hist-brewing: Spruce Ale

Spencer W. Thomas spencer at umich.edu
Fri Jul 7 06:36:10 PDT 2000


A friend here makes a "colonial" spruce ale.  He mashes and lauters in a half a
wooden barrel, with straw and spruce branches acting as the filter bed.  Water is
heated and the wort is boiled in a copper cauldron over a wood fire.

The perhaps unexpected result of putting the spruce *in the mash* is the subtle,
pleasant spruce flavor that results.  He does not need to wait for spring to get
the new tips. He fills a large "grocery bag" (sorry for those of you not in the
US for this unit of measure -- I think these are about 1/6 bushel or 6 liters)
with needle-covered branches.  This much spruce in the boil would result in a
totally undrinkable beverage, but by putting it in the mash, he produces a very
drinkable result.

Give it a try, and I think you'll agree.

=Spencer



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