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Hazelnut

What it does :

Remember that, for many of the centuries people have been brewing beer, the exclusive use of hops to balance beer's malty base is relatively recent. Brewers have long added special flavorings like spices to make unique brews, and that tradition continues today. The craft brewing and homebrewing movements provide daily examples of this inventiveness. If you are reading this, you are likely looking to broaden your beer and brewing palate. You can make use of hazelnut to express your own brewing creativity and make a beer that is uniquely yours. Hazelnut's flavor is a good complement to beers with a brown or roasted malt flavor.

When designing a beer recipe that will include hazelnut you must carefully consider the malt, hops, and yeast base that will best complement this specialty ingredient. When brewing with spices, many brewers choose a strong malt base, with bittering hops only. By avoiding the addition of aroma hops, this allows the added spices to complement, and not conflict with the beer's other ingredients.

What it is:

Hazelnut grows wild in the Northeast and Upper Midwest parts of North America. Filberts are the cultivated variety. Hazelnut has a stronger flavor than filberts, but both go well with chocolate or coffee.

Dosage:

Use up to 1 teaspoon of grated hazelnut per 5 gallons. Add 10 to 15 minutes from the end of the boil. Similar to hop additions, the length of boil will adjust the flavor versus aroma contribution of the spice. By boiling the spice longer, the aromatics are driven off, and the flavor contribution is enhanced. Finding the right amount of hazelnut to use will depend on your particular recipe and your vision for your beer. As always, keep good records of each beer that you make, be willing to experiment, and you will converge on the ingredient mix that yields the flavor and aroma result that you like best.

Drawbacks:

Use freshly grated hazelnut for best flavor and aroma impact on your beer. Just as cooking with fresh spices makes your culinary dishes taste superior, so will using the same quality of ingredients to your beer. So, for that extra impact on your finished brew, reach for fresh hazelnut. You should be able to obtain it in your local specialty grocery store or shop.

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Hazelnut