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Old 12-23-2013, 04:20 AM   #1
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Default Brewing with spices

I'm brewing an Eggnog Stout in a few days, I have never brewed with spices before. I have cinnamon sticks, ground nutmeg, and vanilla beans. I was planning on adding them towards,the end of the boil (maybe 20 min). I've been told that it is good to add them at the whirlpool, but am unsure where I'm not using all ground spices. I know I can also add them or add more in the secondary. What are your thoughts and when do you or would you add them?

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Old 12-23-2013, 04:53 AM   #2
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I have brewed a Xmas beer the last few years (and a pumpkin beer this year). I have had great results adding spices the last 5 min of the boil. I haven't added any to the secondary or keg as I have had great aroma from the spices come through. You can try adding at the end of the boil and after ferm in complete add more in the secondary if needed, really all depends how much you add

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Old 12-24-2013, 01:22 AM   #3
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If the vanilla is a bean, split and scrape the bean and steep in a little vodka for as long as you can. Add the bean and vodka to the secondary, or just the liquor to the bottling bucket. The higher alcohol will increase the flavor extraction than if you just added it to the beer. If it is extract, add it to the secondary.

I don't know about the cinnamon or nutmeg. The only spice I ever add is paradise seeds, and usually in the last 10 minutes of the boil.

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Old 12-24-2013, 04:35 PM   #4
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A few things to keep in mind

1. Not all spices are created equal, some are much more pungent. A 1/4tsp of cinnamon and a 1/4 tsp of clove are WAY different.
2. You can always add more spice flavor, but you can't take it away.
3. The lower the final gravity of the beer the less spices you need.


IMO 20 minutes is a little bit long, I'd go 10 minutes or less.


Better yet, make a tincture with your spice mixture(add it post fermentation) and do some testing with small amounts of beer and extrapolate to your full batch size. Just realize that it's not a linear increase in spices needed from your small amount to the full batch size.

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