For this beer I again enlisted the help of Eric The Barter (who may also be referred to as Eric The Forager) to scare up some fresh Pacific Northwest spruce tips. Not only did he come through for this beer, but Eric found enough spruce for Gregory and I to brew a second spruce tip beer in the near future (we intend to make the second one without any hops).
For this beer though, I decided on a light pale ale frame with some flaked oats for body and some crystal 120 for color adjustment. I decided to focus on Simcoe hops late in the boil and as a dry-hop for their notes of pine, citrus, and earth, which satisfyingly compliments the spruce.
According to Brewtoad I should have hit a target original gravity of 1.053 for a beer of about 5.0% ABV; however, I only hit 1.034 and finished with a beer of about 4.1% ABV. This isn’t the first time I’ve missed my gravity using Brewtoad’s estimates for recipes with flaked grains; I think they might anticipate more fermentables from these types of grains than what is actually produced because I usually hit or overshoot my gravities otherwise. That being the case, I now have a delicious session ale with spruce tips!
Spruce Springsteen — Spruce Tip Session Ale
Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 10.50
Anticipated OG: 1.053
Anticipated SRM: 8.0
Anticipated IBU: 32.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes
80% – 8.50 Lbs. American 2-Row Pale Ale
09% – 1.00 Lb. White Wheat
04% – 0.50 Lbs. Flaked Oats
04% – 0.50 Lbs. Crystal 120L
0.50 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 90 min (first wort).
0.50 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 20 min.
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop).
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
6.00 oz. Spruce Tips @ 15 min.
2.00 oz. Spruce Tips @ 5 days (dry hop).
White Labs WLP051 – California V Ale Yeast
0.20 tsp Calcium Chloride
0.30 tsp Gypsum
Single Infusion – 60 min @ 153F
04.21.15 — Late starter made night before brewday without sufficient time to culture up
Brewed on 04.22.15
04.22.15 — Chilled wort to 60F and pitched the California V Ale Yeast
04.25.15 — Signs of moderate fermentation activity
05.03.15 — Transferred to secondary and added dry-hops and 2.00 oz. spruce tips
05.08.15 — Kegged the beer and began force carbonating
This beer turned out great; light and crisp with body enough to seem a bit stronger ABV-wise. The earthy, fruity spruce melds perfectly with the delicious Simcoe hops. I’d make this one again.
Calculated OG: 1.034
Calculated FG: 1.003
Approx. ABV: 4.1%