hist-brewing: Brewing herbs

Jeff Renner jsrenner at umich.edu
Fri Apr 13 13:30:21 PDT 2007

Good to see activity on this list.

Mike O'Brien, owner of picoBrewing Systems, brews spruce beer  
regularly.  Often he does at festivals wearing (American) colonial  
garb, mashing in a half barrel with a hole in the bottom and a  
broomstick stopper, then boiling in an iron cauldron.

He uses spruce boughs in the bottom of the mash barrel as a false  
bottom.  It gives a delightfully subtle flavor that is not  
immediately recognizable as "Christmas tree."  More of a light lemon  
peel, perhaps.

He then hops the beer as usual.

This is a fine flavor, and nothing like the spruce beers I've had  
with spruce boughs in the boiler, or, worse, made with spruce  
extract.  Some of those taste like Pinesol.  Well, like I imagine  
Pinesol tastes.

Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, jsrenner at umich.edu
"One never knows, do one?"  Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943

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