New Spruce Experience

This is a pretty straight forward, Azacca heavy, hoppy pale that I added foraged spruce tips to post-boil.  The hops schedule resembles those of my recent “juice”, or New England, or hazy pales/IPAs, but the grain bill forgoes the flaked grain adjuncts.  As with most of my recent quick turn-around beers, this brew underwent dry hopping (and in this case the addition of the spruce tips) in primary.  I then cold crashed the beer in a chest freezer before kegging.

Recipe and tasting notes follow:

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 6.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.50
Anticipated OG: 1.044
Anticipated SRM: 2.0
Anticipated IBU: 12
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

89.47% — 8.50 Lbs. 2-Row (US)
10.53% — 1.00 Lbs. White Wheat

Hops

0.30 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 13.6% AA) @ 60 min. (First Wort)
7.00 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 13.6% AA) @ 20 min. (Whirlpool)
2.00 oz. Vic Secret (Pellet, 15.5% AA) @ 9 days (Dry hop)
1.00 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 13.6% AA) @ 9 days (Dry hop)
4.20 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 5 days (Dry hop)

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.

Yeast

Imperial A24 — Dry Hop

Water Profile

Seattle
1.60g Calcium Chloride
3.00g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 156F
Mash out — 10 min @ 170F

Notes

Brewed on 08.08.18 with Gregory & Jensen

08.12.18 — Added the first round of dry hops to primary during active fermentation

08.16.18 — Added the second round of dry hops & the spruce tips to primary

08.20.18 — Cold crashed the carboy in the AM then kegged the batch in the PM and put into kegerator

08.21.18 — Hooked the keg to pressure and set it at 12PSI

Tasting Notes — 10.01.18 (on draft)

Unfiltered, pale straw color in appearance (looks more orange in photos), but not overly hazy.  Moderate white head stand that dissipates.  No lacing.  Spruce is dominant on the nose with undertones of grapefruit, mango, and Fruitstripes gum.  Spicy-Earthy spruce up front on the palate, gives way to juicy guava-like tropical notes.  Mandarin orange pith and resinous pine notes meld on the bitter, off-dry, lingering finish.

Calculated OG: 1.045
Calculated FG: 1.008
Approx. ABV: 4.80%

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Spruce Campbell — 100% Spruce tip Saison

Spruce Campbell 01The second of our beers to include spruce tips, Spruce Campbell, is a nod to our favorite Bruce (Campbell’s cheesiness is intentional, especially by the time of Army of Darkness, Springsteen’s isn’t — though we love him as well), thus in its epic nature it did not include any hops.  Instead of hops, Gregory and I decided to make spruce additions throughout the boil, using two different species of spruce tips that Eric the Barter/Forager foraged for us.

The first of these varieties (used in Spruce Springsteen) offers notes of citrus akin to grapefruit and tangerine, whereas the second is reminiscent of pine and earth.  The resulting beer features a massive 22.55 oz. of spruce tips total and utilizes blonde Belgian candi sugar to help dry out the body in the absence of hops’ balancing bittering properties.  Check out the recipe and tasting notes below:

Spruce Campbell 02Spruce Campbell — 100% Spruce tip Saison

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 12.00
Anticipated OG: 1.062
Anticipated SRM: 3.0
Anticipated IBU: 0.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

83% – 10.00 Lbs. US 2-Row
08% – 1.00 Lbs. Blonde Belgian Candi Sugar
04% – 0.50 Lbs. Carapils
04% — 0.50 Lbs. Honey Malt

Hops

None

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
Spruce Tips — 2.0 oz. @ 60 min.
Spruce Tips — 4.0 oz. @ 30 min.
Spruce Tips — 5.0 oz. @ 15 min.
Spruce Tips — 5.0 oz. @ 1 min.
Spruce Tips — 6.55 oz. @ 8 days (dry spruce)

Yeast

Wyeast 3711 – French Saison

Water Profile

Seattle
0.20 tsp Calcium Chloride
0.30 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 151F

Notes

05.19.15 — Made a 1L starter with 1 Wyeast 3711 packet.  Brewtoad suggests 236 billion cells to ferment 5.5 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed on 05.21.15 with Gregory

05.21.15 — Chilled wort to 70F and pitched the French Saison yeast, put the fermentor onto the brewbelt

05.23.15 — Signs of vigorous fermentation activity

06.01.15 — Transferred into secondary after 10 day primary fermentation, added 6.55 oz. spruce tips, and took off the brewbelt

06.08.15 — Kegged and began carbonating

Tasting Notes — 07. 07.15

An explosion of Belgian yeast esters and tropical fruitiness on the nose with a hint of banana in the background.  Palate leans on the sweet side at the start, despite the Belgian candi sugar, with massive fruit notes reminiscent of Fruit Stripes bubble gum and blueberries.  Some Belgian yeast spiciness enters the picture and helps to dry out the finish which lingers with notes of ripe mango and a slight boozy warmth.

Calculated OG: 1.056
Calculated FG: 1.004
Approx. ABV: 6.8%

Spruce Springsteen — Spruce Tip Session Ale

Spruce TipsFor 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

Recipe Specifics

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

Grain

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

Hops

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).

Extras

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).

Yeast

White Labs WLP051 – California V Ale Yeast

Water Profile

Seattle
0.20 tsp Calcium Chloride
0.30 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 153F

Notes

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

Lavender Spruce SpringsteenTasting Notes

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%