Author Topic: spices for Holiday Ale?  (Read 2635 times)

Offline goschman

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spices for Holiday Ale?
« on: October 23, 2012, 12:00:18 PM »
Can anyone recommend some spices to use for Holiday Ales? I am actually brewing a pumpkin ale but since it is pretty late, I was thinking about adding some additional spices to give it have a "holiday" influence.

I was thinking about using the normal spices for a pumpkin ale and adding some sweet orange peel and maybe some star anise or something. I am doing a pretty light colored amber ale as the base beer with no dark or roasted malts. The goal is to have a pretty subtle spice influence so I am cutting the amount of spices pretty much in half from the pumpkin porter I did last year. Any input?

Offline beersk

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Re: spices for Holiday Ale?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 12:22:48 PM »
Cinnamon for sure.  Otherwise, it's open to interpretation.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: spices for Holiday Ale?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 12:26:36 PM »
I'd say cinnamon and nutmeg are pretty much standard. From there it's a little more open to interpretation. Vanilla and ginger are pretty safe. Rum and/or bourbon could work. Allspice and clove are options, but I'd be really careful if you go with clove. Orange and lemon peel might be nice.
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Offline goschman

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Re: spices for Holiday Ale?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2012, 12:27:36 PM »
I am planning to use ground cinammon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

Also thinking about adding sweet orange peel. Can I do this by litteraly peeling an orange and using the skin? I thought it was not good to include the pith from the orange on the inside of the peel.

Offline AmandaK

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Re: spices for Holiday Ale?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2012, 12:56:21 PM »
Remember that a little clove goes a long way.  ;)
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Offline goschman

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Re: spices for Holiday Ale?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2012, 01:08:44 PM »
Remember that a little clove goes a long way.  ;)

Yep...gonna use a small amount...1/4 tsp ground
other amounts will be
cinammon - 1 tsp
ginger - 1/2 tsp
nutmeg - 1/4 tsp

I decreased the amounts from what I would normally use  by almost half to get more of a subtle flavor that is not overpowering
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 01:14:00 PM by goschman »

Offline snowtiger87

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Re: spices for Holiday Ale?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 01:25:40 PM »
I have had the best luck with McCormick's Pumplkin Pie Spice. It has better flavor than anything I have made up on my own.

Be careful with Star Anise. A little goes a loooooong way.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: spices for Holiday Ale?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2012, 01:57:28 PM »

Also thinking about adding sweet orange peel. Can I do this by litteraly peeling an orange and using the skin? I thought it was not good to include the pith from the orange on the inside of the peel.

My preference is to use a sharp carrot/potato peeler or a a microplane to get just the zest. 
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Offline goschman

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Re: spices for Holiday Ale?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2012, 03:13:49 PM »

Also thinking about adding sweet orange peel. Can I do this by litteraly peeling an orange and using the skin? I thought it was not good to include the pith from the orange on the inside of the peel.

My preference is to use a sharp carrot/potato peeler or a a microplane to get just the zest.

My buddy actually just suggested the same thing. He also said to put in the over at 250 until all the moisture is gone. Not sure what the benefit of that is...

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: spices for Holiday Ale?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2012, 10:26:08 PM »
My buddy actually just suggested the same thing. He also said to put in the over at 250 until all the moisture is gone. Not sure what the benefit of that is...
And vaporize the oils in the zest?  That seems counterproductive to me.  Use it fresh.
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Offline goschman

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Re: spices for Holiday Ale?
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 07:33:01 AM »
Thanks all. I think I am just going to buy the prepackaged sweet orange peel. Between preparing and baking the pumpkin, I don't really want to deal with zesting oranges. I tried a potato peeler because I thought that would save me some time but it didn't work to well. The gap was too large and was taking off the pith as well.

Laziness wins again!