November 1, 2011

Spice additions

A few weeks ago i published a post about making spice tinctures for my pumpkin ale. The other day I finally got around to adding the spices and blending the beer.
The tinctures i made were very strong, this is by design so I don't have to use too much to flavor the beer.

I started with 100ml samples of the base beer and just did random small amounts that i thought would work. It took about 8 trials to get things right. notes were kept on how much of each spice was added to the mixture, off of a 100ml sample of beer i was using .5ml-1.5ml spice additions.

I ended up having to consult outside help because both my brother and I totally blew out our pallets with the first few trials, our taste was completely off. I had tinctures of nutmeg, ginger,cinnamon and allspice. I ended up leaving out the allspice because we didn't like the flavor it was lending to the beer.

Once happy with the amounts of spice i scaled everything up for 20 gallons of beer and mixed it in the 55 gallon kettle (which was very carefully sanitized). From here i ran the beer of into kegs and put in the fridge to carb, look for the post with tasting notes soon.


  1. Killed it on my Pumpkin Lager. I bottled it today and drank the entire flat/warm sample. Its sort of a bastardized bock that occupies the realm between a Maibock and a Traditional bock. By technicality, its on the ultra low end of the BJCP guidelines for a Traditional Bock. The spices are just there in the finish which was my goal. I hate getting a "spice bomb" in the face when I drink a pumpkin brew.

  2. Me too, I know this is the best way to do spices but I find it hard to keep tasting accurately, maybe doing the research over a few days preparing samples in advance is the way to go so your pallet can recover.
    I had a coffee porter that came out tasting like all coffee and no porter last year and i think this is why.