I was just wondering how one goes about adding other stuff – meaning things other than grains, hops, yeast, and the other normal components – to one’s beer.
One of the last two batches I brewed, which caused me to pause and reconsider how I go about brewing, was meant to be a spruce beer. I used a recipe I found online as a guide. It called for adding spruce tips not only to the boiling wort, but to the fermenter as well, as if dry hopping. I soaked the spruce tips in a sanitizer solution first, rinsed them, and then added them to the fermenter. It did not go well. Instead of the pleasant piney/citrusy flavor and aroma I was expecting, the beer tastes as if I put a small dead mouse in every bottle. It is unspeakably foul, and it has not improved with age.
Obviously I did something wrong, but I’m at a loss to determine what. Sanitizer should have done the trick, right? I know that there are plenty of interesting things added to beer. What is the generally accepted method for doing so, while preventing the brew from acquiring a dead-mouse flavor?