Spruce Ale (version 3.0) Update

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

It’s 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 observations.



This is one cloudy brew. It almost looks like cider. I remember that the others took a while to clear, but this one is even more extreme. I decided to add a small amount of clarifying agent.

Mouth Feel

Feels a bit too thin – not  much body for this style of ale. Most likely this was caused by the accidental “protein rest” that occurred on brew day.


Hydrometer reads 1.024. Quite a bit higher then calculated FG of 1.014. The strange thing is that the fermentation was strong and at the correct temps. It still may drop down, but if not, we will have a drinkable 4.3ABV (vs 5.5).


This is the real surprise… It does not taste like a pine tree – despite the addition of 3.75lbs of spruce! Instead, it tastes crisp and clean. I would not be able to identify the spruce by the taste or smell. It is more of a citrus flavor – though I can’t decide on which one (not orange, or lemon… perhaps lime-ish?) There is also a slight astringency.

Initially, the plan was  to use more spruce to “dry hop” half the beer. Instead, I decided to use actual hops. 2oz of cascade were added to 5 of the gallons. Another 2 will be added in a week. This is an experiment to see if it helps balance the final beer – remember, there were no aroma hops added during the boil.

Final Thoughts

This is an odd beer with an odd ingredient pushed to an extreme level. I guess that I shouldn’t be surprised when odd things happen. That said, I think it is going to be very drinkable. Let’s check back in a week or two.

5 Responses to “Spruce Ale (version 3.0) Update”

  1. Andy Says:

    If you want to spruce it up, I’ve got some spruce essence. I can bring it in if you want to smell it. I’m sure it won’t be bad as it is though.

  2. gabriel nagmay (dot com) | Archive » Oh no, I have an infection! Says:

    […] Update […]

  3. nagmay Says:

    Bottled the non-infected, dry hopped carboy of spruce all last night. It had been cold crashing in the fridge for several weeks.

    The beer is now light yellow, crystal clear and delicious. The dry hops hit you up front. Then you taste the sweet, citrus-like spruce. 30oz/5gallons turned out to be the magic number!

    Can’t wait to taste it carbonated.

  4. nagmay Says:

    … and the measured FG was 1.015 – much closer to what I expected to see.

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

    […] Spruce ale – dry hopping […]

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