Brewing with Cardamom

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Cardamom is sometimes used in used in Belgium ales to add a spicy cola like flavor.

Cardamom spice has a complex flavor that can be described as slightly sweet, floral, and spicy with citric elements. It leaves the tongue with a warm antiseptic sensation similar to eucalyptus with an additional peppery after taste. Some have described its flavor as spicy and cola-like, "spicy cola".

Cardamom is often combined with orange peel and coriander combine to flavor beers.


About Cardamom & its Flavor

Green cardamom pod

Cardamom is used to flavor stouts and other strong flavored beers because of this spice's strong flavor. It is also used in Belgium beers in combination with orange peel, coriander, and sometimes cumin. Just remember a little of cardamom's strong flavor goes a long way. A general rule of thumb is to add about two crushed green pods or about 2 grams of cardamom seed per gallon of wort added in the last five minutes of boil.

The cardamom will give the finished beer a light citrusy aroma that is almost floral like. Some brewer use terms like spicy fresh ginger, white pepper, lemon and cola to describe the flavors and aroma cardamom can add to beers. Cardamom is often combined with other complimentary flavors such as coriander, sweet or bitter orange peel, or vanilla.

Black Cardamom PodBlack cardamom is also sometimes used in beer brew, but the two spices have very different flavors and should not be substituted for one another. Black cardamom also has floral like favors and aromas, but that are different from true cardamom's and also has a nature smoky flavor. The flavor black cardamom lends to beer has been described as medicine like.

Cardamom's Roll in Brewing

To test the flavor cardamom will add to beer try making a tea out of the spice before the wort is started. Try adding just a few seeds to a cup of boiling water and let steep for five minutes.

Try toasting cardamom to mellow its flavor while bringing out its nuttier notes. Use a cast iron pan over low heat to toast the crushed cardamom pods, or loose seed until the spicy becomes even more fragrant. Be careful not to burn the cardamom because this can happen fairly easily.

Cardamom needs to be used sparingly because of its strong flavor, a half a teaspoon of crushed seeds are all that is necessary for a five gallon batch. An equally small amount can be added to the secondary for cardamom aroma.


Buying Cardamom


4 oz. Whole Cardamom seeds Only $12.97

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8 oz. Whole Cardamom seeds Only $19.97

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16 oz. Whole Cardamom seeds Only $29.47

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Cardamom History

Cardamom is a favorite spice in India where it is considered an elegant and extravagant flavoring for all kinds of foods. The spice is also a favorite flavoring for coffee in Arab countries where it is held in similar high esteem. Cardamom is rarely used in western cooking except in Scandinavian baked goods and as a flavoring in seafood boil spicy blends such as Old Bay.

Types of Beer Brewed with Cardamom

Saison- a spiced French pale ale.
Dubbel- a strong belgian al.
Specialty Belgian.
Holiday beers.
Cardamom is used to flavor Scandinavian mulled wines.




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