and powdered will stop bleeding in minor cuts and the leaves and flowers are somewhat antimicrobial. It is known as the 'Battlefield' herb for these reasons.

**EDIT** after hitting the POST button I thought about what I had just said and realized that one might be able to make a xmas tree beer with the addition of a little yarrow which should be found at any healthfood store or herb store with a good selection of dried herbs.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 01:42:37 PM by morticaixavier »
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2011, 01:53:08 PM »
unfotunatly, if you want to use real pine you are brewing at the wrong time of year. you want to use the fresh light green tips of the branches as they start growing in the spring. I beleive you want to use spruce but I cannot now recall the particular varieties favored.
Sitka spruce is favored, from further north is supposed to be better.  For what it's worth, the new growth of Sitka will not give you a piney aroma, it is much more citrusy.  I like it a lot.  If you've ever had Alaskan Winter, they use Sitka spruce in that.
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Offline roguenationpatriot

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2011, 01:57:26 PM »
Has anyone tried the Colonial spruce beer recipe from Zymurgy magazine a few months back?
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Offline dean

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2011, 03:27:32 PM »
Interesting.... I have a few acres of spruce I might just experiment with.   :D

Offline tubercle

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2011, 04:01:16 PM »
 Tubercle has only dumped one beer in his brewing life because he thinks even bad beer is good -  it was the pine needle ale, AKA turpentine.


 It consisted of a basic cream ale recipe and all the fresh pine needles you can hold in 2 hands. A wee bit too much pine. Go easy.
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Offline bo

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2011, 06:45:33 PM »
Bo thinks pine spiced beer is a bad idea.

Offline stihler

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2011, 06:47:38 PM »
Quote
Spruce is supposed to best and your are correct about the new growth aspect.

However, if the tips were exposed to the boil for a short time (last 15 minutes?) maybe the harsher components could be avoided.

A short boil used to be the common belief. However, Pete Devaris who is pretty much the authority on spruce beers recommends boiling for about an hour.

I've judged an American Pale Ale with spruce that he brewed and it was awesome. The surprising thing about it was that although it was highly hopped the spruce still came through.

Pete recommends Sitka Spruce. I've used white spruce and the beers came out pretty good. However, I have yet to try the extended boiling that Pete recommends.

If you are serious about brewing a spruce beer I recommend searching the Forum for Pete Devaris and reading all the posts with respect to his spruce beer suggestions.

Spruce beers are good. Pine beers scare the willies out of me. Yuck!

I hope this helps!

- Scott
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 02:39:27 PM by stihler »
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2011, 08:25:19 PM »
I boil my spruce tips for an hour, as directed by Pete Devaris.  it works great, turns out really nice.  His wife even makes a great spruce tip jelly by boiling the tips for an hour and then (presumably) straining out the tips and adding gelatin.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline EHall

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2011, 05:00:55 PM »
what about adding simcoe?!
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Offline aviking427

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Re: Christmas Tree IPA
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2011, 08:38:26 AM »
Any thought to using Juniper Berries? You should be able to get them year round from any decent spice joint.
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