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monkeybrewer
09-27-2011, 01:45 PM
I brew an American style witbier that I can't seem to get the orange, coriander and chamomile characters in the beer that I'm looking for during the brew process. I've boiled it for 5 minutes with no character, I've boiled it for 15 minutes with no character and I even tried it for 30 minutes...still no characteristic spice flavors or aromas. I'm sure I'm using enough spice as well, 4# orange peel, 1# coriander, 1# chamomile for a 7 bbl batch. I've been forced to make a sterile tea and then add it to the finished beer before it gets transfered to the serving tank. My question is would it make any sense to add the spices to the mash, like hop mashing. I feel like it would at least be consistent. I realize the boil may blow off all of the volatiles but I'm really not getting them any way. I'm going to begin to distribute this beer locally and I really need to be able to make it come out consistently and subtly spiced. Any thoughts, comments or concerns?

kugeman
09-27-2011, 01:56 PM
Jay, What about dry hopping with them? I've had good success with that before, especially with orange peel and chamomile.

monkeybrewer
09-27-2011, 02:04 PM
I like that idea. Did you run into any problems with clogging the bottom valve? Have you done it with conicals before? Did you ferment and then add the spices on top of the beer or did you ferment and then transfer to a purged tank with the spices already in it? Any infection issues? Questions, questions....
Thanks Hutch
Cheers

kugeman
09-27-2011, 02:40 PM
Well to be honest I "winged" it a little bit. I just added the chamomile and orange peel (and lavender in my case) and in a hop bag through the prv. No major problems except for the fact that 1 lb of lavender is WAY TOO MUCH in a 7 bbl batch (hence the "lavender pale ale" I ended up brewing:) )

But chamomile is a much milder aroma so I think you'd be safe with it. Maybe on your next batch continue doing what you have been (adding at 5-10 mins before boil stop) but then also dry hop with 1/2 lb of chamomile and 1-2 lbs of orange peel? Start slow and see where it gets you?

I did feel like the orange peel gave a great aromatic effect (this was both sweet and bitter orange peel) but also added more tartness to the beer.

No infection problems. I was just careful about sanitizing everything (except the actual spices/orange peel). It was a couple years ago, but I'm pretty sure I added it right after primary ferment was over (day 4 or 5) and let the beer sit warm for a few days before crashing. Just like I would with dry hops.

kugeman
09-27-2011, 02:42 PM
I also wonder if you could dry hop with whole coriander seeds (or lightly crushed ones) in a bag instead of powdered coriander. I did something similar with cardamom seeds and it worked really well.

rudge75
09-28-2011, 09:10 AM
A couple of tips for you:
Toast your spices right before grinding them up fresh 5 minutes before adding them to the boil for the last 10 minutes. Bag em when you add them to the kettle, but loosely so they can marinate well.

After boil, pull the bag out into a sanitized bucket, then move it to your fermenter and tie it off in the fermenter (sterilized spices - yay!).

You'll be astounded by the difference this makes.

Another option would be to freeze the spice bag and then add it back when you transfer the beer out of fermentation to the final tank. This carries more infection risk, but if you're clean about the bucket you freeze the spice bag in, it shouldn't cause any grief.

Woolsocks
09-29-2011, 03:34 PM
We've had good luck using whole spices. Right near the end of your boil, toast them a bit then grind them and throw them into the whirlpool. For bigger stuff like orange peel, just use a hop bag but still only in the whirlpool.

For us, the longer we boil a spice, the less flavor we get (like hops!)

If you still aren't getting enough, make an extract using vodka and mix it in!

Capt. Bob
09-29-2011, 06:43 PM
We've had good luck using whole spices. Right near the end of your boil, toast them a bit then grind them and throw them into the whirlpool. For bigger stuff like orange peel, just use a hop bag but still only in the whirlpool.

For us, the longer we boil a spice, the less flavor we get (like hops!)

If you still aren't getting enough, make an extract using vodka and mix it in!

Very true! I add at flame-out and whirlpool. Boiling seems to diminish the aroma and impart some off flavors. Try making a tea with hot water and another by boiling the spices. You'll see a big difference.
I use a lot of weird stuff as far as spices and always add at flame-out with great results.

monkeybrewer
09-29-2011, 07:20 PM
meant to mention my first endeavor was just adding to the whirlpool...no luck there...tried the vodka too but don't want to go down that road in the future...still curious about mash spicing, any one tried it before?