Mulling spices

I recently scaled down the spiced winter ale recipe for a one gallon batch to try it out. I was given advise to only use about a tablespoon of the mulling spices and warned anymore would be over powering. I add them at flame out and was wondering if anyone had any experience as to if the spice flavor actually showed up in he final product. It just seems like it does not have a lot of time in the pot before siphoning.

Yes. My 2nd batch ever(2012) was a winter spiced ale that I used 1 tablespoon of mulling spices in a 5G boil. Turned out to be too much. It took about 6 months to smooth down to something I wanted to drink.

I brewed a 1 one gallon version of the spiced winter ale kit last October (local NB store ingredients and Penzeys spices) and brewed it again in January with different amounts of mulling spices.

The amount of mulling spices used is very much a personal opinion.

In the 1st batch, I started with 3 grams of mulling spices. I tasted it after primary was finished and decided to split the batch - batch 1a ‘as is’ and with batch 1b I added an additional 1 g of mulling spices. The flavors in batch 1a were much more muted. The people I shared this batch with preferred batch 1b (with the 1g of additional spices).

For the January batch, I also spit the gallon batch into two 64 oz batches - this time with 1.0 g and 1.5 g in secondary. My initial tasting found the second batch (1.5 g) to be too much for me - but may be close the right amount for those who like more spices.

If you can sample the beer after primary is completed, you might be able to add spices to fit your taste. Or if it is too strong, @jimrmaine’s advice to let it age for a number of months would be a good approach.

I did a batch with hybrid mulling spices, in that I chose which of the spices I wanted and in what quantities. The cloves part of the mulling spices I put into some bourbon and added at bottling. It’s the cinnamon that I think I find most offensive. I used .2oz cinnamon and the balance seemed right… oh this was for a porter 5g btw.

I’m not a fan of spiced beer but was wondering why not add the spice to the bottling bucket or keg. Seems like an easier way to control. Rack off a quart and add a little at a time and then scale up. A keg you could add in a tea ball and pull after a day or two.

Makes sense.

I could have done a tincture with the 1st batch, but decided it would be more interesting (and easier) to throw some spices in secondary & see what happens. For the 2nd batch, there was value in repeating the recipe (as much as possible), but vary the amount of spices in one of the 64 oz growlers. If I brew it early next fall (to enjoy in late December), I’ll repeat the recipe pretty much as it is now - it will be the easiest thing for me to do. Kinda-like all those ‘old’ recipes with hop additions at 30 minutes :slight_smile: .