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Old 08-19-2007, 07:29 PM   #1
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Default "Spicy" flavor - hops maybe?

I had an extract brew (British Pale Ale) by 98EXL the other day, and I'm really trying to figure it out. Hopefully he can come in here with the name of the kit he bought and I can reverse engineer the recipe, but in the meantime, I'm opening this up to the forum.

This was an extract kit purchased from Anappolis Homebrew. I don't know the name, other than it was a British pale. Sadly, none of the kit beers on their site actually list any ingredients, and from what 98EXL said, they were packaged more with labels of "Bittering Hops - 60 minutes" than saying what was in it.

He has stated that there were no adjunct ingredients - just extract and hops. So my assumption is that the hops did it. It's very hard to describe the taste over a forum, let alone that it was yesterday afternoon and I'm trying to remember taste from memory. The brew had a very "spicy" taste to it. Sort of like the heaty spice from cinammon, without the obvious cinammon taste/flavor.

What could this be, and how can I duplicate it? :P

Any ideas welcome...

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Old 08-19-2007, 07:42 PM   #2
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Lots of hops are known for spicy characteristic; the one that comes to mind first is Saaz, althought that would not be a typical ingredient for an English pale. I would be that the hops in the kit are either Goldings or Fuggles (or a combination), which I don't really think of as spicy, per se, but maybe one could find a bit of that character in there. You can also get spiciness from the yeast, although again. not usually with the yeasts used in a British ale kit (several Belgian strains have some spice character to them).

So, yeah, you can male a beer with some spice character without actually using spices, but why the one you brewed had it? I dunno...

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Old 08-19-2007, 07:52 PM   #3
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I'm fairly sure the kit came with a British ale yeast and British hops. So yeah, Fuggles or Goldings would work. However, I've used both in a number of beers recently that don't quite have the flavor I'm working on.

I guess experimentation is the key, or finding out from the homebrew shop what the recipe is, although I'm not sure I'll get it without ordering a kit from them...

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Old 08-19-2007, 09:06 PM   #4
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You can get a spicy phenolic character if you pitch English ale yeast a little too warm, around 80 degrees. (I've done this before.) Generally I think it's considered a flaw in that style of ale.

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Old 08-19-2007, 09:12 PM   #5
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I don't think pitching at 80°F is a problem.
It's fermenting at 80°F that is a too high.

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Old 08-20-2007, 01:07 PM   #6
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I can always ask whats in it

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