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Hi All,

I went to my grocery store to buy a cinnamon stick to place in my Saison D'Hiver, but they were sold out. I have some very good Saigon cinnamon here at home, but it is in powdered form. So, I have a couple of questions. Is it a good idea to use powdered cinnamon? Also, how much should I use? I was thinking of just using one gram in the five gallons.

I find that the sticks don't really come through, but the powder is fine. Start with a gram and taste it. Then you can add a little more if needed. If you end up going a little too much that should be okay too because the cinnamon will lessen over time.

I've used regular grocery store powdered cinnamon before. It was fine. I'm not a huge cinnamon fan but I don't mind a small amount in beer. The problem with cinnamon is when you add too much you get the overpowering flavor along with a really rough tannin mouthfeel.

One gram is probably a good starting point for that beer. Let it ferment out and see whether you think it needs more or not. You can always make a tea by steeping cinnamon or stirring in some powdered cinnamon and adding it to the bottling bucket until you're happy.

If its really a Vietnamese cinnamon in powder form, it should be good.  Up until a few months ago, I thought that all cinnamon was the same.  I visited our local Penzey's spice store a few months ago and found that there is a big difference in cinnamon.  Viet cinnamon is far better than the other varieties. 

The ground cinnamon has more surface area exposed to liberate its goods.  But that also means that it has more surface area to liberate its 'bads'.  I'm a little cautious of extracting tannins with an overdose.  Has anyone used an alcohol extraction with cinnamon to add the essence we are looking for?

Joe Sr.:
I've done a tincture with cinnamon and vodka, but I also used other spices.

The flavors came through very nicely, but the anise was overpowering (to me).

The best cinnamon flavor I've gotten was two sticks in a keg of pumpkin ale.  I did not notice any overbearing tannins, but the keg did not last all that long.


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