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Experimenting with flavors when bottling...

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arover

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Alright, my first batch (nut brown ale) is almost read to be bottled, and I'm going to be doing a cream ale on friday...I'm just curious, do any of you ever try adding any flavors to your beers when bottling them? As I begin to think more and more about what I can do brewing my own beers...It makes me want to do some micro-scale experimentation. Trying different additional ingredients out, one bottle at a time. Can't hurt, right?

Any recommendations of some stuff to throw into my brown or cream when bottling? I'm all for trying anything, really.

I just got extremely excited thinking about doing some future batches with banana...or coconut. Though, no one would support me with either. I don't know many people that like banana flavored anything. Or even coconut. :ban:
 

obezyana1

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If you like those flavors then give it a try. I would suggest you start out with just a small bit and only on a few bottles (6-12). Maybe even try it with different amounts of flavoring directly in the bottle. Just stay away from extracts that are oily or they'll kill the head retention. If you like the final product then you will know for your next brew how much to add. Just be careful with the extracts, because they are STRONG and a little goes a long way. Keep good notes and post the results, so others will be able to refer to it for their own questions.

One other thing you may try is to open a beer of the same style and put a drop or two of the extract you want to experiment with and give it a taste. You should be able to gauge from the amount added how much to add to your homebrews. You may also find that it's disgusting and be glad you didn't waste a case of homebrew by adding a flavor that doesn't mix well with the beer style.

Good luck and keep us posted on the results. :mug:
 
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arover

arover

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Do they even make...banana extract? I'd imagine finding coconut extract wouldn't be too hard...but bananas...lol
 

bluehouse

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I have several interesting coffee syrups that I was thinking about using for priming the bottles. They are sweet syrups that have flavors in them people add to the coffee. Anyone have any opinion on this?
 

dsoto75

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What I do is, when I am ready to bottle I will draw off enough beer into a seperate pitcher to fill anywhere from 6 to 10 bottles. I add my flavoring to that pitcher (stiring gently and adding the flavor to taste), and when I have it where I want it, then add that to the bolltes. I then bottle up the rest as usual.

When the conditioning is done, I'll sample one of the flavored beers to see how I did. I'll also put the remaining bottles randomly in the case mixed with the non flavored ones, so when I have my freinds around and they pick the flavored bottle, I will get an honest opinion about the beer. They will either say "wow this is an awesome cherry wheat beer" a good thing if I used cherry flavors, bad if I used something else :confused:. Or they will take a sip and spit it out halfway cross the room, in which case I blame the cat:drunk: Good Luck

- Capt. Dave

Primary - Cherry Wheat Ale
Secondary - none
Conditioning - Honey Wheat Ale
On deck - Irish Red
 

Shawn Hargreaves

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Adding flavors to just one or two bottles is a great way to experiment with crazy ideas that you aren't quite ready to try in a full batch yet.

Be wary of adding anything that contains fermentable sugars, though. That way lies bottle bombs! Adding spices, herbs, or flavor extracts (although personally I never much like the taste of those bottled extracts) is fine, but avoid anything like fruit or molasses.

A good way to get flavor without gunking up the bottle, and also to make sure things stay santized, is to soak your flavor ingredient in a small amount of vodka for a day or two. This will both sterilize it and leech all the taste into the alcohol, so you can strain out the solids (using a tea strainer) then add a teaspoon or so of flavored vodka to the bottle.
 

drinkabeergle

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So adding a cherry to each bottle = bad?

I would think this would be the case, but part of me REALLY wants to do this.

If I bottled a six-pack with cherries and no priming sugar, would this still create bottle-bombs?

Would doing this even create enough carbonation?

Questions!
 

vcm1613

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A single cherry would not have enough natural sugar in it to carb a bottle of beer. Don't get too caught up in the goal of infusing flavor that you invalidate the beer by under carbing.
 

RBChallenger

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Seems like if you wanted to add fruit you could try to use the fruit as the priming sugar itself. But.. I'm a rookie too so don't take my advice :p.
 

Lou

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I have several interesting coffee syrups that I was thinking about using for priming the bottles. They are sweet syrups that have flavors in them people add to the coffee. Anyone have any opinion on this?
i'd be surprised if these didn't have some sort of preservative in them.
 

drinkabeergle

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A single cherry would have enough natural sugar in it to carb a bottle of beer. Don't get too caught up in the goal of infusing flavor that you invalidate the beer by under carbing.
That is what I was worried about. The beer already has a ton of fruit flavor going on and I had just considered doing it to 'add a cherry on top' of everything else.

The problem lies in that I don't want to under-carb or over-carb. That is why I figured I'd do a six-pack w/only cherries and no priming sugar to see how it turns out.
 
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