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Juniper Berries

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 fruit 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 juniper berries to express your own brewing creativity and make a beer that is uniquely yours. Juniper berries are used in flavoring gin and can be added to beer to provide similar aroma and flavor. They are an expected flavoring component in making Sahti, a traditional Finnish beer.

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

What it is:

Juniper berries are obtained from an evergreen bush that grows throughout the northern hemisphere. These berries are round and purple in appearance and have a sweet flavor reminiscent of pine.

Dosage:

Use up to 1 ounce of crushed juniper berries per 5 gallons. Add 10 to 15 minutes from the end of the boil. Finding the right amount of juniper berries 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:

Crush juniper berries lightly before use. Just as cooking with fresh fruit 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 juniper berries. You should be able to obtain it in your local specialty grocery store or shop.

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Volume Conversion
Weight Conversion
Juniper Berries