Brew Your Beer With These Spices

Do you want to add a little spice to your beer? Hops, yeast, and grain may all be used to create a variety of flavours, but occasionally it's enjoyable to add a little extra. Orange peel and coriander have long been a staple in Belgian wheat beers. The colder months in the US bring dark, robust beer with flavours like apple pie or pumpkin pie. Today, we'll examine the best practises for homebrewers to employ when adding spices to their recipes to produce well-balanced and delectable beer. 

Some spices taste best when added to a boiling liquid. In this instance, add the spice 10 minutes before the boil is finished by placing it in a mesh hop bag. Reduce the time to 5 minutes just before the boil is finished, or even as the wort is being taken off the heat, for a softer flavour. If the spice is a pod or seed, a light rolling-pin crush will suffice to release the taste. The spices don't have to be ground into powder. 

Secondary fermentation sometimes includes the addition of spices, and the cooler extraction method can result in a different flavour profile. Two to ten days prior to bottling, these spice additions are frequently simply poured into the secondary fermentation vessel. Before adding the spices to the secondary, give them 30 minutes to soak in just enough vodka to cover them for hygienic purposes. Given that the vodka has already removed several flavours, pour the entire solution into the fermenter. 

Here is a list of some popular brewing spices and how to use them: 

Peppercorns: Even though a homebrew Pale Ale tastes fantastic with a pepper flavour, peppercorns produce a lovely flavour when utilised in Saisons. A single type of peppercorn, such as a green, pink, or white one, can provide a pure flavour profile. One teaspoon will let the character to come through for a 5 gallon batch, whereas half a teaspoon at the very end of the boil will achieve a mild flavour. 

Cinnamon Sticks: The ideal accompaniment to a Winter Warmer or Holiday Ale is a cinnamon stick. Although the distinctive flavour can stand on its own, it also pairs nicely with other flavours like orange peel, vanilla, and Seeds of Paradise. This is a bark, thus boiling it will release tannins that cause lips to pucker. For at least a week, instead, add 2 to 4 sticks to the secondary fermentation container. 

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Orange Peel: Along with coriander, dried orange peel is frequently added to Belgian witbier. In porters and stouts, the fruit flavour also goes well with coffee, chocolate, or roasty flavours. Orange peel variants that are sweet and bitter are frequently seen at homebrew shops. While the bitter version tastes more like a dry orange, the sweet peel will impart a flavour reminiscent of Grand Marnier. Add 1/2 to 1 ounce of peel approximately 10 minutes before the pot comes to a boil for the best flavour extraction. 

Coriander seed: The rich nutty and citrus flavour of coriander seed complements lighter beer varieties particularly well. It gives Belgian Witbier its fiery flavour when combined with dried orange peel. Before used, the dry seeds should be finely crushed. To get the proper crush, I often place them in a Ziploc bag and roll a rolling pin over them a few times. In most cases, 1 ounce is added in the final 10 minutes of boiling. 

Salt: Salt is a particularly unique beer spice and should only be used in moderation after rigorous recipe development. The salt and coriander in Leipzig, Germany's Gose wheat beer work to counteract the lactic acid sourness that is present by nature. Add no more than 1/4 teaspoon of high-quality salt at the very end of the boil if you're brewing a sour wheat beer and want to experiment with salt additions. 

Seeds of Paradise: In special Belgian ales and holiday beers, seeds of paradise are a zingy, peppery flavour. They taste somewhat akin to peppercorns but much livelier in flavour. Despite being tiny, these seeds pack a powerful punch. Use not more than 1/4 teaspoon and add it five minutes before the boil is finished. Try using 1/8 of a teaspoon instead of the full teaspoon if you're preparing a lighter beer; it should still add decent taste. It can be difficult to manually shatter Seeds of Paradise. In the absence of a mortar and pestle, break them open by cleaning out a coffee grinder and spinning it around a few times.