Diving into spices...

Ever walk into Seven Bridges to pick up some brew-day supplies and wonder about the jars with the stuff in them? As a fledging brewer, my thoughts never went far beyond grain, hops and yeast. But as my brewing progressed I kept wondering about the stuff in the jars.

Now, after sampling a work-in-progress Seven Bridges-Cruz Brews Vanilla Spiced Bourbon Porter, and getting a tutorial from events coordinator Tallula Preston, I'm getting an idea of how the stuff in those jars can play a role in spicing up your beer.

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The spiced bourbon porter got it's start one November day when I went to Seven Bridges to pick up ingredients for a Honey Nut Brown Ale. While waiting for my grains to be crushed I asked Tallula about the jars, and how used you used the ingredients inside.

She explained how spices such as heather tips, juniper berries and coriander could be incorporated into recipes. Pointing to a jar of nettles (yes, the plant with the little stinging hairs), she said they can be a substitute for hops and Seven Bridges had recently brewed a batch of nettle beer.

My mind started wandering back to a bourbon porter that I was thinking about brewing for Christmas, and I asked Tallula which jar would fit nicely with my porter. Without blinking an eye she responded vanilla bean.

Going one step further, we decided we could soak oak chips in bourbon, add the vanilla, and come up with a walk-on-the-wild-side holiday porter. Better yet, we could turn it over to a more experienced brewer and make a project of it. Tallula pitched the idea to co-owner and brewer Mike Smith, and it was game on for the spiced bourbon.

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 10/27/2017






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