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Old 05-20-2013, 12:31 AM   #1
jwetzler
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Default When to add spices during boil to get the most flavor?

I have a pretty simple question here, hopefully someone can help me with.

I've noticed that on most of the extract kits, the directions normally recommend adding spices and other flavoring ingredients during the last 15 minutes of the boil.

Would adding them earlier in the boil add more flavor though? Or is it better just to add a higher quantity of the ingredients at the recommended last 15 minutes of the boil?

I ask because boiling the bittering hops for the entire hour long boil seems to work fine...why don't we add the spices for the entire hour?

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Old 05-20-2013, 02:02 AM   #2
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You don't use bittering hops for flavor. When you boil the bittering hops for an hour you are actually *destroying* whatever flavor they had and whatever flavor they would have given. But that's fine because their purpose isn't to give flavor but to give bittering. The hops that give flavor are called flavor hops. And you add them at the last fifteen minutes.

I don't know, but I imagine spices are the same. I imagine if you cook most spices for an hour they'll just get bitter and leave astringent aftertastes while their flavors will get lost in the wort.

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Old 05-20-2013, 02:36 AM   #3
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Woozy has this one nailed down. Use spices like hops. If you want the flavor and aroma from them boil them towards the very end or even "dry hop" with them.

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Old 05-20-2013, 03:05 AM   #4
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+1 on Woozy's response. Just to throw in an example, when making Italian sauce you add most of the spices towards the end so that you don't lose those aromas.

My only brewing example is from my saison, the recipe called for adding the spices at flame-out.

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Old 05-20-2013, 03:22 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick responses, I totally forgot about bittering hops vs. flavoring hops vs. aroma hops...ha I'm still learning.

Woozy's reply makes perfect sense.

Here is another question: Once the spices are added and boiled for 15 minutes, is there any flavor left to gain from them by dumping in the primary fermenter?

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Old 05-20-2013, 03:31 AM   #6
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I guess another good question would be...What is the logic behind the 15 minute boil when adding spice/flavors? Are we boiling to release flavors, or just to sanitize those added ingredients?

Will I get stronger flavor from boiling the spices/peels for 15 minutes vs. dumping them in at flame out, and letting them go into the primary fermenter with the wort?

My guess is that 15 min boil is for flavor, where anything less than 15 would be for aroma only?

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Old 05-20-2013, 03:48 AM   #7
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I don't know. I imagine it isn't really an exact science.

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Old 05-20-2013, 05:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwetzler View Post
Are we boiling to release flavors, or just to sanitize those added ingredients?
Actually both of them. You want to boil enough to sanitize spices but not loo long since it will drive off flavors. With this in mind, I would toss them last 5 minutes to get nice aroma and still sanitize it.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:58 AM   #9
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Actually both of them. You want to boil enough to sanitize spices but not loo long since it will drive off flavors. With this in mind, I would toss them last 5 minutes to get nice aroma and still sanitize it.
Um, I don't know what I'm talking about but considering the small surface area of spices and the boiling of wort and that we frequently add stuff (including aroma hops) at flame-out isn't the worry of sanitizing spices pretty moot? After all, I never heard anyone ever express worry over sanitizing hops. Jes' saying...
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:50 AM   #10
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I add spices at either 5 or flameout...no issues with infections, ever.

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