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Old 06-01-2010, 09:14 PM   #1
BrettV
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Default Earl Grey IPA (using tea vs. bergamot oil)

I would like to brew an Earl Grey IPA, and I'm wondering the best way to go about getting that great bergamot aroma. I've seen a few threads on the forum, but I'm wondering what people's opinions are on brewing with loose leaf Earl Grey tea, vs. adding oil of bergamot before bottling. My instinct would be to add an ounce or two of tea when I add my finishing hops. Has anyone tried this? Which method would likely produce a more pronounced Earl Grey flavor?

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Old 06-02-2010, 01:33 PM   #2
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Here's a thread along the same lines:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/bergamot-beer-147228/#post1680523

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Old 06-02-2010, 01:38 PM   #3
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I be inclined to use some tea late in the boil and perhaps some more in a secondary if you want a more pronounced aroma. Never brewed w/ tea before though. So just my $.02

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Old 06-02-2010, 11:52 PM   #4
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Yeah, I PMed Aviciouswind after reading that thread. I'd like to chew his ear a bit, since it seems he successfully brewed an Earl Grey beer that was a hit amongst his friends and family.

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Old 06-03-2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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I brewed an Earl Grey pale ale a while back. I brewed up 1L of strong Earl Grey tea (5 bags, steeped for about 5 mins) and added it to a half batch (10L) of pale ale.

At first taste it was very difficult to taste the bergamot/tea flavours in the beer, and they only faded with age. I really like this idea, and will probably try it again, with quite a bit more tea, so I'd be interested to read how things go with yours.

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Old 06-03-2010, 05:21 PM   #6
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Yeah, he did 7 teabags, and that was WITH adding bergamot extract, too. He said next time he'd ditch the extract and just do more tea. I'm thinking maybe a dozen teabags might do it. If I do it as an extract beer (which I might since it will only be my second time) I'm reserving 2 gallons of water at the beginning anyway, so I'd probably steep the tea in that water before pouring it in the fermenter to cool. Then I could just make the wort as usual, and pour it right on top of the tea in the fermenter.

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Old 07-18-2010, 05:10 PM   #7
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So I brewed my Earl Grey IPA last night. Looked like this:

6 lbs. Briess Gold LME
1 lb. Briess Pilsen Light DME
1 lb. Weyerman Carahell
4 ounces flaked wheat
~2 oz. Earl Grey tea (20 tea bags, plus some loose leaf)
1 oz. Columbus (60 mins)
1 oz. Northern UK (45 mins)
.5 oz. Cascade (30 mins)
.5 oz. Cascade (15 mins)
1 oz. Amarillo (flame out)
Wyeast 1056 American Ale

Basically, I made a 2 gallon batch of really strong Earl Grey tea, which I cooled in the fermenter, made a 3 gallon batch of wort, cooled it and poured into the fermenter with the tea, and topped off with some water. The color is quite dark, due to the LME and the tea, so it will be interesting to see what the color on this actually turns out to be. The brewing software tells me it should be a yellow/gold color, but it's not taking the tea into consideration. Gonna let this ferment in the primary for 3 weeks, and then bottle condition for 3-4 weeks.

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Old 07-18-2010, 05:38 PM   #8
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I did a bergamot-ginger wit that I just tapped yesterday. I added 1 Tbsp of bergamot oil at flameout; after 3 weeks it seemed way too strong, but by the time I tapped it 2 1/2 months after brewing it was really at a nice level.

In an IPA, I might go with the same amount; you won't age it quite as long, but with the hops there you probably want a little more robust presence anyway.

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Old 07-18-2010, 06:10 PM   #9
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I was thinking of making a Belgian Wit with some Jasmine Tea. I got a pound of Jasmine Tea from China.

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Old 07-18-2010, 07:17 PM   #10
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I have some coca tea, I was thinking that'd make for a really interesting beer. It's pretty bitter so I was thinking I'd do an IPA but with pale ale levels of hops, assuming that the coca will contribute bitterness.

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