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Mint

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 herbs 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 mint to express your own brewing creativity and make a beer that is uniquely yours. Mint has been used as an extra flavoring in stouts. Experiment with its use in your beer.

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

What it is:

Mint is actually a large family of herbs, with many species and flavors. Spearmint is the most common, and consists of bright green leaves with a spicy aroma and flavor.

Dosage:

The amount of mint needed for brewing can vary depending on the source and your desired flavor. For a 5 gallon batch, try 1-2 ounces of chopped mint. Remove any unwanted parts of the plant. Wash and rinse in cold water, strain, then add to the secondary fermenter. By adding during secondary fermentation well after the wort boil, you ensure that the delicate mint aromas will survive to be detectable in your finished beer. The concept is similar to dry-hopping. Finding the right amount of mint 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 fresh mint to ensure the best flavor and aroma effect on your beer. Just as cooking with fresh herbs 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 mint. You should be able to obtain it in your local specialty grocery store or shop.

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Mint