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Brewing with Cedar boughs....
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    Has anyone used cedar boughs in their beer? I am getting ready to brew a Gotlandsdricka as soon as I can find some juniper boughs and berries. I have realized there is a cedar tree near my house, and thought that would be interesting to try in the spirit of local ingredients and terroir, or whatever they call it.

    I tried to do some searching online checking to see if cedar was toxic, as I will be boiling some, or at least using in hot water. There seem to be some who believe it is not toxic at all, and others who say it is. Does anyone have any experience with this, or know anything about cedar and it's toxicity? I would like to try a sahati style ale with some cedar, as long as iy doesn't poison me, and even then it might be worth trying.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,080
    interesting.....
    I would stick the boughs in the first runnings... and leave them there through about the first ten minutes of the boil...
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,572
    sounds like a question for frydogboobs. but since people have been grilling stuff on cedar planks for a long time now with no issues, i'm inclined to believe it should be fine.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,080

    sounds like a question for frydogboobs. but since people have been grilling stuff on cedar planks for a long time now with no issues, i'm inclined to believe it should be fine.



    That's what I was thinking
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    Good point.

    I was thinking of lining my mash tun with them, but I may also stick them in the first runnings. Thanks for the input. I'll let you know if I die.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,080
    Evan_B said:

    Good point.

    I was thinking of lining my mash tun with them, but I may also stick them in the first runnings. Thanks for the input. I'll let you know if I die.



    log in before you drink it.... if there is a long pause without a post... I'll call 911
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    cedar is not toxic, at least not in any amount you're going to get to and be able to ingest it.
    I cook with cedar berries all the time and frequently chomp on the stems when i am hiking in the winter.
    The problem with toxicity that you are having is that, technically, it is toxic, but it's all about the dose*.
    The spice Rosemary is the exact same way. If you ingest an ounce of dried rosemary, you die. (but you can't possibly ingest that much without puking it all back up)
    Same with cedar. If you are able to extract enough of the oils to be dangerous, you won't be able to take a second sip because it will taste like piney/tarry dog poop.

    *Disclaimer, I might be full of shit. You don't know me other than some strikingly handsome, successful author botanist.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,080
    I am going to laugh about the above post for days ....
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,572

    If you are able to extract enough of the oils to be dangerous, you won't be able to take a second sip because it will taste like piney/tarry dog poop.



    so, west coast ipa is the flavor you're describing? :D
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617

    If you are able to extract enough of the oils to be dangerous, you won't be able to take a second sip because it will taste like piney/tarry dog poop.



    so, west coast ipa is the flavor you're describing? :D


    Hey! You just watch your filthy mouth!
    Jesus didn't wear pants
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312

    If you are able to extract enough of the oils to be dangerous, you won't be able to take a second sip because it will taste like piney/tarry dog poop.



    so, west coast ipa is the flavor you're describing? :D


    HAHA.


    Well I appreciate the input from everyone, and the offer to call 911 if need be! One thing @frydogbrews said that worries me some is that fact that he eats the berries. The tree I was thinking to be cedar has no berries whatsoever. Perhaps it is not even cedar? I feel kind of dumb now. I guess I need to do some arbor-ism research.

    I think I am going to make beer with it whatever it turns out to be.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    Here is said greenery in question:

    photo (7).JPG
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    photo (6).JPG
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    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,336
    that doesnt strike me as a true cedar, looks more like a juniper. but that would still produce berries/cones.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I looks like a cedar to me, probably Konardi Juniper from the form. Berries are only on female trees, so it is probably male if it does not have berries on it. Gin is made with cedar so can't be all bad. I've cooked with the wood plants, but those are dry so most of the oils are gone, however most of the oils are in the leaves. The leaves are very flammable, lots of fun to burn, especially standing live trees. I'd have to agree with Fry re: dosage. Go for it.
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    cedars are junipers, so lake is correct. Benvarine is even more correct. and when cedar is used for making gin, it's at the very top of the still, the part that isn't supposed to get above 170. You're boiling it, so taking it even higher. You're all good.
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    Phew, cause I brewed it this past weekend, haha. It has a very interesting hazy orange hue to it.

