Spruce Beer Homebrew Recipe (made with spruce tips) (2024)

May contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my privacy policy and affiliate disclosure.

Originally published on. Last updated on

Jump to Recipe Print Recipe

Homebrewing is one of my favorite things to do, but I especially love it when I can incorporate foraged ingredients. I came across some nice big spruce tips recently, and when I saw them I immediately knew what I was going to make with them: spruce beer! Homemade spruce beer has been something that I’ve been wanting to make for some time, but it just hadn’t happened yet until now. This spruce beer recipe isn’t complicated and the end result is delicious!

Spruce Beer Homebrew Recipe (made with spruce tips) (1)

Harvesting Spruce Tips

Spruce tips are the bright green new growth on the end of spruce tree branches in the springtime.

Using spruce tips in this recipe is preferred, but they are generally only available for a short time during the spring. Exactly when to find them varies from location to location depending on your climate.

Warmer regions will get spruce tips in late winter or early spring, and cooler regions in late spring or possibly even during the summertime.

Related:

Spruce Beer Homebrew Recipe (made with spruce tips) (2)

Try not to pick more than a small handful of spruce tips off of each mature tree, and avoid taking any tips from smaller trees.

If it’s the wrong time of year for spruce tips, you can use spruce cuttings from the older growth. The flavor will be different, a little more piney perhaps, but still good.

You can also use the tips or older growth of any edible conifer, such as pine, fir, or hemlock (the tree, not the poisonous plant). Be sure to avoid the yew tree as it is toxic.

Spruce Beer Recipe

This is not a traditional beer recipe that uses hops and malt, but more of an old-fashioned foraged brew.

Feel free to add in some hops and malt if you are looking for more of a beer-like flavor. I really wanted the flavor of the spruce to shine in this recipe which is why I made it this way.

This recipe calls for champagne yeast, but you can also use a wild yeast starter in the same manner that I did in this mugwort lemon beer recipe instead.

Before you start brewing, you will need some equipment. Sanitizer is important, and a one gallon jug with airlock is needed for fermenting. Check out my page on mead brewing and bottling equipment for more.

How to Make Spruce Tip Beer

Mix the water, brown sugar, and spruce tips in a large pot. Cut and squeeze the lemon into the pot. Bring to a boil and let it boil for 30 minutes.

Place the pot into a pan of ice water until the wort has cooled to room temperature, about 70°F (21°C).

Spruce Beer Homebrew Recipe (made with spruce tips) (3)

Strain the wort into a one gallon jug, leaving 2-3 inches of head space at the top, then add the yeast. Cap the jug with a lid and give it a few shakes to combine and aerate.

Put a bit of water in the airlock to the line, then position it on the jug. Let the spruce beer ferment for at least 2-3 weeks, until the bubbles in the jug have slowed significantly but not completely.

Spruce Beer Homebrew Recipe (made with spruce tips) (4)

Bottle the beer using the bottling instructions on this page. Let the bottles sit for 3-4 weeks before drinking. Serve cold!

I really love how this spruce beer turned out! It has a pleasant and barely sweet pine-like flavor without being overwhelming. The champagne yeast makes it quite dry, which is how I prefer it.

It’s refreshing when served cold and has a wonderful bubbly carbonation to it.

Spruce Beer Homebrew Recipe (made with spruce tips) (5)

Even though spruce tips aren’t in season in the fall, this would be an excellent recipe to make for the holidays with any type of conifer needle.

I hope you try this spruce beer recipe. If you do, let me know what you think!

If you enjoy foraging for spruce tips and other conifer needles, here are

MoreHomebrewing Recipes

Ready for your next brewing adventure? Try one of these tasty recipes!

  • Root Beer
  • Apple Ginger Beer
  • Mugwort Lemon Beer

Spruce Beer Homebrew Recipe (made with spruce tips) (6)

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

4.12 from 42 votes

Spruce Beer

This homemade spruce beer is made with foraged spruce tips and fermented in a one gallon jug.

Course Drinks

Cuisine American

Prep Time 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time 1 hour hour

Fermenting Time 21 days days

Total Time 1 hour hour 5 minutes minutes

Servings 13 servings

Calories 140kcal

Author Colleen @ Grow Forage Cook Ferment

Ingredients

US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  • Before you begin, sanitize all of your brewing equipment.

  • Mix the water, brown sugar, and spruce tips in a large pot. Cut and squeeze the lemon into the pot. Bring to a boil and let it boil for 30 minutes.

  • Place the pot into a pan of ice water until the wort has cooled to room temperature, about 70°F (21°C).

  • Strain the wort into a one gallon jug, leaving 2-3 inches of head space at the top, then add the yeast. Cap the jug with a lid and give it a few shakes to combine and aerate.

  • Put a bit of water in the airlock to the line, then position it on the jug. Let the spruce beer ferment for at least 2-3 weeks, until the bubbles in the jug have slowed significantly but not completely.

