This is my absolute favourite thing to do, a confluence of native flavours, beer, camping, bush bashing and some solid family time, with the excuse of making beer.
We didn’t want to just carbon copy last years Pine beer, so we thought we could reuse some of the 2022 harvest timbre, smoke some, toast some and add to both the hot and cold sides.
As with 2022, we harvested a bin load of fresh pine tips from the farm. These tips are loaded with sappy pine flavours that complement beer so well and were chucked in the mash. We then shaved a fresh layer off the rustic kuurna we made last year, which has spent all year collecting flavours from the brewery 😜. Wort was run through the kuurna, collected in a hop back full of more tips. Also in the hop back was some smoked 2022 timbre. Sections cut into short lengths were smoked on pine, until a medium toast was achieved. This helps to unlock vanilla, cinnamon and caramel flavours from the wood. I definitely got a solid whack of red cedar after smoking, which is very exciting.
After ferment, we are going to toast some more staves from 2022 and 2023. Using a combi oven, with indirect heat we can toast the timbre without getting any smoke flavours. We are hoping to achieve a chewy oak like character from this. The staves will then be rested on the beer in brite until whatever flavour comes out is integrated into the beer.
It’s a big old Pine Beer, ready for Christmas cheer and at 10% will keep you happy through the holidays regardless of how many in-laws are coming over.