Using Licorice and/or lactose as a sweetener? - Home Brew Forums

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Old 11-24-2008, 07:13 PM   #1
Nov 2008
Posts: 8

Hey Guys,

I was wondering about sweetening up a stout that I am making and using licorice for sweetness and flavor and/or lactose for sweetness.

I'm almost done with fermentation but I was thinking about adding licorice and lactose to it in the priming tank to sweeten things up a bit...

I was thinking about heating up like a cup of water and letting the licorice stick and lactose dissolve in it, then adding to the priming tank. Has anyone ever tried doing things this way, or is this a bad idea?


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Old 11-24-2008, 07:15 PM   #2
Jan 2008
Milwaukee WI / Mankato MN
Posts: 356
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

lactose is good... i have nooo clue about licorice tho

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Old 11-25-2008, 04:35 AM   #3
Oct 2007
Posts: 22

I don't think that liqorice will add any sweetness. Lactose defiantly will though. I use about 0.5 lbs in a 5 gallon batch. I try to balance it out with a good amount of hop bitterness and black patent / roasted barley after about 3 months in the bottle it melds very nicely.

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Old 11-25-2008, 12:52 PM   #4
zoebisch01's Avatar
Nov 2006
Central PA
Posts: 5,182
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts

Licorice is something like (well the compound in it anyway) 50x sweeter than sugar. However, you need a good deal of it to make it 'sweet'. What I am saying is, the Stout will take on a predominant Licorice flavor if you add enough to make it 'sweet'.
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:46 PM   #5
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,595
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Licorice is a good flavor in stouts in small quantities. I wouldn't depend on it for sweetening, lactose is the way to go.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:01 AM   #6
Jan 2008
South of most States
Posts: 664
Liked 19 Times on 12 Posts

I used 1 dry ounce of licorice root for the first time in this last brew, The Home Brewery London Stout. It's not part of the box recipe.

The smell and taste of the root in the bag had me thinking I was making licorice flavored beer, not beer flavored with licorice. The smell and taste were strong, in the bag.

The licorice was added during the boil, a few minutes after the DME. It smelled a bit strong then too. That smell weakened as the boil continued.

After 2 weeks primary, 2 weeks final and near 3 weeks in bottles, the taste is great! Not at all licoricey (ok spell check, let's step outside). Really, if I didn't know it was in there, I may not be able to pick out the flavor at all.

It should be noted though, though not entirely duly, that there were other ingredients- or rather, stuff, added to the recipe. An additional half pound of dark grain and half pound of chocolate grain, 3 camping gear sized coffee cups of brewed Community coffee New Orleans blend, about a cup of brown sugar (some Hawaiian brand), a handful of peanut butter Marry Janes and a handful of Milk Duds. Yes. Really.

This beer is not sickeningly sweet or even candy sweet. It's desert beer sweet without being overly coffee flavored either. There is definitely a coffee and chocolate taste.
Drunking: All kinds of stuff.

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