    Thanks to everyone who gave advice on the matter. I looked forward to not being poisoned because of you all.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,572
    Evan_B said:

    Phew, cause I brewed it this past weekend, haha. It has a very interesting hazy orange hue to it.

    Thanks to everyone who gave advice on the matter. I looked forward to not being poisoned because of you all.



    and we look forward to you not being a corpse, so we can get a decent review of the final product. zombies spell worse than jerry!
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,336
    Consider it a well controlled experiment. Let us know when this thing is ready to try. I'll notify the authorities if you take a hiatus from the site afterward.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 74,317
    Lakewood said:

    Consider it a well controlled experiment. Let us know when this thing is ready to try. I'll notify the authorities if you take a hiatus from the site afterward.



    Has it been too long yet?
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,336

    Lakewood said:

    Consider it a well controlled experiment. Let us know when this thing is ready to try. I'll notify the authorities if you take a hiatus from the site afterward.



    Has it been too long yet?


    We should probably call it in now.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 74,317
    Lakewood said:

    Lakewood said:

    Consider it a well controlled experiment. Let us know when this thing is ready to try. I'll notify the authorities if you take a hiatus from the site afterward.



    Has it been too long yet?


    We should probably call it in now.


    Okay. Get on that.
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,572
    dibs on all his gear! and the non-poison beers.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    Haha.

    Still not dead, through no fault of my own!

    Haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I should probably take a Gravity reading soon. Maybe I will do that tonight...
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    Checked the gravity - 1.010 after 11 days.
    If that holds true then this will end up being like 2.7% ABV, haha.
    I have been experimenting low ABV, dry finishing beers. Being a Diabetic, myself, I feel like this would be a neat project to undertake, so most of my beers have been "sessionable" ales I guess.

    Anyways, it does not drink like 2.4%. It has quite a bit of body to it. As far as flavor goes, I really cannot describe it, sorry for a lack of climatic verbiage. The smoked flavor and cedar/juniper play so well with each other I am little taken back. I really like this beer thus far, and can't wait to see how it develops in the bottle. The smell is mostly smoke with not much from the boughs. I am pretty excited right now, not the worst sample I have ever tasted.


    Also, I am not dead.
    photo (8).JPG
    1280 x 960 - 452K
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,336
    Evan_B said:

    Checked the gravity - 1.010 after 11 days.
    If that holds true then this will end up being like 2.7% ABV, haha.
    I have been experimenting low ABV, dry finishing beers. Being a Diabetic, myself, I feel like this would be a neat project to undertake, so most of my beers have been "sessionable" ales I guess.

    Anyways, it does not drink like 2.4%. It has quite a bit of body to it. As far as flavor goes, I really cannot describe it, sorry for a lack of climatic verbiage. The smoked flavor and cedar/juniper play so well with each other I am little taken back. I really like this beer thus far, and can't wait to see how it develops in the bottle. The smell is mostly smoke with not much from the boughs. I am pretty excited right now, not the worst sample I have ever tasted.


    Also, I am not dead.



    cograts on the good sample flavor profile and the not dead part.

    sorry to hear about the diabetes. so low ABV plays better with diabetes or the dry finish? i literally no nothing about diabetes other than it's bad.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    Its kind of a double-edged sword.

    Alcohol counteracts glucose in the blood, which causes a diabetics (type I) blood sugar to drop. On the other hand, beers that finish sweet have the residual sugar in solution, which raises blood sugar. It seems like this would just cancel each other out, but they function at different times.
    My thinking is that if I can keep the ABV low and final gravities lower (dryer beer with less residual sugar) it will have less of a drastic effect on my blood sugar. Anyways, thats the thinking. This has not been confirmed by a doctor or anything.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.