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Spruce Campbell Ale: A Spruce Beer Recipe & Notes

Spruce Campbell Ale is a unique bottling flavored with spruce tips harvested from our own backyard tree and named after ‘B’ Horror movie icon Bruce Campbell of Evil Dead fame. Tart and refreshing with a touch of malt sweetness, it is reminiscent of a Flanders Red Ale.

Fresh Spruce tips are picked in early May and used right away or frozen until brewing time in late summer. You might imagine a beer brewed with spruce tips would taste like pine resin but in fact the tips add a citrus-like flavor and acidity akin to lemon. The tips also contain tannins which help structure the beer. There are no hops used.

The malt bill is based on a Bell’s Best Brown clone. I don’t recall why I chose this particular malt base but it couldn’t have worked out any better. The resulting balance is rather wine-like which may account for its popularity among people who aren’t serious beer drinkers.

Famous among a half dozen of my close friends, the word about Spruce Campbell’s delicious intensity is spreading like wildfire across internet communities. Actually, only one person asked me for the recipe but I wanted to post the pretty pictures again.

Recipe for six gallons of Spruce Campbell:

5 lbs. pale malt
2 lbs. Maris Otter
1 lb. Victory
1 lb. caramel 60°L
14 oz. special roast
2 oz. chocolate

Single infusion mash. Add 0.75 oz. of spruce tips at 60, 45, 20 and 10 minutes boil for a total of three ounces. (Spruce tips can be adjusted down to as low as 1.5 ounces for a less sour beer)

Best enjoyed during an Evil Dead Trilogy marathon.

Posted on 2010.04.25 by Todd Abrams at 3:06 pm
This entry was posted in GUD Blog and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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3 Responses to Spruce Campbell Ale: A Spruce Beer Recipe & Notes

Henry Vance says:

What yeast did you use?

2011.10.27 at 4:30 pm | Reply

    Todd says:

    I have used multiple yeast strains, all White Labs and all in the English ale family, without any notable difference in the finished beer. The spruce tips really take over the aroma and flavor with their citrus-like characteristics. I do mash at about 148 degrees F to extract more fermentable sugars from the grain.

    2011.10.28 at 8:34 am | Reply

James Thalacker says:

What was your OG and FG and what was your approx. SRM and ABV ? Thanks , I want to brew it. Jim T

2013.01.03 at 10:57 pm | Reply

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