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Old 10-31-2009, 06:33 AM   #1
Benjibbad
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Default Brewing with Cedar

A local Brewery (Cigar City Brewing) has been gracious enough to pass me some of their cedar used in their humidor series beers. My next step is determining what to brew. I have tried their Humidor IPA so far and damn was that good. But I want to do a style that can really bring it out.

Anyone have some suggestions??

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Old 10-31-2009, 02:06 PM   #2
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I'm glad to hear that there is someone out there using cedar commercially. I've been pondering using it for a while now. I used to work with a lot of cedar in a wooden boat shop and love the smell of the stuff. Do you know what their process is like? I'd assume they probably toast it to some degree. I was thinking it might go well in a toasty English brown ale. I'd be nice to get some insight into how much to use, contact time, etc. I'm guessing that being a soft wood that it would impart flavor rather quickly. I hope someone with experience can chime in.

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Old 10-31-2009, 04:05 PM   #3
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I've been slowly looking into this too...seems like a perfect fit for a unique IPA.
This blog post was interesting:
http://tapirtantrum.com/2009/04/12/t...woods-whiskey/

They got various woods from Maine Grilling Woods and dunked them in bourbon for a while to see what sort of flavor they impart. They toasted the wood in a toaster oven first.

They didn't love the cedar so much:
9. White Cedar
You know that cedar chest that your grandma has? Your beer can taste just like that. I found the cedar to be bitter and tannic, with a hint of buttery. Amanda thought it had the most strongly imbued wood character.

The hickory sounds interesting:
2. Downeast Hickory
The hickory had a rich wood flavor that I really enjoyed. Amanda wrote that it was not as sweet as the oak, with strong evergreen and floral notes. Also she said it tasted a bit like paint thinner.

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Old 10-31-2009, 05:59 PM   #4
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The cedar we use at Cigar City Brewing is cigar box cedar, known as Cedrela or Spanish Cedar. The important thing about it is that it isn't a cedar and it isn't from Spain. It's a mahogany from South America. It does smell a bit like true American cedars, but the flavors it imparts are different.

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Old 11-02-2009, 01:26 AM   #5
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From the conversation I had with one of the brewers (can't remember name) but I believe the Humidor Bolita Brown, has the cedrela added in the keg. Since I am not a kegger, I was going to add it to secodary, but the question is which one to do it with. I have a few solid recipies that I would be interested in tinkering with. Maybe If any of the Cigar Brewers have some time, I can bring some samples by and we can talk beer.

Good to see cigar city on here finally! I loved the Humidor Jai Lai and am currently drinking a Vanilla Maduro Brown. You guys rock!

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Old 11-02-2009, 06:59 PM   #6
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Boulevard Brewery has a new Doppelbock that is aged on cedar and it is Yummy. I highly recommend it to anyone!!!

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/423/52373

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Old 11-05-2009, 09:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjibbad View Post
From the conversation I had with one of the brewers (can't remember name) but I believe the Humidor Bolita Brown, has the cedrela added in the keg. Since I am not a kegger, I was going to add it to secodary, but the question is which one to do it with. I have a few solid recipies that I would be interested in tinkering with. Maybe If any of the Cigar Brewers have some time, I can bring some samples by and we can talk beer.

Good to see cigar city on here finally! I loved the Humidor Jai Lai and am currently drinking a Vanilla Maduro Brown. You guys rock!

Adding to secondary is fine. As far as which beer to do it to it really depends. We've put it in just about every beer we make. IPA, Northern English Brown Ale, Double Northern English Brown Ale, Imperial Stout and others. It does different things to different beers. It brings forward grapefruit in IPA's, but adds sandalwood and rye-like spice notes. It makes Northern Brown Ales taste a bit like spicy hopped American brown Ales.

My answer would be to try it in a few different ones. In fact if you want and can get the really thin cigar box inserts, just add it to a bottle from each batch you make and see how it goes with that style.
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:54 AM   #8
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My wife distills essential oils so I have a lot of byproduct around in the form of hydrosols, ie condensed water saturated with particular parts of the essential oil... she distills a number of evergreens including cedar. I've been trying to figure out some way to include in one of my brews... been thinking of a cedar stout or porter but it sounds like most here are talking about using the wood chips. Any thoughts or experience using hydrosols or oils of any sort?

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Old 05-28-2011, 03:13 PM   #9
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You could probably add those essences at bottling time or even in individual bottles. If the oils are volatile they could lose some of their flavour if added during fermentation or conditioning.

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Old 05-28-2011, 03:20 PM   #10
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Nice to have Cigar City on board. Wayne gave me a Spanish Cedar spiral last year, and I have been playing around with adding it to my beers ever since. I think it works wonderfully with Simcoe hops in a moderate gravity IPA! But I've also done crazy things like thrown a piece of it into the primary of a wheat beer even before pitching the Belgian yeast, which turned out wonderfully as well - very complex!
I think Spanish Cedar is a better match for many beer styles than oak is.

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