Gone are the days when brewing meant just water, edible yeast,and grains.Once you become an expert at brewing beer at home, you will hardly be able to resist yourself from experimentation.
Sydney Home Brewing industries and even homebrewersare continually expanding their horizons of infusing different ingredients from the world of herbs, spices, and teas during the process.
If you’re confused that your beer needs the crisp of citrus or a spicy relish with chile or lime and don’t know where to start from, then you’re at the right place. We’ll show how you can infuse different herbs when making home brew beer.
The first thing to know is that not every ingredient goes with every recipe. Set a flavor profile in your mind for your beer and improvise your recipe accordingly.
When to add spices or herbs
You can ingrain them at different parts of the entire process, depending on what you’re using. If you’re using a root based spice, the boiling is the right time to extract the most flavors out of it. Thinner herbs like flowers or leaves can be added later, two weeks before bottling during secondary fermentation.
How to add them
Sanitizing is not always required. Add them while boiling to attain maximum benefits. Otherwise, you need to cover your spices and herbs in grain alcohol. Add just enough that it includes all the spices and herbs. Apart from sanitizing, the juicewill helpto pull out flavors from your ingredients.
If the flavor of hops bores you, here are a few spices and herbs, both familiar and exotic, you can try and enjoy.
- Rosemary- One of the favorite recipes of brewers is a pale ale with rosemary. The trick is to add it late in the boil just a few minutes before the flame off. It has a rich resinous aroma.
- Vanilla- People love shifting towards darker and matter beers like a vanilla porter when the weather gets cold. As the flavors of vanilla are delicate, you might want to add them during the secondary fermentation. Moreover, it also covers up unwanted fermentation characteristics.
- Ginger- The taste of ginger can dominate a beer easily. It puts in a sharp and peppery taste.
- Chilis- Dried red chili peppers add a pungent whiff to the bitter beers. It also controls the head and does not let form sediments in the drink.
- Coriander- It adds a lemony, spicy flavorand aroma to beers. Its seeds must be crushed well before adding during the last few minutes of boiling.
- Lavender- This is one flower that comes as a sweet floral complement to beer, with a minimal impression of spice.
- Nutmeg- Does nutmeg remind of you of classic Christmas beers? It has a very potent and rich taste, which enhances other flavors as wellin your drink.
Some other ingredients that are enjoyed across the continent are Chamomile, Oregano, Thyme, Rubarb, and Bitter Orange.
Some Handy Tips
- Set taste trials to see that none of your ingredients underperforms or is overdone.
- When experimenting with exotic spices and herbs for the first time, measure the quantity used, and record your experience. Next time, try bumping the quantity accordingly for the desired taste. Do not forget to use the same device for measurement.
- While using aggressive spices like rosemary or ginger, be careful that they do not overpower your beer. The best way to counterbalance their taste is to pair such ingredients with milder herbs.
- Seek for the blending of flavors—beer taste wizardry when a single flavor does not dominate your palate.
Experienced homebrewers believe that freshness of herbs and spices matters. Adding packaged powders may be easy, but grinding the ingredients from the whole seeds is an excellent decision.
If you’re bored with the same old recipes with hops, then you might want something different and unique. The world of spices and herbs open a whole new window to the experiment of varieties and varieties of brewing. But, remember experimenting doesn’t mean putting anything in your process. Try new flavors, check their profiles, and their compliance with your palate, keep a record and follow up the next time. The combinations are seamless. We wish that you end up creating some unique beers you can be proud of. You can check out our list of herbs and spices additives here.