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Old 03-29-2010, 01:54 PM   #1
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Default Sanitizing Spices?

Hello,

I'm about to rack my bochet to secondary, and I was going to add the spices (peppercorns, cardomom, and ginger) for a few days. My plan was to soak a nylon bag in Starsan along with a length of (new) fishing line, and then suspend the lot in the carboy until we are happy with the flavor.

But I got to thinking and now I'm wondering if I need to sanitize the spices themselves. Maybe a soak in some rum beforehand? What do you folks do?

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Old 03-29-2010, 02:28 PM   #2
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I wouldn't treat spices any differently than fruit. I don't sanitize fruit before I add it. I might use some potassium metasulfite.

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Old 03-29-2010, 04:11 PM   #3
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If you are adding spices to secondary, I would think there is high enough ABV not to have to worry about it.

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Old 03-30-2010, 09:25 PM   #4
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What about microwaving them? Do microwaves kill germs?

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Old 03-30-2010, 09:27 PM   #5
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Soak them in vodka?

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Old 03-30-2010, 09:35 PM   #6
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But only for a minute, the alcohol would suck alot of the essence out of them?

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Old 03-30-2010, 09:40 PM   #7
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soak them in a strong liquor, vodka, rum, brandy... whatever you think would go well with your bochet. Leave it for several days. Then add the alcohol and the spices to secondary. any extracted flavors in the alcohol will make it to the bochet.

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Old 03-30-2010, 10:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch78 View Post
But only for a minute, the alcohol would suck alot of the essence out of them?
No, do it for a couple of days or more.
Just dump the whole thing in your beer! (alcohol included)

This is basically what they do with vanilla extract, and it should work for many other spices also.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:15 PM   #9
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Don't use Starsan.

I've microwaved spices, made a spice tea with boiling water, and just added secondary. All with good results. Tea seemed to yield harshest results.

I have boiled the muslin bag... probably a good idea since mine are stored in less than perfect conditions...

Last few spiced I've just chucked them in at end of fermentation (no bag), let them soak 7 days and bottle.

been good.

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Old 03-31-2010, 06:48 PM   #10
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Thanks guys!

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