From the HBD Archive
From: cook@uars.DNET.NASA.GOV (Chris Cook, NMOS Quality Engineer - (301)386-7807)
Subject: Spruce Beer Questions
Date: 1992-06-18 13:21:04 GMT

I have made many beers using spruce extract and I like them a
lot, but I've got some questions about technique.

The first spruce-flavored beer I made was Papazian's Goat
Scrotum Ale, simply as a lark. I added the spruce essence (1 oz)
at the beginning of the boil, as directed, and the kitchen was
filled with this marvelous aroma that I'd never have connected with
a tree.

The beer was great. The spruce was surprisingly subtle, and
I strongly recommend it for those who like richly flavored beers.
I've made a batch every year or so since then.

This year I had a brainstorm. Hey, I said, I love the smell
during the boil, but am I boiling off all those great aromatics?
What if I added the essence at the end instead of the beginning?

So it goes. I added the essence with the finishing hops
(shedding a manly tear for the lost smells) and proceeded as usual,
although I did a little dry-hopping this batch. Looked good so
far. When I sampled the ale a week later I realized that I had
been right - the batch was more aromatic.

Much more. I still like it, but I'm afraid that it'll be too
strong for my guests. This is a major disappointment, since this
style was always one of my 'show-off' beers for new homebrew
drinkers. I hope things mellow with age.

My question is about timing. When should I add the essence
and how much should I use? Are there two options (add lots early
or a little at the end)? Anyone played around with this?

Chris Cook

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