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Old 11-13-2012, 07:29 PM   #1
mesa4234
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Default Adding spices to primary

I am currently fermenting a christmas/winter ale, and I am planning on adding cinnamon and vanilla to the primary. I currently have both steeping in some vodka. I want to ensure that the flavors from the spices get distributed throughout the beer. What is the best way to ensure this happens?

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Old 11-13-2012, 07:34 PM   #2
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I've always added vanilla to my secondary and it seems to work well. I use 2 whole beans (split & scraped) per five gallons. I would consider adding to secondary instead of the primary.

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Old 11-13-2012, 07:38 PM   #3
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I recently added spiced vodka to my Christmas ale when I racked to a secondary vessel after fermentation was finished. The racking mixed it up well. While I'm not sure if that is necessarily the best way to do it, it worked well for me. I also added some more spiced vodka just before I bottled.

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Old 11-13-2012, 08:46 PM   #4
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are you bottling or kegging? If you bottle, I'd suggest adding your "spice tea" to your bottling bucket in small increments. Taste as you go and decide when you've reached the ideal amount. If you keg (or if you bottle but like this option better), then you could take a small sample of your beer and add a very small amount of your spice tea to it and taste until you get the proportion correct, then scale it up and add to your beer. This eliminates the secondary vessel. good luck

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Old 11-14-2012, 12:13 AM   #5
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I am bottling. Originally, I was going to dry spice, but I really don't want to secondary, so I made the spice tea. I think I may add it to the bottling bucket and let it age in the bottle.

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Old 11-14-2012, 12:19 AM   #6
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Use extracts.

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Old 11-14-2012, 11:57 AM   #7
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I really would rather not use extracts. Would I be okay adding the spiced vodka to the bottling bucket and then letting it bottle age?

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Old 11-14-2012, 12:18 PM   #8
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Last week I mixed spices with 400ml water, boiled and slowly added to the bottling bucket with very cautious stirring to mix it up and avoid introducing oxygen, then I tasted and added until I hit the level of spice I was looking for. Was super easy, looking forward to a taste in 3 weeks.

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Old 11-16-2012, 05:09 PM   #9
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Interested to hear how it turns out. Just curious, why didn't you want to go into a secondary?

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Old 11-19-2012, 07:47 AM   #10
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At his point I only do secondary for big beers that I want to bulk age, fruit, and maybe a light colored beer that I want super clear. I probably would have done secondary for the spices but I read about adding at bottling and skipped the extra step.

Ive done a few tests splitting batches and racking half into a secondary and leaving half in primary, blind taste tests didn't show any difference (at least not to my pallate).

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