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10/27/08 02:13 PM  
cardamon...have to be boiled?
I have a dark STRONG that is about ready to bottled. I didn't use any spices in the boil but I'd like to add some cardamon before bottling. has anyone experimented with spicing after fermentation?

I was thinking of just making a little cardamon tea with the priming sugar...

recommended amouts for 5 gallon? Or 3 if I only do part of it?

Mike T
10/27/08 02:40 PM  
Re: cardamon...have to be boiled?
I would make a separate tea, that way you could add as much as you need without worrying about how much priming sugar you are adding.

I have found that adding a spice tea gives a much clearer/cleaner spice flavor than adding the spice to the boil. I like this in Christmas and pumpkin ales where I want to taste the spice, but not so much in Belgians where I want the spice to integrate into the yeast profile.

Just pull a sample and add some until you get the flavor you want, then scale up for the rest of the batch. Remember that carbonation will help to lift the aromatics up to your nose, so be conservative.

Good luck.

10/27/08 02:46 PM  
Re: cardamon...have to be boiled?
"Danger, danger, Will Robinson!!!!" (robot in Lost In Space)

Cardamon is a very intense spice that does not dissipate well even with time if you added too much. Even a very little goes a long way to over powering the overall flavor profile. Personally I think cardamon should not be used in beer.

10/27/08 03:00 PM  
Re: cardamon...have to be boiled?
De Struisse seem to stress the use of cardamon in all of their beers.

What about corriander?

actually, the two supposedly play off of eachother very well.

Anyway,what are we talking here, 1g? 1/4tsp?

10/27/08 03:23 PM  
Re: cardamon...have to be boiled?
I've used cardamom in a tripelish beer before in conjunctionn with coriander, ginger, and grains of paradise. I added them at the last five minutes of boiling, but....

The other way I like to use spices is as tinctures. Powder them and soak them in vodka or everclear for a few days or weeks to create a concentrated tincture.

Then, at bottling, pull out a measured amount of your beer, say 8 oz. Add carefully measured mL amounts of your tincture to this beer and do some tasting til you get the flavor just right.

When you figure out the ratio you want, do the math for the whole batch.

I particularly like this technique with complex and light flavors. This past weekend, I added some cacao and vanilla tinctures to a porter before bottling. The flavors were awesome and I can't wait to try it once it's bottle conditioned.

(credit goes to Randy Mosher for this idea.)

10/27/08 03:36 PM  
Re: cardamon...have to be boiled?
I somewhat agree with Cisco. Cardamon is very intense and you have to be very careful with it. I used a teaspoon in a 5 gallon batch once.....a year later and it is still very over powering, the wife thinks it smells like a cleaner. Hopefully in 5 more years it will be drinkable.

I think it can be used though, just don't add nearly as much as you think you should. I am thinking 1-2grams/5gallons.

10/28/08 12:55 AM  
Re: cardamon...have to be boiled?
Forgot to mention that when I put it in at the end of the boil, I used 1/8 tsp. The flavor was light, but present and well balanced with the 1 oz. crushed coriander, 1/8 tsp. ginger, and 1 gram Afromum.

When using tinctures, there's not standard other than the one you determine experimentally with each batch.

10/28/08 06:59 AM  
Re: cardamon...have to be boiled?
Thanks for the feedback guys.

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