Question about dry hopping in secondary (spices)

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sinoth

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Heya all, I'm working on a winter warmer that has cinnamon and nutmeg in it. The recipe calls for the two spices to be crushed and added to secondary. I just racked to secondary after sitting in primary for two weeks. What I'm unsure about is how long to keep the brew in secondary. I know you want it in there long enough for the spices to work, but I want the yeasties to still be alive so I can bottle carb. Any suggestions?

On a more general note, what are the pros/cons to adding spices to secondary rather than adding them at the end of the boil? This is my first time to use a secondary so the concept is new to me.
 

Parker36

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If we could see a recipe, it would be easier to guesstimate a secondary time. For Christmas ales that are spices (also generally a higher ABV), you want a few months (dry hop for only a few weeks). Don't worry about losing the viable yeast too much, we have had posts here saying that they had viable yeast 2 years after sitting in secondary. You can always pitch a 1/2 packet of dry when you bottle just to be double sure.
 
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sinoth

sinoth

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Whoops, shoulda posted the recipe in the first post, my bad xD

(edit: accidentally posted all grain recipe the first time...)

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Winter Warmer clone (Harpoon Brewery, Massachusetts) [extract]
OG = 1.056, FG = 1.014
IBU = 23, SRM = 23
ABV = 5.4%

1.66 lbs light DME
4.25 lbs light LME
2.00 lbs crystal malt (90 L)
0.50 lbs CaraPils malt (15 L)

6.25 AAU clusters hops (1.25 oz @ 5% alpha acids, 60 min)

1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Wyeast 1968 of White Labs WLP002 yeast

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I should probably also note that I did hit close to the target FG, so it should be done fermenting.
 
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sinoth

sinoth

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Sorry about the bump, but I'm still unsure about the spices so I'll try to make my questions more specific:
  • What are the pros/cons of putting spices into secondary vs. putting them in the last bit of the boil?

  • What is the optimal amount of time for spices to float around in secondary? Can they sit too long and over-spice the beer?
 
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