Brown Ale w/Spruce Tips

“Sprucin’ on up” Brown ale with spruce – Alessa Massey

Disclaimer: I stole this intro from Wikipedia.

In the 18th century, British brown ales were brewed to a variety of strengths, with original gravities (OG) ranging from around 1.060 to 1.090.  Around 1800, brewers stopped producing these types of beers as they moved away from using brown malt as a base.  Pale malt, being cheaper because of its higher yield, was used as a base for all beers, including Porter and Stout.

The term “brown ale” was revived at the end of the 19th century when London brewer Mann introduced a beer with that name.  However, the style only became widely brewed in the 1920s.  The brown ales of this period were considerably stronger than most modern English versions.

North American brown ales trace their heritage to American home brewing adaptations of certain northern English beers, and the English influence on American Colonial Ales.

Spruce tips

I am a huge fan of English beers and I had been wanting to do a beer with spruce tips for a while.  After researching different ideas and recipes online, most leaned towards a light style or IPA to pair with the spruce tips.  I wanted to go another way and decided to see if I could coax the spruce flavors out in a darker beer.  It worked surprisingly well.  The spruce tips came through, but without the bitterness.  A good holiday beer.

7.0 gal

  • 9.9 lbs. 2 Row
  • 2.2 lbs. Munich
  • 5.3 oz. Caramel/Crystal 40
  • 5.3 oz. Special B
  • 3.5 oz. Carafa II
  • 0.9 oz. Black Patent
  • 0.7 oz. Roast Barley

Single infusion mash at 153°F for 60 min.

1.35 oz 5.5% Willamette. 60 min (21.1 IBUs)

2 oz. Spruce tips at flameout

Yeast: Edinburgh Ale (White Labs #WLP028)

Fermented at 65 degrees for about 3 weeks

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