Need winter warmer help

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Need winter warmer help

Postby zeno » Tue Mar 04, 2003 11:48 am

I'm brewing a late winter warmer... I was thinking I'd experiment with maby a tiny bit of blackberry and some allspice or something, but I could definately use any better suggestions (I thought it sounded good, but I've had some !@#$ funny looks)..

Reguardless, I have a slight problem. I have no idea how to add Allspice, Nutmeg, or any other spice of the like to the beer. Could you give me
some pointers? I do use a secondary, if that matters..

Just for refrence (and your amusement, I'm sure), here's the recipe in a nutshell..

6.6 lbs Liquid Light Extract
3 lbs Liquid Wheat Extract
.45 lbs 2-row
.45 lbs crystal 60*L
.3 lbs chocolate
.125 lbs Black Roast

.5oz Brewers Gold @ 60 min
.5oz Cascades @ 20 min
.5oz Cascades Dry Hop is secondary

Pretty much, I was trying for a Sharp, clean, mild hopped, heavy winter warmer.. The idea of blackberry was for a slight sour/tangy taste, and
I figured Allspice would be a wintery spice that would not be bad with the blackberry.. 'Course, I know jack about spices and cooking (and probobly
less about designing beer recipe's as I'm sure you've noticed), so...
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Winter Warmer....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Tue Mar 04, 2003 12:16 pm

Since there is no defined style actually named Winter Warmer, you can approach making this beer in any way that floats your boat. The majority of these so named brews are ales although I've had some that were lagers as well.

Here are my suggestions: Your malt bill looks fine, but if you are looking for a "mild hopped" beer, avoid the Cascade. Instead use a low alpha, low cohumulone hop such as Kent Goldings, Mittlefruh, Saaz, Willamette or Fuggles. Using Cascade for both flavor and dry additions will most likely result in the trademark grapefruity flavor that Cascade produces. This would most likely set up a big clash with the spices and fruit you intend to use. Also, if you want any spice and fruit aroma in the beer, I would scratch the dry hops.

Let me know how it comes out !

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When do I add allspice?

Postby zeno » Tue Mar 04, 2003 12:45 pm

At what point do I add the spice, and how do I add it? Boil in crushed up spice? Drop whole allspice kernels into the secondary? Boil the allspice in water with the blackberry and add it in and stir when I keg it?
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Spice Additions...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Tue Mar 04, 2003 3:09 pm

Allspice contains most of it's flavor and aroma in volatile oils. Therefore, it needs extracted. You have some choices here, but regardless of method, course grind the spice. If you pummel it up too far, you may create a lipid haze that won't go away:

1) Add the spices in the last 10 minutes of the boil;

2) Add the spices in the whirlpool.

3) Make a tea with boiling water out of the spices and add them in the secondary.

OR... ALL OF THE ABOVE !


What I wouldn't do is add the spices or the tea at bottling time as hazing will be highly probable if added at this stage.

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Tea Anyone

Postby dartedplus » Tue Mar 04, 2003 5:36 pm

When I have used spices in past brews, I did as Eric suggested as one of his options. I gave the spices a rough crush and then simmered them in about a cup of water for about 10 minutes, then I strained the spices from the liquid and added the liquid in the last 5-10 minutes of the boil. Thats what I usually do when I make a belgian wit with the orange, coriander and cumin.
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Question For Mesa Eric???

Postby fitz » Wed Mar 05, 2003 4:08 am

Mesa,
I'm definitely not a fruit and spice brewer expect and occasional wine or mead. However, Zeno is asking about spices. Won't many of these spices kill the head of his beer? If so, is there any tried and true that you can use that won't?
Figured this may help zeno, or even myself if I brew a batch for someone else who wants spiced beer.
Some friends give presents, real friends give alcohol(Beer, Wine, Etc.)
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Spices may reduce head retention...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Wed Mar 05, 2003 7:42 am

Yes... some spices, particularly if over used will kill a head. I didn't state this in my answer to the original post, but the other reason you should not add any of the spices (extracted or not)at bottling time is that the lipids in the oils will most likely result in a headless beer.

Some spices I'm aware of (actually herbs/weeds)that will not effect head retention are
Mugwort, Pennyroyal, Nettle, Alehoof, Sweet Gale, & Bog Myrtle. I also have never experience headding problems in beers that I added licorice to.

Most all of the seed derived spices will affect head retention, but to varying degrees: Grains of Paradise, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Corriander. In high amounts, Ginger can affect heading as well.

Since Winter Warmers tend to be higher in alcohol than typical offerings, the head is negatively impacted anyway. I would approach brewing this beer from a flavor perspective. It is not a crime that all beer doesn't strike a head like a wheat beer or a well made Pils. There are MANY examples of beer made by revered brewers that lack a "typical" head. In his composition, zeno listed WME (27%) and Crystal 60L (4%), both of which will add to heading ability, for a total of 31% by weight. The 2 row will also contribute a bit to heading potential. This should give the beer a good chance of striking a head. Depending on the alcohol and spicing, it may just not be able to maintain it for very long.

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How much spice? and orange peals?

Postby zeno » Wed Mar 05, 2003 8:04 am

I really appreciate all of this information.. The head retention and haze information is quite helpful..

My last question, what are the relative taste effects? How much would 2oz of spice do? Where should I start for a mild spiced flavor?

Also, it was recommended that I try one using orange peals and nutmeg.. Would I just throw orange peals in the secondary? How much orange peal should be used? Would this suit the cascades?
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Light flavored

Postby fitz » Wed Mar 05, 2003 9:50 am

Like Eric said, you need light flavored hops. Low Alpha. Saaz would be a good one. For hints of the hops browse some of the wheat or Lambic recipes. They will have the types of hops you'll want. As for the spices and fruit, you'll have to get the info from Eric or one of the others. I don't use many adjucts unless requested to. The other guys already know this.
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Spice'n...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Wed Mar 05, 2003 10:12 am

"...what are the relative taste effects? How much would 2oz of spice do? Where should I start for a mild spiced flavor?"

"Would I just throw orange peals in the secondary?"

Definitely do NOT place the peels in the secondary. When mentioning the peels, I assume you are refering to dried sweet or Curacao orange peels, neither of which has a similarity in flavor to raw or dried domestic orange peels in the States. Both of these peel types are much stronger in flavor and are processed to retain it. To extract their flavors, just like with the spices, the volatile oils must be released and retained in solution. The best technique to capture the true flavor of the peels is to add them in when mashing. But, you are not mashing, so the best point to add them would be 12~15 minutes in the boil. If you boil them much longer than this you risk extracting too much wax from the peels which will haze your beer and the extended boil will give the orange flavor a "marmalade" type character.

"How much orange peal should be used? "

Just like the spices, it depends on all of the flavors that they must interplay with.

"Would this suit the cascades?"

Yes, as long as the amount of cascade used is relative to the other flavors. If the intent is for the orange character deing to be discernable, this would be a cool idea as the synergy should increase the impression of citrus without being hop dominated. But... if you are still planning on using blackberries and some of the other spices you mentioned in addition to the orange peel, I would still select a more suitable hop variety.

I know this did not tell you a formula or give specific amounts to follow... I wish it could be easier explained, but there are many variables to take into account. Maybe someone else on the forum has brewed a similar body/gravity/ingredient beer that was spiced and give you a ratio to start from which you can then refine. Otherwise, experiment !

Eric
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