  • Bottle the beer using the bottling instructions on this page. Let the bottles sit for 3-4 weeks before drinking. Serve cold!

Notes

Store beer in a cold, dark place to extend the shelf life to 1+ years.

Nutrition

Serving: 12ounces | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 61mg | Sugar: 35g | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Spruce Beer Homebrew Recipe (made with spruce tips) (2024)

FAQs

How much spruce tips to add to beer? ›

So if you were brewing a porter or a stout it would probably be recommended to go with 2lbs or so. For a lighter beer 1lb should be fine. The young spruce tips that we harvest are not harsh, piney or resiny.

What kind of spruce for spruce beer? ›

Today Sitka spruce, native to the northwest coast of North America, tends to be favored, although other species of spruce have also been used. Lighter, more citrus-like flavors are produced by using the bright green fresh spring growth before the new needles and twigs harden and become woody.

Can you ferment spruce tips? ›

Fermented Spruce Tip Syrup

To make your syrup ferment, add ½ cup (4 oz) water to the basic proportions below, or just enough water so that the spruce tips are just barely covered with liquid from the get-go. Anywhere from ⅓ to ½ cup of water will do the trick.

What flavors go with spruce tips? ›

FRUIT + SPRUCE PAIRINGS
  • CITRUS: Grapefruit, Tangerine.
  • TROPICAL: Mango, Passion Fruit, Pineapple.
  • STONE FRUIT: Peach, Plum.
  • BERRY: Blackberry, Raspberry.
  • OTHER: Rhubarb, Watermelon.

How do you use spruce tips? ›

They can be cooked into a sweet syrup and mixed with co*cktails or used as a medicinal oral syrup because of their high amounts of Vitamin C. Spruce tips can also be pickled to help diffuse the intensity of the flavor and enjoyed later as snacks, on salads or sandwiches.

Do spruce tips need water? ›

Spruce tops are not actively growing, so they do not need to be watered. However, helpful to water them slightly to freeze in place. Use 'Wilt Stop' to prevent the moisture from coming out of the needles because the spruce tops will last longer.

How alcoholic is spruce beer? ›

Contrary to what its name suggests, spruce beer is a fir-flavoured, non-alcoholic fizzy drink.

What are the benefits of spruce beer? ›

Spruce contains Vitamin C (as do hemlock, pine, juniper, and lots of other evergreens). Spruce beer was introduced to America by the colonial military, as a practical and economic means to keep soldiers happy and scurvy-free.

What does spruce tip beer taste like? ›

Lots of piney, resinous notes, which many craft beer fans have come to expect from New World hops. As one online rater put it in a review of Ballast Point's Spruce Tip Sculpin: “Like regular Sculpin, but more dank.”

How do you infuse spruce tips? ›

Directions. To make the spruce syrup, combine the sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium heat until the sugar is melted and fully dissolved into the water. Place the spruce tips in a heat safe container and pour the hot sugar syrup over it. Cover and let sit for as long as possible to infuse the flavor.

How long do spruce tips last? ›

If you have a few bags of spruce tips in the freezer, now is the time to use them before the harvesting season begins again. Two of the best ways to freeze spruce tips is to bag them up in plastic freezer baggies or to vacuum seal them and then freeze. Spruce tips can last up to one year.

What are spruce tips for brewing? ›

Use Like Hops

You can use spruce tips much like you would use any hop. Add fresh tips, and possibly small cut twigs and branches to pickup more of the earthy bitter resin, to different parts of your boil. Then add fresh spruce tips only, to the end of the boil for aroma additions.

What is the difference between pine tips and spruce tips? ›

This is an easy tip to remember: on pine trees, needles are attached and attached to the branches in clusters; on spruce trees, needles are attached individually. A longleaf pine – which you can tell is a pine because its needles are attached in bundles.

When can you harvest spruce tips? ›

The key to cooking with the tips of evergreen trees is to harvest them when they first begin to emerge from their brown papery casings. At this stage, spruce tips are very tender and have a fresh flavor that tastes lightly of resin with hints of citrus.

How much terpenes to add to beer? ›

Suggested use rates are 0.01% to 0.02% (w/v) of terpenes to beer.

How much flavoring to add to beer? ›

We usually go by a 1 to 1 ratio. So if your bottle calls for 2 teaspoons of sugar for carbonation then you would add 2 teaspoons of honey. Any more and you could risk over carbonating the beer. If you are using the Monin Flavor Syrups just check to see if yours is sugar-free or not.

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Carlyn Walter

Last Updated:

Views: 6219

Rating: 5 / 5 (50 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carlyn Walter

Birthday: 1996-01-03

Address: Suite 452 40815 Denyse Extensions, Sengermouth, OR 42374

Phone: +8501809515404

Job: Manufacturing Technician

Hobby: Table tennis, Archery, Vacation, Metal detecting, Yo-yoing, Crocheting, Creative writing

Introduction: My name is Carlyn Walter, I am a lively, glamorous, healthy, clean, powerful, calm, combative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.