Spruce Ale (version 3.0)

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

This is my third batch of spruce ale. The base recipe is solid, but I like to switch up the spruce and hops in each version.

This year, I am going for a truly spruced-out beer. My hope is to have it taste/smell like you are drinking an xmas tree.The ginger and aroma hops have been dropped and the spruce amounts have been kicked way up. I may even have to “dry spruce” a little.

For 12 gallons (started as 10, read below)

  • 20 lbs 2 row
  • 3 lbs Vienna
  • 1 lb victory
  • 0.5 lbs oats
  • Protein Rest @ 130 for 20 min (see notes below)
  • Mashed @ 153 for 60 min

60min boil

  • 1.7 oz nugget @ 45
  • 20oz spruce @ 30
  • 20oz spruce @ 20
  • 20oz spruce @ 10

WyEast London ESB yeast

Brew Notes

Two things were a bit different during this brew session:

First, I decided to use the “recommended” 7+ gallons of strike water. Normally, I simply add water until it looks like thin oatmeal. This time, the tun was filled and … for some reason, I couldn’t get the temps right. It resulted in 20 minutes of 130 degree “protein rest” before I could boil more hot water the bring it up to the proper 153 degrees.

The dough in seemed to greatly increase the efficiency – so, I decided to do the second item and take a gravity reading before the boil. Turns out that I already  had 12.5 gallons of 1.054.

Seeing as I wanted an OG of 1.055 – I decided to make this a 12 gallon batch, rather then the original 10. The hops were adjusted accordingly. I also boiled 2 extra gallons of water to replace what boiled off.

Otherwise, everything went smoothly :)


8 Responses to “Spruce Ale (version 3.0)”

  1. nagmay Says:

    Just noticed that the scale shows 1.5oz of hops. That was the correct amount for 10gal. I did end up adding another 0.2oz to make the total 1.7oz

    This gives the beer a calculated bitterness of 35IBU.

    All of the aroma will be from the spruce. I hope that I added enough.

  2. Brandon Says:


  3. Gina Says:

    Where the hell did you get spruce tips this time of year???

  4. nagmay Says:

    Let’s see how this one tastes in two weeks. If it turns out, I would be glad to send you a bottle for festivus!

    They were picked in May and have been sitting in my freezer. Seemed to hold up really well. Here is a photo from when we originally gathered them: http://twitpic.com/1jspez

  5. Spruce Tip Brew « Rooftop Brew Says:

    […] for. So I started formulating for a bigger dark winter beer. Then a coworker posted a comment about completing a spruce beer, so I pinged him to see where he’d collected the spruce from. He’d harvested in the […]

  6. gabriel nagmay (dot com) | Archive » Spruce Ale (version 3.0) Update Says:

    […] been about a week and a half since I brewed up the newest version of the Spruce Ale. The fermentation had slowed, meaning that it was time to rack the beer. Below, I will list some […]

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    […] of my very favorite items ever brewed was the Spruce Tip ale that accidentally went sour. We’re going to try and recreate it, but also go a step further: […]

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