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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Spices in Pumpkin ale
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:49 PM   #1
kcross13
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Default Spices in Pumpkin ale

I seem to have an inconsistency with the spicing of my pumpkin ale. I spiced at flame out and adjusted before bottling. Mixed in with priming sugar. Some bottles are great others are ok. i am assuming they did not mix in well. Does anyone have a technique to insure more consistency?

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Old 11-16-2012, 01:01 AM   #2
PtreeCreekBrew
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I actually spice mine three times - once in the boil (last add), once at flameout, and once direct to the fermenter when I pitch and aerate.

I'm sure it could be said that my boil spicing is pointless, since spice compounds are so volatile, and my direct-to-fermenter addition is dangerous, but I've been lucky so far. I've been making it this way for several years now and haven't yet had a bad batch.

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Old 11-16-2012, 01:06 AM   #3
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Aye you can make what's called a 'potion'. You can use some (cheap?) vodka and soak the spices in that for several days, then carefully pour it into your bottling bucket or keg. I think Randy Mosher talks about this in "Radical Brewing". It's worth checking out and should give more consistency.

I've had great luck adding mine to the boil at flame out but everyone's results vary.

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Old 11-16-2012, 01:47 AM   #4
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How aggressive do you want the spice character to be? I add one addition in the boil and nothing else. It's a very subtle spice character that doesn't get in the way of the maltiness (personal preference).

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Old 11-16-2012, 01:55 AM   #5
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How many gallons did you do and how much spice did you use overall?

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Old 11-16-2012, 03:12 AM   #6
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It was three gallons. Spice mix at flame out: 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp mace, 1/4 tsp clove 3 pearls allspice.

Table spoon of vanilla extract and a teaspoon of cinnamon at bottling.

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Old 11-16-2012, 04:57 AM   #7
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I second the spice extract method. A lot of spices have insoluble oils so it makes sense that you would have irregular flavoring if you bottled with cinnamon. Plus it might negatively effect your head retention.
I use mid-grade vodka as my solvent going for a neutral flavor. If you keg you can always add a bit more later if you desire more spice after tasting

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