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Old 09-27-2013, 02:44 PM   #91
IslandLizard
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Really nice beer. I've brewed the other thread's recipe and sliced the ginger thin. Here are some of my notes and findings:

Use real cinnamon, not Cassia (the 1/16"-1/8" thick single curl bark) which is often sold as cinnamon in the (Indian) spice stores.

Next time I brew this, I will use more fresh ginger 3-4 ounces (sliced) plus real cinnamon, adding honey (or light Belgian sugar syrup) after primary ferm has slowed down. I used brown sugar last time and won't do that again, the molasses leaves a weird taste IMO.

I'm on the fence when to add the spices. I feel boiling them makes the flavors (too) dark, losing the fragrant high notes. Perhaps steeping after flame-out at 190F for 10-20 minutes will be my next approach, like a hop stand. Or a combination boil/stand.

 
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:59 PM   #92
DonnieZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandLizard View Post
Really nice beer. I've brewed the other thread's recipe and sliced the ginger thin. Here are some of my notes and findings:

Use real cinnamon, not Cassia (the 1/16"-1/8" thick single curl bark) which is often sold as cinnamon in the (Indian) spice stores.

Next time I brew this, I will use more fresh ginger 3-4 ounces (sliced) plus real cinnamon, adding honey (or light Belgian sugar syrup) after primary ferm has slowed down. I used brown sugar last time and won't do that again, the molasses leaves a weird taste IMO.

I'm on the fence when to add the spices. I feel boiling them makes the flavors (too) dark, losing the fragrant high notes. Perhaps steeping after flame-out at 190F for 10-20 minutes will be my next approach, like a hop stand. Or a combination boil/stand.
So when I compiled my ingredients, I have the curled sticks as you describe.. Is this necessarily bad? Would ground cinnamon work?

What's the downside of the Cassia?

 
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:02 PM   #93
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Cassia is the more common "cinnamon" that you'll find at the store. It will work just fine, but the flavor is not as delicate and sweet as real Ceylon cinnamon. Cassia is a little harsher and peppery.

Real cinnamon is more expensive and slightly harder to find. I would bet that 9/10 people that have brewed this have used cassia and enjoyed the beer. Ceylon cinnamon might give you a smoother cinnamon flavor.

 
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:10 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonnieZ View Post
So when I compiled my ingredients, I have the curled sticks as you describe.. Is this necessarily bad? Would ground cinnamon work?

What's the downside of the Cassia?
Although they are similar and could be used interchangeably, Ceylon cinnamon tastes better, more subtle and fragrant. I'd say cinnamon powder would be fine, particularly if you know it is made from real Ceylon cinnamon. Powder flavors faster as it disperses more quickly, so be careful how much you add.

I'm leaning toward adding the cinnamon and ginger at the very end of the boil to keep those high fragrant notes better. They need some time to extract but boiling excessively changes it into deeper, darker flavors. Perhaps adding them to the fermentor or using a "dry spice" treatment, like dry hopping, in addition to the boil.

The beer changes quite drastically over time. It's gorgeous when it's fresh, then mellows and enriches into a different species while aging. I brewed it in February and now 7 months later, we have 2 bottles left, after we split one a few days ago. The alcohol (8.7%) has become more integrated, and it has the characteristics of a well rounded liquor.

 
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:43 PM   #95
DonnieZ
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Finally finished brewing this up. Let me tell you, brewing in a condo sucks. No room to do anything and it easily adds an hour on to my brewing day - started at 9:00A and finished up at 2:30P. (I did end up cleaning out and sanitizing the inside of my fermentation chamber, which added 30-40 minutes..) Ok... Rant over.

I think this was my best AG brew day so far. I think I've got my Brewsmith equipment numbers dialed in and I hit most of my numbers exactly - volumes and gravities, except for FG which I missed by about 5 points according to my new refractometer (Using Beersmith Brix to SG conversion, not the scale on the refractometer).

The brew smells awesome and looks to be a deep golden color (as expected). Brewing this one up for our Homebrew club's December competition, which is BJCP class 21A. I think I might have a winner with this one. Thanks for the recipe - I'll definitely let you know how it placed.

 
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:10 PM   #96
IslandLizard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonnieZ View Post
Finally finished brewing this up...
Congrats with your new brew. It is a marvelous beer.
Some pubs (Chili's) serve it with cinnamon and sugar on the rim. My wife likes that.

How did you implement the spice additions? Everything at flame-out? How much of each?

I'll have to compare this recipe with the one in the other thread I used. Time to brew it again.

 
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:15 PM   #97
DonnieZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandLizard View Post
Congrats with your new brew. It is a marvelous beer.
Some pubs (Chili's) serve it with cinnamon and sugar on the rim. My wife likes that.

How did you implement the spice additions? Everything at flame-out? How much of each?

I'll have to compare this recipe with the one in the other thread I used. Time to brew it again.
Going along with the "more ginger surface area = more ginger flavor" thougt process, I cubed up about 1.75 ounces of ginger into about 8 pieces. I figure I can always add more.

Tossed about two and a half of the short curled cinnamon sticks and the ginger in at knockout. Poured the honey in shortly after and let it sit for about 5 minutes before putting the water through the immersion chiller. All of that went into the fermenter. I think the honey dropped right to the bottom, so that might be where the gravity points went. After I chilled it I didn't take another sample, I'm figuring by that time the honey had been homogenized with the rest of the wort.

The wort definitely smelled of ginger all through the cooling process and just a few minutes ago when I pitched the yeast. Our water doesn't get cold enough to get the wort down to pitching temps, so I threw it in the fermentation chamber to cool off for a couple of hours. The smell is wonderful!

 
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:00 PM   #98
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Brewed this yesterday. I changed it up a lil.
I did 2oz us hallertau first wort hop.
The 10 and 5 min additions I did .3 cascade/.3 perle for both.
I zested .8 oz of fresh ginger and added as per the schedule.
Also added .5 oz of vanilla bean cut in half.
Deleted the honey and upped the 2 row to 14 lbs.
I ended at 1080 and have high hopes for this one.
I pitched one packet of s04 and wl0013 at the same time.
Great recipe though! It was this or a sierra celebration knockoff and I chose this.

 
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:48 PM   #99
NewJersey
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so i checked it today and gravity is at 1020. is that as low as its gonna go?
if i add the vanilla bean and cinnamon as a "dry hop" how long should i leave it in?

 
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:52 AM   #100
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What are you all targeting your water ions at on this one?
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