Originally Posted by DrJekyll-HomeBrew
i dont believe you would have to worry about the sterilization of spices, the beer contains alcohol at that point. If you were that worried about it you could just put the spices in a cup or two of water and heat it up then cool and add.
You need to worry about sanitizing ANYTHING that goes into your beer after it's cooled from the kettle. This includes anything that goes into secondary. The 3-10% alcohol that most beers have is not near enough to kill bacteria. In order to kill bacteria, you need an ABV% of around 50+ minimum.
When I use spices, I make them into a tea. I boil the tea and pour a little at a time into my beer. Taste it every day to see how it's coming along. If you want more flavor, add more tea.