View Full Version : Spices: boil vs. whirlpool

Zucker Bee
07-23-2007, 11:55 AM
In order to get the most out of common spices, freshly ground, is it better to boil in the last minutes or to pitch at whirlpool? I'm thinking especially about coriander


07-23-2007, 12:59 PM
I vote to pitch @ Whirlpool..
BTW, grinding coriander right before you add it is the only way in my opinion.


Zucker Bee
07-23-2007, 01:08 PM
BTW, I was asking because I tried in the past adding it directly to the fermenter and the results where disapointing.

50g per hecto, is what I usually use at -5/-10 min to knockout


Fred Scheer
07-23-2007, 02:13 PM
We get best results by adding spices 5 minutes before end of boil.
And, as Jeff posted, grinding coriander before you add it is the right way.


07-23-2007, 03:47 PM
We toss our freshly ground spices in the last five miunutes also, try toasting those seeds in skillet over medium heat just until you see a slight wiff of steam coming from them (WATCH them the whole time as they can burn quickly :eek: ). Cool them qucikly (toss on cookie sheet and in the freezer for 3-5 minutes) and then grind away. By toasting you are helping to release the aromatic oils, and will be greatly satisfied with the result!


10-05-2007, 03:19 PM
Does the same methods apply to star anise, grind them up and toss in at the whirlpool?

Captain Mullet
10-07-2007, 05:14 AM
Why not add them during fermentation?

Zucker Bee
10-07-2007, 03:06 PM
Why not add them during fermentation?

I usually shoot for a moderate spicyness, then tweek the taste if necessary by adding more spices at the last stage of fermentation, just about when I free rise.

Keep in mind some spices float, some sinks, so it's better to have convection still going on in the FV.


Sir Brewsalot
10-08-2007, 07:01 AM
For those adding spices to the fermenter, how are you sanitizing the spices? Steam? Hot wort? Not at all?

The last seems risky to me.

Zucker Bee
10-08-2007, 07:13 AM
For those adding spices to the fermenter, how are you sanitizing the spices? Steam? Hot wort? Not at all?

The last seems risky to me.

Good'ole, peracetic solution!

No... I simply use a part of bottled water and top it with water from HLT to reach 60c

Captain Mullet
10-08-2007, 12:13 PM
What bacteria, wild yeast or mold are associated with your spices? You donít need to sterilize your spices. If your fermentation is clean and rocking there should be no worries about contamination.

Do you sterilize your hops when dry hopping?

10-08-2007, 03:03 PM
The majority of our spices are anti-microbial.

There has even been some interesting research on the correlation between the use of spices in ethnic foods and the weather in those areas. Hotter areas, where food spoils quicker, have adapted to using a larger number of spices, while colder areas (i.e. Northern Europe) have adapted to using minimal spices. Olefins are responsible for most spice flavors, and tend to kill bacteria (as well as fungus :eek: )

10-08-2007, 03:36 PM
speaking from a Chef's point of view, it is best to toast them before you use them. Tossing them in the hot wort hot works because the heat will bring out SOME of the essential oils, but heating them prior to using them is the only way to insure you get the most out of your spice. By the way you should do this whenever you use spices, not just when brewing!

I think tossing them in the kettle will give you more pronounce flavor then in the fermenter but you will get a subtle under note if you toast them and then add them to the fermenter.

My $.02


creature ash
10-23-2007, 03:32 AM
It depends on the character you are looking for.

I think for a 'fresher' spice character the end of the boil (Last 2 min or WP) is best but more complexity can be acheived if they are added earlier.

Why not try 2 or more additions. say 15min from end boil and then at the start of WP.