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Old 04-24-2011, 06:19 PM   #1
Yukmay
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Default Picking an Aromatic

I recently discovered an import store near me which has a huge selection of aromatics. Having never made a beer with one of these unusual ingredients I thought it wise to ask what you guys thought first.

Some of the items which caught my eye (all are dried):

Hibiscus - Smelled sour, sweet, and tart
Chrysanthemum - Dried flowers; smelled very delicate, fragrant
Licorice - Looks to be a 'mulched' root
Ginger - Piquant, spicy
Passionfruit, Strawberries, etc - Smelled of respective fruits
Chamomile - Smelled like chamomile; floral...
Yerba Mate - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerba_mat%C3%A9
Rose Hips - Smelled almost like fruit?
Lavender
Linden Flowers
Honey Bush

There were many more items there (100's) so if there are any other unusual ingredients please let me know about them!

I feel like one of these ingredients would be an interesting addition to a beer; what do you guys and gals think?

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Old 04-24-2011, 06:52 PM   #2
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I've tasted witbier brewed with Hibiscus. It gives the beer a pink color. Pretty interesting!

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Old 04-24-2011, 07:09 PM   #3
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You have to be careful with determining what the intended use of these are for, if they're meant to be used as food/steeped in teas, or meant to be used in potpourri.

Often the ones meant to be put in bowls or burned to scent a room are actually treated with chemicals, including perfumes and dyes and aren't meant to be consumed.

Otherwise if they are meant to be used for food/tea or even medicinal reasons they should be okay, just make sure that they aren't toxic in alcohol or with ingesting too much.

You may want to have a couple reference guides on hand to make sure they are safe, plus these books are helpful, although the recipes in the first one are not technically beers and are questionable in a lot of ways, the info should prove helpful.





Even Radical Brewing has some info.

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Old 04-25-2011, 12:55 AM   #4
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These herbs are intended for use in teas. Thanks for the references revy; I'll be looking into them!

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Old 07-03-2011, 04:05 AM   #5
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I'm also curious about linden... my wife and I collected linden flowers this evening at our local park, the smell was incredible! Seems like they would make a great addition to an APA. Anybody have any experience making beer with linden or tasting?

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Old 07-03-2011, 06:42 AM   #6
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I might be wrong, but adding the Yerba maté to your brew might give your dingle more tingle.

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Old 07-03-2011, 08:39 AM   #7
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I just want grains in my beers. Grains and hops. Why do new brewers want to put a lot of sh*t in the beer? Leave the flowers out and save them for tea time.

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Old 07-03-2011, 08:55 AM   #8
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I had a hibiscus beer a couple weeks ago, and was pleasantly surprised - it was actually great. The beer also had a nice (natural) pink color to it, almost milky, which was odd but attractive.

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Old 07-03-2011, 10:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrk305 View Post
Why do new brewers want to put a lot of sh*t in the beer?
Because it's difficult to find a [$AROMATIC]-infused beer on the retail market? There is, on the other hand, quite a selection of beers that have only the canonical grain and hops.

OP: I have a hankering for a lychee or elderflower beer. BridgePort manages to put a nice rosy lychee aroma in its IPA with just the hopbill, apparently.
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrk305 View Post
I just want grains in my beers. Grains and hops. Why do new brewers want to put a lot of sh*t in the beer? Leave the flowers out and save them for tea time.
hops = aromatic flower, right?
And why the assumption that those of us that are exploring are new brewers? I've had some killer beers with added aromatics... don't tell me you've never had Elysian's Avatar Jasmine IPA?
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