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Old 10-10-2011, 02:30 PM   #1
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Default Spices for Winter Brown Ale?

I have an English Brown Ale that I'd like to spice up to make it an interesting winter/Christmas ale. It's not big in ABV like many winter warmers. 4.5% ABV, 22 IBUs (from Fuggles additions at 60 and 30 min.), 19.6 SRM. S-33 yeast.

I'm planning on making a "spice tea" using cinnamon, cardamom (ground, probably), and cloves. It's a 5 gallon batch and I'm planning on adding the tea to the bottling bucket and then priming with brown sugar before bottling.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on how much of each spice I should shoot for, or any other feedback on the idea in general. Thanks!

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Old 10-10-2011, 04:29 PM   #2
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We used an ounce of pre-packaged mulling spices in our holiday ale (Melissa's brand) that was allspice, cinammon, clover and orange peel. Put them in a spice bag, dropped in with 10 minutes left on the boil and then transferred over to primary, bag and all. After a week, the smell is really Christmas-y if that makes sense.

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Old 10-11-2011, 03:59 AM   #3
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Anyone else?

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Old 10-11-2011, 03:18 PM   #4
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Since you are using the tea method, which allows you better control, the actual amount of spices matter less than the proportion. My advice is to go easy on the cloves. I feel like they cover the beer, rather than work with a beer, pretty easily. In the interest of full disclosure I'm not a *huge* spice in beer guy, although there are several I've had that worked well. I also think that clove tends to cover up whatever dish (food, dessert, beer) it is used in, although blends nicely if used sparingly.

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Old 10-11-2011, 03:49 PM   #5
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Yeah, the tea method will (I hope) allow me to experiment a little bit with adding it to a few test pints from a very similar batch of this beer before committing to spicing the whole new batch.

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Old 10-12-2011, 01:53 AM   #6
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Toasted oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, with hints of ginger and vanilla bean. Oatmeal spiced cookie ale!

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Old 10-12-2011, 02:11 PM   #7
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Sounds great!

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