Author Topic: Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'  (Read 1528 times)

Offline mpietropaoli

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Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« on: April 29, 2013, 05:28:45 PM »
Cross posting on another forum, but there is just some great experience on here, so here goes:

The aroma coming off of my witbier after chilling was absolutely sublime. Citrusy, fruity, little wheaty malt...I wanted to keep this aroma around so bad I ran to a buddy's house to get some fermcap, hoping it would minimize my amazing aromas blowing off. It didn't. My ferm chamber has smelled amazing for the last 5 days, and my beer doesn't.

Was thinking of adding some more chamomile (and maybe more zest, though it seems this is easy to overdo) in a muslin bag. I usually add dry hops during the last third of fermentation to the primary and don't worry about infection since the yeast is so active and the presence of alcohol.

I would be a little uncomfortable adding chamomile and ESPECIALLY citrus zest, since the skin of fruit is so full of nasties. Any recommendations? Maybe just spray them with star-san? add them to boiling water, immediately cover, boil for 1-2 minutes, remove from heat, cool and add the whole thing to the fermenter?

The yeast is still a bit active, as I've raised the temp up from my pitch and initial ferment temp of 66 (up to 70, then 72 today), but I seem to have reached a final gravity (1.011 off of 1.048).  It could also just be off-gassing taking away more of my precious aroma.
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Offline troybinso

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Re: Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2013, 07:34:47 PM »
Not sure what to say about the difference between the fermenting aromas and the actual smell of the beer, but if you want to add some spices post fermentation a good way to sanitize them is too soak them in a strong alcohol like everclear.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2013, 08:16:45 PM »
Not sure what to say about the difference between the fermenting aromas and the actual smell of the beer, but if you want to add some spices post fermentation a good way to sanitize them is too soak them in a strong alcohol like everclear.

I would also do this.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 11:12:01 PM »
This might be what they mean above, but for the zest I would soak it in alcohol and then either add the whole tincture or strain out the zest and add the alcohol.  You can dose to taste at packaging.  This is also a good way to make citrus vodka if you are so inclined. 

For the chamomile, I would boil it and make a tea and do the same as above.  You could add the tea to the fermenter without worrying much, but getting the dose right could be a pain and you'd have to taste it frequently to rack it when the level hits what you want.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 07:15:21 AM »
This might be what they mean above, but for the zest I would soak it in alcohol and then either add the whole tincture or strain out the zest and add the alcohol.  You can dose to taste at packaging.  This is also a good way to make citrus vodka if you are so inclined. 

For the chamomile, I would boil it and make a tea and do the same as above.  You could add the tea to the fermenter without worrying much, but getting the dose right could be a pain and you'd have to taste it frequently to rack it when the level hits what you want.

Agreed on both parts here.

With any material added in secondary, the tincture is a great alternative to adding the raw ingredient. You can dose to taste, you don't have to worry about contact time in the finished beer, and you reduce risk of extracting unwanted flavors.

Ever since ruining a batch of Christmas beer with a boquet garni in the keg, I've stuck to a tincture for spices, citrus zest, and herbs. The only thing I haven't tried is hops!
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Offline mpietropaoli

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Re: Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2013, 10:01:22 AM »
You know it's funny, I did a raspberry tincture and added it at a ratio of about 1/2 tsp to a pint, and I could really taste the booze.  I used ever clear and not vodka tho.
Primary: Common Cider; Xmas FauxCAP
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Offline denny

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Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2013, 11:19:32 AM »
You know it's funny, I did a raspberry tincture and added it at a ratio of about 1/2 tsp to a pint, and I could really taste the booze.  I used ever clear and not vodka tho.

I tried vodka tinctures a few times and could always taste the vodka.  I went to just putting the ingredients in secondary and counting on the alcohol and low pH of the beer to protect it, and it's worked every time.  Even with mushrooms I picked myself and did nothing more than brush off the dirt.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2013, 11:50:19 AM »
I think your method also depends on how you package beer. If you keg and your kegs go into cold storage or go on tap within a few weeks I doubt you have much to worry about infection because you are highly unlikely to get an infection that can ferment at cool temperatures. If you bottle and after a few weeks of conditioning/carbonation you also put all your bottles in cold storage and/or you drink through them very quickly I also would not worry. However, if like me, homebrew might sit at room temperature for a few months before you drink them then there's a fair opportunity for an unwanted guest to muck up your beer in the bottle. So for me the tincture route makes more sense although I usually make my spice additions at flameout. When adding fruit or vegetable I pasteurize in a little water on the stove before adding. There's a risk of some pectin haze but I'd rather risk hazy beer than infected beer.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 01:38:53 PM »
You know it's funny, I did a raspberry tincture and added it at a ratio of about 1/2 tsp to a pint, and I could really taste the booze.  I used ever clear and not vodka tho.

I tried vodka tinctures a few times and could always taste the vodka.  I went to just putting the ingredients in secondary and counting on the alcohol and low pH of the beer to protect it, and it's worked every time.  Even with mushrooms I picked myself and did nothing more than brush off the dirt.

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Offline weithman5

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Re: Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 01:46:16 PM »
your idea of spraying with star san may work.  the other thing you could try, instead of tinctures with vodka etc, is just make a tincture out of the same or similar beer the alcohol should kill anything, then put in with your fermentation.
Don AHA member

Offline mpietropaoli

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Re: Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 06:31:31 PM »
There's a risk of some pectin haze but I'd rather risk hazy beer than infected beer.

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Offline mpietropaoli

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Re: Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2013, 06:44:40 PM »
went with a mix of the two.  soaked .4oz of chamomile and the zest of a navel and a blood orange in vodka for a few hours.  Then read Denny's affirmation of my tincture issue and placed a sanitized muslin bag lining my favorite pint glass, poured the whole sloppy mess into there, pulled the bag out, dumped the vodka (which smelled more like vodka than the adjuncts...again only a couple hours), tied off the bag, re-spray sanitized, and dropped the whole thing into my fermenter at 75* or so.  Since I'm not trying to turn this beer around for this weekend anymore, I have a little more time to play with it.  Maybe if I leave it until Sunday or so, it will have picked up the aroma I'm looking for. 
Primary: Common Cider; Xmas FauxCAP
Kegged: Pliny Clone; Rodney's Weizenbock; RIS
Bottled: Putain Biere de Garde; 51 RIS; Glutang Clan Roggenbier
Cellaring: Biere de Mars; Flanders
Planned: Schwarz