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General advice on spice additons
11/24/09 04:37 PM  
I am trying to compile some general advice on spice additions, mainly some preferred, safe starting points and the expected outcomes. I want to do a few spiced beers and in particular am trying to get close to the spice profile of Rare Vos in one beer. I would like to get some feedback on using sweet orange peel, coriander, star anise, ginger, sour orange peel, grains of paradise, and white pepper. So far, I have put together the following on usage amounts from internet sources and Radical Brewing:

Sweet orange peel

In a Wit: 1.5 oz fresh zest

Zest of 2 - 3 oranges / 5 gal (or 1 orange + ½ grapefruit to mimic sour orange)

Coriander [0.1 - 1 oz / 5 gal]

Lemon flavor and aroma

Hennepin: 0.1 oz / 5 gal

In a wit: 0.4 - 1 oz / 5 gal

Star anise [0.015 - 0.04 oz / 5 gal]:

Probrewer: 0.25 oz. / BBL (=0.04 oz / 5 gal)


Thiel quote from the internet: "0.003 oz / gal will produce noticeable aroma"

Homebrewer quote “The exact amount to use will depend on the exact makeup of your grist. I don't like more than one whole star in five US gallons, as a rule of thumb. I've found that to be just enough to give the hint of flavor I'm looking for, except in lighter beers. My Witbier uses two blades broken from one star; any more, the flavor is obvious.”

“I've done a couple of beers using star anise, I like around a quarter of an ounce at 10-15 minutes or so.”

Ginger [0.03 - 0.12 oz / 5 gal]

Hennepin: 0.03 oz / 5 gal

Cooking removes the heat.

Probrewer quote: "I have been using ginger in commercial production for over 12 years, only at threshold. 1/2-3/4 oz/bbl gives a just barely perceivable aroma/flavor and has the added effect of settling the stomach, during those extended sessions. More carbonation brings out more ginger. Throw the ginger, milled in a food processor, into a muslin bag into the whirlpool. The amount of ginger you use will vary a bit based on how fresh it is, if its really juicy and smells really peppery use less and if it is a bit dry and really yellow use more."

Homebrewer quote: "more delicate and spicy as a dryhop"

Sour orange peel (Seville oranges) / Marmalade

Radical: 1 – 2 Tbs (marmalade)

Grains of Paradise [0.02 - 0.04 oz / 5 gal]

Hennepin: 0.02 oz / 5 gal

Radical: 0.04 oz / 5 gal

White pepper [0.04 oz / 5 gal]

Radical: 0.04 oz / 5 gal.

Can anyone add some recommended usage amounts? I would particularly like to hear from someone who has used ginger, star anise, and white pepper regarding the amounts used and results.


11/24/09 04:39 PM  
Re: Spices
Long day. The above post is from me, not "general advice on spice additions".
11/25/09 12:49 PM  
Re: Spices
I would definitely lean toward fresh orange zesh rather than the dried stuff you often see in stores & recipes. I've used up to 6 or 8 entire oranges worth of zest with good results in a witbier.

Rather than the standard coriander & orange peel in my wits, I also like to use black peppercorns and chamomile tea. I'd have to go dig out my notes for exact amounts, but neither sticks out in the final product at all. The black peppercorns add a nice bit of extra bit to the finished blend, and the chamomile adds a slight bit of perfume and flavor that sort of pulls the rest of the spices (along with any spiciness from the yeast) together into a nice cohesiveness.

Oddly enough, I've also heard of people adding a bit of white flour to their wits for insured haze. (I've never done this myself.)

12/09/09 12:31 AM  
Re: Spices
Cardamom in small amounts can also be good.
12/09/09 10:39 PM  
Re: Spices

From "Farmhouse Ales" by Phil Markowski

Grams per 5gal - range "barley Detectable" to "noticable", finely ground and dried

Corriander 7-12

Cumin .5-1.2

Curaco/bitter orange 7-14

Ginger .5-1.2

Grains of Paradise .5-1

star anise .5-1

sweet orange 5-10

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