When and how to add spices

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SnyderCider

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I've read about people putting cinnamon sticks and other spices (Apple Pie Spice was written on one of my favorite local ciders) and I'm not sure when they actually add in that element. Is it at the start of the first fermentation or is it later on? I've been on this forum for about a week and have asked so many questions. Thank you guys for all the help!

Edit - sorry I put this in the wrong forum. Supposed to be in the hard cider section. Still a little new to the website!
 
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VikeMan

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Is your question about cider or beer? (This is the Beginners Beer Brewing Forum, but you mentioned cider.)

If beer, generally I advise adding spices with just a few minutes to go in the boil, or at flameout. The idea is to have enough heat to incorporate the flavors but not boil them away.

With cider, if you are pasteurizing before fermentation, you could add the spices during that. But I'm not much of a cider guy, and you might get a better answer on the Cider forum.
 

Dr_Jeff

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Be careful with cinnamon, a little can go a long way and easily get over powering.

As to the apple pie spice, I add it to the keg, I realize that doesn't answer your question if you bottle.
If bottling, I would suggest adding it after the last racking and let it sit for several weeks or more for the flavors to meld.
Once again, don't over do it, it can take a long time for spices to fade.

This advice pertains to cider.
 

mashpaddled

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There are a lot of different answers here and none are definitely right or wrong. Some spices benefit or change with longer boil times while others are particularly fragile and it doesn't take much heat to ruin the best parts of the flavor. Some people like adding spices after chilling the wort through fermentation, after fermentation ends, in a long aging, shortly before packaging, or added to priming sugar. All of these can produce different flavor and aroma profiles.

My general technique is to treat spices as a whirlpool addition so I chill the wort to around 180F and let the spices steep for 10-15 minutes with the lid on before continuing to chill the wort. That gives heat extraction while minimizing boiling off too much of the flavor. Some flavor and aroma compounds boil off at lower temperatures but that is my compromise.
 

AlexKay

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My general technique is to treat spices as a whirlpool addition so I chill the wort to around 180F and let the spices steep for 10-15 minutes with the lid on before continuing to chill the wort. That gives heat extraction while minimizing boiling off too much of the flavor. Some flavor and aroma compounds boil off at lower temperatures but that is my compromise.
This is exactly what I do (though 180 F is a little hot for me, from a DMS standpoint -- I generally shoot for 150-160 F.) I've done this with cinnamon, fennel pollen, and orange peel (not all at the same time.)

The other advice is to use less than you'll think you'll need. Over-spiced beer is nasty, whereas if you undershoot you'll have something drinkable.
 
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SnyderCider

SnyderCider

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My bad guys for posting in the wrong forum about the cider but this also answers questions about beer that I hope to brew in the future
 

Rish

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I've read about people putting cinnamon sticks and other spices (Apple Pie Spice was written on one of my favorite local ciders) and I'm not sure when they actually add in that element. Is it at the start of the first fermentation or is it later on? I've been on this forum for about a week and have asked so many questions. Thank you guys for all the help!
I make a tincture by soaking in spices separately in a few ounces (enough to cover by an inch or so) in a glass container with a good lid for about 10 days, shaking a couple of times a day. Then add the liquid at bottling time. This way you can add a little at a time and adjust the taste as you go until you get it where you want it. You'll lose some flavor and aroma if you add at the beginning of fermentation
 
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Beermeister32

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I’d go to the store and buy a few bottles around Autumn when these beers come out, see if you really want to do this.

I have yet to enjoy a cinnamon, pumpkin or pie spiced beer, I can say most have been horrifying to one degree or another.

Why someone puts pie spices into an otherwise good batch of beer is beyond me. Imagine having to drink 5 gallons of it!
 
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