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Old 07-05-2011, 08:18 PM   #1
scottyg354
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Default Spicing a Graff

Going to be on the west coast pretty much all of August. When I return I wanted to try to make a spiced Graff for the fall and winter. I was hoping to use some cinnamon, cloves, all spice and possibly corriander. Probably half of the amount I would use clothes to the end of my boil (5 minutes) the other half I would probably throw in a hops bag in the secondary and let it sit for a few weeks.

I would probably age the hell out of this graff maybe a month or two in the bottles (doesn't sound long, but I have a had good results with Graff from about three weeks) so its ready for mid to later October.

What do you guys think.

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Old 07-25-2011, 06:37 PM   #2
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Did you do this yet?

I just made a batch of Brandon O's Graff, and since I only had a 5 gallon carboy available, I put 1 gallon of the graff in a separate 2 gallon bucket. There aren't any spices in it from the boil, but I was thinking of "dry spicing" the 1 gallon as a test batch.

Any suggestions on amounts?

I thought after 2 weeks I would just make a spice tea of cinnamon sticks, allspice, and nutmeg, then put it all into the fermenter for the final week. Very small amounts since it's only 1 gallon: maybe 1/4 of a cinnamon stick ground, 1/8 ts allspice and nutmeg.

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Old 07-25-2011, 09:03 PM   #3
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Hop bag or muslin bag in secondary, definitely. Don't use ground spices if poss, because apparently they're a nightmare to get out afterwards!

Your standard winter spice is Nutmeg, Allspice, Cinnamon and Cloves. Cloves really come out quickly and get more prominent with ageing, so be careful. Can't see coriander being good to be honest!

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Old 07-26-2011, 02:59 PM   #4
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I don't know how I feel about throwing corriander in a cider. I dont really associate it with a more traditional approach to spicing cider, but if you like the taste and think it works for you please let us know how it turns out. I agree about being careful with the cloves. A little can go a long way. I have used ground spices to make a spice tea that I add in secondary and find that that the spices generally fall to the bottom with the rest of the trub.

While the spices may taste extremely strong and prominent when you first bottle, with time most flavors mellow. In my experience the longer the graff or cider has aged the better it tastes.

I

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Old 07-26-2011, 03:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grainstoglass View Post
I don't know how I feel about throwing corriander in a cider. I dont really associate it with a more traditional approach to spicing cider, but if you like the taste and think it works for you please let us know how it turns out. I agree about being careful with the cloves. A little can go a long way. I have used ground spices to make a spice tea that I add in secondary and find that that the spices generally fall to the bottom with the rest of the trub.

While the spices may taste extremely strong and prominent when you first bottle, with time most flavors mellow. In my experience the longer the graff or cider has aged the better it tastes.

I
Out of curiosity, what proportions do you use for your spice tea. This is what I plan to do for my 1 gallon test batch, as well as my second spice addition for my pumpkin ale.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:35 PM   #6
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For that 1 gallon test batch of Brandon O's Graff, I have the following planned:

Three weeks before bottling: Make "vanilla sugar" by splitting 1 vanilla bean and combining with some white sugar in airtight container. Let sit until bottling time.


After 2 weeks in primary: Make a 4 oz "spice tea" of the following: 1/2 a cinnamon stick (crushed), 1/8 ts freshly ground allspice, 1/8 ts freshly grated nutmeg. Steep spices (in a muslin bag) in hot water for 10 minutes. Add all the water *and* the bag of spices to the wort. Leave for final week of primary.

At Bottling: Take the appropriate amount of your vanilla sugar needed (along with all remaining pieces of vanilla bean) for priming and boil in 1 cup of water. Remove vanilla bean pieces from solution. Rack wort on top of solution and bottle as usual.

So there's my plan. Again, this is only for a one gallon test batch. The other 4 gallons are exactly as Brandon's recipe states.

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Old 07-28-2011, 08:46 PM   #7
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Out of curiosity, why are you using this method for the vanilla? I'd think you could control its contribution better if you added it in a sack to secondary and tasted it every once in a while or made a tea out of it and added to taste (or real vanilla extract). By the way I think this should be pretty nice. Good luck.

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Old 07-28-2011, 08:59 PM   #8
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Out of curiosity, why are you using this method for the vanilla? I'd think you could control its contribution better if you added it in a sack to secondary and tasted it every once in a while or made a tea out of it and added to taste (or real vanilla extract). By the way I think this should be pretty nice. Good luck.
Thanks.

Eh, I don't have any real reason other than I wanted to experiment with adding flavors to my priming sugar solutions for a very "fresh" and immediate taste/aroma. And really, I'm hoping for more of a burst of vanilla aroma from this method than an overwhelming taste, though I do want to taste it as well.

The vanilla sugar idea came from my ice cream making. It's a method of getting another layer of vanilla flavor into ice cream when making it from scratch.

The smell and flavor of vanilla bean is very different than extract, and I was hoping to capture that (which is also why I opted not to make a fresh extract with vodka).

You're probably right that adding the bean itself to the wort (in the way I'm doing the spices) might contribute the same freshness/aroma. I may give that way a shot the next time if this way doesn't work well (also, I've already made the vanilla sugar).

It may fall completely flat, but that's the beauty of a test batch. It's not too big a deal if it doesn't go well.
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onipar View Post
Out of curiosity, what proportions do you use for your spice tea. This is what I plan to do for my 1 gallon test batch, as well as my second spice addition for my pumpkin ale.
I usually make a spice tea of about 1 cup or so of water, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoons all spice, 1 teaspoon cloves, 1 teaspoon nutmeg. I boil the spices in water in a covered pot and leave them to steep. I usually dump the spices right into the bottom of my secondary and rack right on top of them.
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grainstoglass View Post
I usually make a spice tea of about 1 cup or so of water, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoons all spice, 1 teaspoon cloves, 1 teaspoon nutmeg. I boil the spices in water in a covered pot and leave them to steep. I usually dump the spices right into the bottom of my secondary and rack right on top of them.
Thanks for the tips! I'll be spicing my test batch next week. Brewed my Moon Hill Pumpkin Ale today. Very excited.
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