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Licorice Root

I picked up some licorice root at a farmers market in London a week ago to use for brewing. I got about 12, 6" sticks. I really have no idea what to do with them or how much. My initial thought would be end of boil, like cinnamon sticks. Maybe in secondary if the flavor doesn’t come out like I’d like. I’m also leaning towards a stout or porter recipe.

Does anyone have any experience with licorice root or suggestions?

Used in stout and porter and dark Belgian in the end of boil in various amounts and could never get the flavor of it… Like it just wasn’t there…

I would try fennel seeds. That’s just a guess though, never done it. I just know that it’s used in licorice tasting teas.

I’m really not a fan of a “licorice” beer, but my wife wanted me to buy it and try it out. I wasn’t sure of maybe the licorice root gave a different flavor not just a strong black licorice flavor. I think I’d want it to give a muted taste, nothing overpowering. I like oyster stouts because they have a unique flavor. You wouldn’t call it oyster flavor, but it’s good.

I have some licorice root in powder form that I’m going to throw in toward the end of the boil on an imperial stout. Never tried it before, but I want to give it a shot. I’ve used this same powder stuff to make a tea (put roughly a teaspoon of it in a cup of hot water), and it has an interesting flavor. Its also very sweet, like way sweeter than sucrose sugar. I’m not sure but I THINK its not fermentable, so I’m hoping it will add some sweetness to the finished product.

It really doesn’t taste much like licorice candy, most licorice candy is made from anise or fennel, corn syrup, and artificial flavors. Some contains some small amount of actual licorice, but not always, and usually not a lot.

If you want to try the tea, just grate or grind up a small amount of your root and throw it in some hot water. I don’t bother filtering it out, I just let it settle to the bottom of the glass.

I like the idea of making a tea first. At least that will give me an idea of what it will taste like.

Fair warning, licorice stimulates your adrenal glands in a big way. Its sometimes used in energy supplements for this reason. If you’re not used to it and you drink a bunch you will turn in to Cornholio. :slight_smile:

I made a porter late spring and used licorice root that I bought from our host. I always like to sample ingredients before I add them and so I nibbled on a little. Wow, how super sweet it was. Not much of a licorice taste at all, but what the heck maybe I’ll get it later. Nope, but i did get the sweetness however. If you want licorice taste you wont get it from the root.

Hearing I won’t get licorice flavor is making me happy! I’m going to put some in a tea and see what it tastes like and decide what I want to add it to from there. Ive wanted to make a porter for a while now, so I may use it in that, if I think it will work.

Licorice root will only contribute a sweet flavor and works well for head retention. The “licorice” flovor in licorice candy comes from anise, not licorice root. You would typically add the dried root at the beginning of the boil.

Doesn’t bell’s or maybe founders use licorice root in their porter?

Can’t remember which one.

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