Author Topic: Cinnamon  (Read 1818 times)

Offline kmccaf

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Cinnamon
« on: December 08, 2012, 09:45:59 AM »
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.
So it goes.

Offline amh0001

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Re: Cinnamon
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2012, 10:23:46 AM »
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.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Cinnamon
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2012, 10:25:02 AM »
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.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Cinnamon
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 11:29:55 AM »
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?
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Cinnamon
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 11:45:51 AM »
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.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Cinnamon
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2012, 03:07:39 PM »
Joe,  that was what I was getting at.  You used sticks.  I'm worried about the use of powder.
Martin B
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Cinnamon
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2012, 03:26:48 PM »
Joe,  that was what I was getting at.  You used sticks.  I'm worried about the use of powder.

Sorry.  The tincture was with powdered cinnamon.

I believe it also had all-spice, nutmeg and definitely anise.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline guido

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Re: Cinnamon
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2012, 05:21:31 PM »
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.

Powdered Saigon cinnamon rocks.  I add it as a steep at the end of the boil.  I also mix it in some in hot water to make a sort of tea for a "dry hop" in the secondary.  This helps me dial in the precise amount I want in my Pumpkin Ale.
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Offline jjflash

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Re: Cinnamon
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2012, 06:26:40 PM »
I have used spice additions for many years.
The quality of spice varies significantly!!!!
When you buy spice you have absolutely no idea how fresh nor how strong the flavor.
One batch of spice may be quite strong and the next quite weak.
(I now buy all my spices from the San Francisco Herb Co.)
They seem to be more consistent with higher quality product.
For ground powder spice I usually use alcohol extraction - ie vodka.
Easy titration to the perfect level.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Cinnamon
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2012, 03:04:25 PM »
On the astringency front I can speak to that. I just kegged a stout with a tincture of ceylon cinnamon 3 sticks in a small bottle of vodka for about a month. I am noticing a distinct woody astringency. similar to that found in oak aged beers. It's okay and once the beer warms up a bit it fades into the background but be aware. 
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Offline jjflash

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Re: Cinnamon
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2012, 07:21:38 PM »
On the astringency front I can speak to that. I just kegged a stout with a tincture of ceylon cinnamon 3 sticks in a small bottle of vodka for about a month. I am noticing a distinct woody astringency. similar to that found in oak aged beers. It's okay and once the beer warms up a bit it fades into the background but be aware.

Cinnamon is bark from a tree so woody astringency from a one month soak does not surprise me. (Bet it went into the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Stout.) I limit my cinnamon soak between 1-2 weeks.  The common cinnamon, Cassia is much worse. It smells sweeter but is much more astringent.  Stick with the Ceylon, it is the best.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Cinnamon
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2012, 08:24:00 PM »
On the astringency front I can speak to that. I just kegged a stout with a tincture of ceylon cinnamon 3 sticks in a small bottle of vodka for about a month. I am noticing a distinct woody astringency. similar to that found in oak aged beers. It's okay and once the beer warms up a bit it fades into the background but be aware.

Cinnamon is bark from a tree so woody astringency from a one month soak does not surprise me. (Bet it went into the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Stout.) I limit my cinnamon soak between 1-2 weeks.  The common cinnamon, Cassia is much worse. It smells sweeter but is much more astringent.  Stick with the Ceylon, it is the best.

Yup it was the stout. it still tastes good but there is a note of woodiness. I was thinking about adding a little cassia to bump the flavour a bit as the ceylon is quite subtle but I think I am going to leave it be at least for now.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller