Is it possible to know IBU's for Spruce or pine needles?
I have just completed a homebrew where I used fresh pine needles for my beer. In a 5 gallon batch I used 1.25oz of Willamette for bittering and then at 25mins into the boil I added one pint glass full of freshly picked needles as flavoring. To end I added 1oz of Willamette for aroma. The problem is when I do the calcuations it comes out as 15 IBU's, but I know it is wrong because I can only count hops and not the needles. Anyone who knows a way, I'd love to hear it! Thanx.
Well I know of a complicated way to do it. If you can find a recipe that includes pine needles (very hard since most recipes use essence) you can calculate the hop IBU's based on the %alpha information given in the ingredients list. The remaining IBU's would be from the needles. And you could sort of figure out a generic bitterness for a given amount of needles. Just apply that to any recipe you brew. It won't be exact, but it will give you an idea. I honestly don't know if most people include the pine bitterness in their IBU calculations, since they would have to know what that is. And since you are here asking this question I would assume nobody really knows. You'll basically have to double check the math in any recipe you find in order to see if there was any consideration given to the pine or spruce.