Spice Is the Spice of Life

So, how do you make a spiced beer? “Brew a beer and add spices.” If only it were that sim­ple! Spice opens up an enor­mous range of fla­vors to us, and shows you how to de­ploy var­i­ous spices to get some­thing you’re go­ing to love drink­ing!

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Con­tents -

So, how do you make a spiced beer? “Brew a beer and add spices.” If only it were that sim­ple! Spice opens up an enor­mous range of fla­vors to us, and Josh Weik­ert shows you how to de­ploy var­i­ous spices to get some­thing you’re go­ing to love drink­ing!

FOL­LOW­ING IS A TRAN­SCRIPT of an ac­tual ex­change be­tween my wife and my grand­mother:

“Nanny, how do you make your baked mac­a­roni and cheese?”

“Well, first you make mac­a­roni, and then you add the cheese!”

Clearly, Nanny was hold­ing may never know what.

When some­one is well-prac­ticed at some­thing, the sub­tle de­tails that a less-ex­pe­ri­enced prac­ti­tioner needs to be aware of to have the same kind of suc­cess are of­ten left out, not out of mal­ice or to pre­serve pro­pri­etary in­for­ma­tion but just be­cause we grad­u­ally come to re­gard such things as se­cond na­ture. “Stir un­til mixed, but don’t over-stir.” “Cook un­til done.” “Make mac­a­roni, add cheese.”

So, how do you make a spiced beer? “Brew a beer and add spices.” If only back. We

it were that sim­ple! Any­one can throw in­gre­di­ents into a beer, and yes, you’ll get a “spiced beer” if some of those in­gre­di­ents are spices, but if we want to make some­thing that high­lights the fla­vors of the spice in a way that meshes seam­lessly with the base beer, then we need to ap­proach it a bit more de­lib­er­ately. The in­gre­di­ents, process, and recipe all re­quire us to take a beat and think about what we want and how we get it. Spice opens up an enor­mous range of fla­vors to us, and it’s worth know­ing how to de­ploy var­i­ous spices to get some­thing we’re go­ing to love drink­ing!

Sourc­ing Your Spices

On the one hand, spices are just about the eas­i­est brew­ing in­gre­di­ent to find. While most peo­ple don’t keep bar­ley, rye, hops, and yeast on hand in their kitchen (present com­pany be­ing much more likely, but I bet a lot of you don’t!), nearly ev­ery­one does have ac­cess to a wide range of dried (and maybe fresh) spices and herbs in a con­ve­nient cabi­net or rack. That’s a ter­rific place to start, but you’ll also prob­a­bly want to cast a wider net to get just what you want in your beer.

The best part about us­ing dried spices is that they’re both avail­able and per­sis­tent. I’m con­fi­dent that ev­ery­one read­ing this could pretty rapidly lay their hands on cin­na­mon, all­spice, cumin, and/or cloves, any one of which might come in handy in a brew­ing ap­pli­ca­tion. Even if that’s not true for you (or if you don’t have ex­actly what you need for your recipe), it’s pretty easy to hit the bak­ing aisle at the near­est gro­cery store to find a stag­ger­ing as­sort­ment of dried herbs and spices, all neatly ar­ranged in al­pha­bet­i­cal or­der. Then, once you iden­tify what you need and where to get it, dried spices have the added ben­e­fit of be­ing ex­cep­tion­ally storable and sta­ble over time: one cabi­net + a cou­ple of dozen small con­tain­ers = a uni­verse of fla­vors for you to play with.

You’ll still want to con­sider other op­tions, though. For one thing, al­though it takes a while, dried spices will go stale and lose their po­tency. When we’re talk­ing about pre-ground or pow­dered spices, all of that oxy­gen-ex­posed spice will grad­u­ally dull in fla­vor and will be less ef­fec­tive and harder to use be­cause the in­ten­sity of its ac­tual fla­vor con­tri­bu­tion will be harder to pre­dict. That cin­na­mon will still taste

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.