How long to leave spices in and when to put them in?

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thewarning

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After around 21 days in the primary, I'm going to leave my mead in the secondary fermentation carboy for about a year. I want to use all the main pumpkin pie spices. My first question is how long do I leave the spices in generally? The full year it's in the secondary, 3 or 6 months before bottling, etc?

Who here puts spices in the primary and secondary? If you put in both, do you break up the amounts (e.g., I was going to use 5 cinnamon sticks, so I’ll put 1 in the primary and 4 in the secondary)?
 

Raptor99

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I made an orange spice mead with spices in the primary. The spices were not strong enough, so I added a few more in the secondary.

My theory is that if you add a small enough amount of spices you can just leave them in the secondary for months. I had added 1 clove to a gallon of mead, and after about 6 weeks when I racked it I put the clove in my mouth and sucked on it. There was absolutely no clove flavor left, so the spice flavor was exhausted. My goal is to put in the right amount of spices and then just leave them in the secondary. Since I bulk age anyway I am not in a hurry.
 

Dan O

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I will be making this pumpkin cyser recipe, (or @ least my loosely based version of it ) soon. @emac813 seems to have had success with spices in secondary.
It has been my understanding & experience that a lot of the flavors you're looking to capture get burped out during primary or fade considerably, however, it is also my experience that spices in both round out & complete the flavor.
Whatever you wind up doing, I would recommend a spice bag to pull them when it gets to where you want it. It makes it a lot easier that having to rack again & lose precious mead.

I hope this helps.
Happy meading 😎
 
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I have always added various spices in the primary stage, either at the beginning, or after 4-5 days when the most vigorous fermentation starts to slow. But, after 2nd or 3rd racking when I start thinking about if she needs backsweetening, I taste it and decide if I need to add more spice. This time, it's a lot less needed.
 
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