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Licorice or Anise

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  • Licorice or Anise

    I'm getting ready to brew a licorice beer and I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for using licorice or star anise in a beer. I'll likely make a dark beer with the anise used right at whirlpool, but I'm unsure of the amount to use and potential bitterness produced from the spice.

    Any suggestions welcome,
    Ray Sherwood
    Sherwood Brewing Company
    Ray Sherwood
    Sherwood Brewing Company
    Shelby Township, MI

  • #2
    I could only help you based on my homebrewing experience -- I used one stick of "Brewer's Licorice" in a 6 gallon batch (porter), and boy howdy, it was pretty prevalent. I would probably contact one of the flavoring companies and get a sample bottle of anise or licorice extract and titrate it into a pint glass of non-descript blonde ale and fine the taste you want.
    "By man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world" -- St. Arnold of Metz


    • #3
      from a cooks prospective

      Have you thought of "dry hopping" with some Tarragon. Depending on the species you could get a nice underlying licorice flavor without it kicking the back of your head out and you would also get a bit of spice from the mint side of the family.

      Just a thought



      • #4
        Hello all,

        First, as I always maintain, for real spice flavor you should use real spices. Extracts taste like chemicals. Generally speaking of course.

        Second, use of licorice (real licorice) in food products is strictly regulated by the FDA and TTB. One of my Statements of Process was rejected because it listed licorice without the appropriate supporting lab work. If I recall correctly, the glycyrrhizin (licorice root) content of any alcoholic beverage cannot exceed 0.1%. Not wanting to brew the beer, then have a sample analyzed just to find if it would be accepted or rejected, I dropped the matter and changed ingredients. Star Anise, ginger, and a hint of tarragon can go a long way to imparting a licorice-like note to the beer.

        As to amounts; be wary! Anise can be very overpowering if overused by just a small amount. 0.25 oz / BBL star anise (yes, oz!) will give a noticeable flavor. More would be of course, more.

        Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales


        • #5
          I have used both, the "real thing" and 50grams/60hl.... well no problem knowing it is there!
          Agree adding it as late as possible in the boil/whirlpool.

          Interested to know why the FDA/TTB regulates glycyrrhizin?


          • #6
            Glycyrrhizin can cause hypertension (High Blood Pressure) from the way it affects Sodium uptake in the body per Wikipedia. I'm not a Dr. but I do like to play it now and again on TV or with my wife LOL.


            • #7
              That's powerful stuff!!

              I was going for just a hint of something unique in our Stout. Added just 12 GRAMS of toasted and ground whole star anise to 9hl of our Stout. WAY TOO MUCH!!! Should have used half that much and added more to get it right. Never thought that this stuff would be so powerful at 13 ppm!!!
              Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--


              • #8
                I would imagine that the trans-anethol and anethol in the anise would be very potent for flavor in small amounts. Both are indicated to inhibit yeast. Think Ouzo. Better still, with a nice recipe, think killer root beer with no post fermentation? Is anethol or trans-anethol on the no brew list?


                • #9
                  Rootbeer had crossed my mind. With a hint of smoked malt, too. Don't know about the no-brew categorization. At this low rate, I get much more anethol from a plate of Chinese spicy pork ribs than a glass of my Stout!
                  Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--


                  • #10
                    I have used 5 or 6 broken up star anise pieces during the last couple minutes of boil in a mesh bag an left it in for whirlpool and settle in a 17 BBL batch and had a just noticeable flavor in finished beer. Not coming through strong but a nice hint in a stout recipe I used to brew.


                    • #11
                      You can also get the "Licorice" flavors from a few other sources. Fennel and basil, to name a few. Both will get by the SOP guys.


                      • #12
                        HI Ray! Make that a licorice stout and my brother will be over to drink it! Hope business is good. -Ted
                        Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
                        "Your results may vary"


                        • #13
                          I just tried an American Licorice Stout with 1/2" of Brewer's Licorice (15 min) and 1 broken star anise (5 min) for 10 gal. 1.070 OG Definitely noticed a nice licorice smell. Will report on taste in about 2 weeks...


                          • #14
                            If anybody wants a super spicy anise/licorice flavor,,let me know.

                            I have about 40# of dried and potent SweetRoot (Osmorhiza occidentalis).

                            This plant is very potent and makes an amazing Ouzo. I know of few folks using this herb for beer,,but it is used in the herb industry. It's sometime's called, "Elk Medicine".

                            Pmail me?


                            • #15
                              ive just done a 7.8% russian stout with subtle but noticable licorice notes i used 330g of licorice juice sticks per 11bbl(imperial), seemed to work out fine for me

                              regards, critch
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