Originally Posted by PuppetmanInBC
After brewing it 6 weeks ago.
I brewed 3 gallons, not six, and found the cinnamon a bit overpowering, and the ginger not very noticeable.
It's not bad, but it definitely needs adjustment. I am going to brew a couple of gallons of a pale-and-caramel malt beer, with just ginger, and use a clean yeast to mix it in to see if I can re-balance the flavours....
There are different varieties of cinnamon - not sure what mine was, but I wish I had paid more attention...
I've brewed this twice, the last time using a slightly different approach from the first in regards to the spices.
The first time
I brewed this time was back in February (!). I tasted the wort throughout the boil to make spice adjustments. Here was my approach and findings:
I added 3 cinnamon sticks (.5 oz) at 60' (FW actually).
The "cinnamon" I used was the common reddish, thick bark variety, referred to as Vietnamese
or Saigon Cinnamon
also known as Cassia
. I intentionally used a smaller amount, knowing the potency of it from Indian cooking. I can always add more.
The "cinnamon" (Cassia) flavor was present throughout the boil, and I left it at that. The flavor became deeper, darker during the hour boil.
I added 3/4 oz of fresh thinly sliced ginger root also at FW. The ginger was not noticeable as such so I kept adding .6 oz amounts of ginger at 45', 10' and 5' where the ginger started to appear nicely, but somewhat masked.
Although the recipe did not call for it, I had added some fresh orange peel too, I thought it would help in making it more "seasonal." I now have mixed feelings about doing that, after tasting the finished beer and after bottle aging for up to 9 months. It is very prominent and changes the character of the beer, not in a bad way, just making it too different from the GL original, which I've had on several occasions in Cleveland.
The second time
I brewed this (last weekend):
I obtained real Ceylon Cinnamon
from WholeFoods Market and added 2 sticks (ground up in coffee grinder) and 3/4 oz freshly grated ginger, both at 30' (not 60'). I could smell the spice during the boil, particularly the cinnamon. But...the hydro sample had no obvious spice notes, whatsoever. I could detect neither cinnamon nor ginger, but there was a background flavor hinting it was more than a regular ale wort. If anything, it tasted like a really, really good tea.
I'm going to add more of the same spices directly to the primary now fermentation has noticeably subsided, and a few days before kegging/bottling. I'll soak them in vodka for a day or 2 to sanitize and eek out some flavor and aroma.
I'll keep you posted on the progress and outcome.