Chinese star anise (illicium verum) in pale. bad hangover? killed yeast?
One of our customers purchased a munton's american light kit from us, and said he was going to put star anise in it. we advised him that star anise is VERY strong in flavor and he may want to use in moderation.
He called in this morning and said that his beer did not carbonate after 3 weeks and gave him a horrible hangover on the two separate days that he drank it. We have verified that he did use CHINESE star anise (illicium verum) and NOT JAPANESE star anise, which can be toxic.
He said that he put the star pods in a blender and turned them to dust, then threw them in boiling water and then tossed all into his 5 gallon batch at time of pitching yeast. he said that when he adds his sugar for priming he always gets a bit of foam, this time, no reaction. further, after conditioning for 3 weeks there was still no carbonation. says it tastes awful and causes horrid hangover.
what is going on here?
I did read that star anise can be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and harmful to yeast when researching online medical sites. but barring the use of japanese anise, there should be not ill effects for humans when using chinese anise.
i have also seen many beer recipes that call for use of star anise. so i'm assuming that his one oz addition of anise, while a strange choice in taste, should not have had any undesired effects of yeast or his health.
appreciate any speedy replies, as we have told him we will consult the larger brewing community and call back with our findings.
Amarillo Brewing Supply