Author Topic: spices/flavorings for dark beers  (Read 2579 times)

Offline gman23

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spices/flavorings for dark beers
« on: December 17, 2014, 07:50:05 PM »
I am brewing a black lager in the next couple of weeks. Does anyone have any input on a spice/flavoring that would go well in dark beer? I am looking for something unexpected and not the usual suspects (cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate, etc).

New Belgium apparently adds a spice to their 1554 black lager which I never knew until recently. Most think it is grains of paradise but I have no idea. I plan to do a black lager with 1554 in mind but am not attempting to clone it by any means. It kind of gave me the idea to add an unexpected ingredient. I am just looking for something to add some complexity and an interesting note.

Any ideas?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 07:55:17 PM by goschman »
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Offline denny

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2014, 07:59:45 PM »
New Belgium apparently adds a spice to their 1554 black lager

Really?  Where did you run across that tidbit?
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2014, 08:08:41 PM »
Can't think of any spices that are unusual that might go well in a beer.  Nutmeg?  Allspice?  Anise?

Spices + dark beer = Christmas beer, at least to me.
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Offline pete b

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2014, 08:12:51 PM »
Have you ever tried licorice root in beer? It doesn't have the anise flavor associated with candy licorice but a more subtle earthy component. Perhaps more importantly it adds a sweetness and viscosity (mouthfeel) that I feel is a wonderful counterpoint to roasty flavors, especially if you are using any black malt. You need to add it to the boil for I would say at least 20 minutes to extract the flavors. The sweetness is added without there being any fermentables.
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Offline pete b

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2014, 08:15:08 PM »
Can't think of any spices that are unusual that might go well in a beer.  Nutmeg?  Allspice?  Anise?

Spices + dark beer = Christmas beer, at least to me.
Actually what I like about licorice is that it is not that^^^^^ Which I generally don't like, only because its so often overdone.
Most people wouldn't know there was a spice.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2014, 08:15:32 PM »
Have you ever tried licorice root in beer? It doesn't have the anise flavor associated with candy licorice but a more subtle earthy component. Perhaps more importantly it adds a sweetness and viscosity (mouthfeel) that I feel is a wonderful counterpoint to roasty flavors, especially if you are using any black malt. You need to add it to the boil for I would say at least 20 minutes to extract the flavors. The sweetness is added without there being any fermentables.

that actually sounds appealing.
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Offline pete b

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2014, 08:22:25 PM »
Have you ever tried licorice root in beer? It doesn't have the anise flavor associated with candy licorice but a more subtle earthy component. Perhaps more importantly it adds a sweetness and viscosity (mouthfeel) that I feel is a wonderful counterpoint to roasty flavors, especially if you are using any black malt. You need to add it to the boil for I would say at least 20 minutes to extract the flavors. The sweetness is added without there being any fermentables.

that actually sounds appealing.
I use it all the time in medicinal teas. It makes the tea sweet and the viscosity accentuates that and also masks anything that might be astringent. Its also good for the adrenal glands which is good if your a coffee drinker or stressed out a lot.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2014, 08:27:15 PM »
Have you ever tried licorice root in beer? It doesn't have the anise flavor associated with candy licorice but a more subtle earthy component. Perhaps more importantly it adds a sweetness and viscosity (mouthfeel) that I feel is a wonderful counterpoint to roasty flavors, especially if you are using any black malt. You need to add it to the boil for I would say at least 20 minutes to extract the flavors. The sweetness is added without there being any fermentables.

that actually sounds appealing.
I use it all the time in medicinal teas. It makes the tea sweet and the viscosity accentuates that and also masks anything that might be astringent. Its also good for the adrenal glands which is good if your a coffee drinker or stressed out a lot.

no stress here!

how much are you using in beer?
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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Offline erockrph

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2014, 08:39:10 PM »
Maybe try cardamom. I haven't used it, but I can picture it working. It's a sweet/floral spice and is one of the primary ingredients in Turkish coffee and Garam Masala spice blends. I'd go really easy with it, though.
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Offline gman23

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2014, 08:40:45 PM »
New Belgium apparently adds a spice to their 1554 black lager

Really?  Where did you run across that tidbit?

I was doing some research into 1554 clone recipes. New Belgium shares information up to a point and a lot of users from another forum had posted NB's responses. There was more than one that mentioned a spice at the end of the boil just reaching the flavor threshold. The other thing I learned is that they use a lager strain at ale temps.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 08:44:00 PM by goschman »
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Offline pete b

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2014, 08:45:47 PM »
Have you ever tried licorice root in beer? It doesn't have the anise flavor associated with candy licorice but a more subtle earthy component. Perhaps more importantly it adds a sweetness and viscosity (mouthfeel) that I feel is a wonderful counterpoint to roasty flavors, especially if you are using any black malt. You need to add it to the boil for I would say at least 20 minutes to extract the flavors. The sweetness is added without there being any fermentables.

that actually sounds appealing.
I use it all the time in medicinal teas. It makes the tea sweet and the viscosity accentuates that and also masks anything that might be astringent. Its also good for the adrenal glands which is good if your a coffee drinker or stressed out a lot.

no stress here!

how much are you using in beer?
Don't have notes with me but likely 3 TB for 5 gallons. Maybe try making a tea by dedocting for twenty minutes with x amount of licorice in say a quart of water and see how the sweetness and mouthfeel is.
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Offline pete b

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2014, 08:48:57 PM »
Maybe try cardamom. I haven't used it, but I can picture it working. It's a sweet/floral spice and is one of the primary ingredients in Turkish coffee and Garam Masala spice blends. I'd go really easy with it, though.
I love cardamom and will try it in beer someday. To me it would be a tricky one to brew with because of its strength. If you get it right it can be just the thing to make it special. Too much and blecht! its ruined. Its like cloves that way.
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Offline pete b

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2014, 10:00:09 PM »
Maybe try cardamom. I haven't used it, but I can picture it working. It's a sweet/floral spice and is one of the primary ingredients in Turkish coffee and Garam Masala spice blends. I'd go really easy with it, though.
I wouldn't mind a Turkish Coffee Porter. It would go good with a hukkah 8)
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2014, 10:13:16 PM »
I used licorice root a time or two before in stout, but it might be a really good idea to leave it out. There have been studies done in the last year or two linking it to heart arrhythmias that have landed people in the hospital. One link is from the FDA, the other from the Cleveland Clinic. And I realize there have been studies done that showed other substances could MAYBE be harmful if you ate/drank 3 tons of it every day for 100 years, but the potentially dangerous amount here is actually pretty small. Not worth the risk to me.

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm277152.htm

http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2013/11/how-black-licorice-can-make-your-heart-jump/


EDIT  -  I work in a hospital where I've heard doctors talk about it - it made me curious because I had brewed with licorice root a time or two (as mentioned), so I researched it.

« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 11:59:55 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: spices/flavorings for dark beers
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2014, 11:08:30 PM »
I used licorice root a time or two before in stout, but it might be a really good idea to leave it out. There have been studies done in the last year or two linking it to heart arrhythmias that have landed people in the hospital. One link is from the FDA, the other from the Cleveland Clinic. And I realize there have been studies done that showed other substances could maybe be harmful if you ate/drank 3 tons every day for 100 years, but the potentially dangerous amount here is actually pretty small. Not worth the risk to me.

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm277152.htm

http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2013/11/how-black-licorice-can-make-your-heart-jump/


EDIT  -  I work in a hospital where I've heard doctors talk about it - it made me curious because I had brewed with licorice root a time or two (as mentioned), so I researched it.

so yeah good info....crazy how these herbs /roots behave sometimes
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest