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Old 11-03-2009, 03:19 AM   #1
jigidyjim
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Default mint leaf advice (in secondary, or maybe primary)

I'm doing a chocolate mint stout, recipe says "4 ounces crushed fresh mint leaves in secondary".

Any advice on how to do this?

I guess my first instinct is to put the leaves in 150 degree water for 10 minutes to pasteurize them (is that right?), then dump the leaves and water into the secondary. Actually, I might put the leaves inside a hops bag to make them easy to get out later.

Does that sound right?

Also, I have never used a secondary before and am toying around with just doing it in the primary after fermentation has stopped. Is there any reason not to do that?

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Old 11-03-2009, 03:23 AM   #2
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I'm not real familiar with mint leaves, but a tea might be a good way to go as long as no strange flavors come out due to the heat. Either that or you can just drop the leaves in. The alcohol and hops should take care of anything on the mint.

As for primary vs secondary, as long as you wait for most of fermentation to complete, no it doesn't make a difference

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Old 11-03-2009, 01:33 PM   #3
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The only thing that I might be concerned about would be any oils from the leaves. Although I think that would be minimal.

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Old 11-03-2009, 02:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
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The only thing that I might be concerned about would be any oils from the leaves. Although I think that would be minimal.
You mean - concerned that the oils would react weirdly if I heated the leaves up first, or concerned that the oils would cause contamination, or...?
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:47 PM   #5
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I assume concerned about oils and head retention. I doubt it would be enough to worry about. I'd soak the leaves in some Vodka or Everclear and then add the mix to the secondary. I'd be afraid if you boiled it you'd lose too much aroma.

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Old 11-03-2009, 04:02 PM   #6
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Just adding them will work fine. If you heat them in any way, you lose much of the aroma. If you are really concerned about contamination, the vodka soak is the way to go.

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Old 11-03-2009, 05:16 PM   #7
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This reminds me that I picked up a Chocolate Stout the other day and I should try some of my mint that has been soaking in vodka for about 2 weeks. I'll let you know how it goes. If you don't hear from me, PM me. I probably forgot to report back.

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Old 11-03-2009, 05:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
I assume concerned about oils and head retention. I doubt it would be enough to worry about. I'd soak the leaves in some Vodka or Everclear and then add the mix to the secondary. I'd be afraid if you boiled it you'd lose too much aroma.

+1, that's what I would do.
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:47 PM   #9
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Question to those who say it will be fine just add the mint in directly without some sort of sanitization process: how do you know what is safe to do this with and what is not? If the alcohol and hops will kill bacteria, why do we even bother sanitizing bottles, racking equipment, etc?

Thanks.

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Old 11-03-2009, 06:53 PM   #10
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What about using mint extract?

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