How to change the flavor of your beer during bottling?
If you are looking for a simple way to add some unique flavor to your brews, then this episode is for you.
Adding different adjuncts during bottling can alter the taste of your beer. Some of these will take the place of your carbonation drops others you will use with them.
We wanted to highlight some of our favorite ones for you to use during the bottling process.
The first thing I wanted to talk about was dextrose. This would be used instead of carbonation drops or table sugar. The dextrose is an extremely fermentable sugar so it will help boost carbonation in your beer and get that crisp taste. If you are brewing a lager this would be something that could add a different dynamic to it. You will want to use the same amount as you would sugar when bottling.
Honey or Maple Syrup
Honey and Maple are something that you can use to replace the sugar when bottling. It will add some sweetness and some unique flavor to your beer. Honey tends to pair best with the lighter style beers and maple syrup with the darker ones, but you can mix and match how you like. When using honey or maple syrup when bottling you will want to make sure that you are using a freshly open bottle, you don’t want something that has been sitting around for a while. The ratio for honey or maple syrup to sugar is 1 to 1. So in our 740 bottles we use 2 teaspoons of sugar you would use 2 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup. You just add it right into the bottle then fill it up with beer.
Most vanilla extract does contain alcohol so there is no need to pasteurize or sanitize it. During bottling time, you will want to add 1-2 teaspoons depending on how much flavor you want from the vanilla. Always make sure to use a sanitized measuring spoon and for this one you will still need to add your priming sugar or carbonation drops.
We have a few recipes that call for adding coffee or expresso when bottling. For this mixture I would do it the same as you would the vanilla, 1-2 teaspoons depending on how strong you want the flavor. If you are using expresso you will want to make sure that it is at least room temperature when adding to your bottles. You can also use cold brew coffee concentrate as well to get those coffee notes out of your beer. This is great for stouts, porters just dark beers in general. We do recommend using the cold brew method as it just has a smoother taste and will pair better with your beer.
If you want to get really wild with it you can bottle your beer with some whiskey. You will want to add a shot or less to each bottle depending how strong you want the flavors. You do want to be careful though, adding too much booze to your bottle and the yeast will not be able to carbonate, so nothing more than a shot per bottle at most.
Monin Flavor Syrup
Comes in a ton of different flavors and they can all be found on Amazon. They have sugar-free and sugar sweetened ones. If you are using the sugar-free styles you will need to add your priming sugar just like you normally would. If you are using the ones that are sweetened with sugar, then the ratio would be 1 to 1 just like with the honey and syrup. Just add it to the bottle and then fill it with beer and your good to go.
Those are just some of the adjuncts that you can add during bottling to get some unique flavors out of your beer. Depending on how much you add that will alter the impact of that particular flavor and always make sure everything is sanitized.
One unique thing about altering flavoring during bottling time is that you can do some testing during this time. You can do half your bottles with honey and the other half with maple syrup to see the difference. This is a really a time where you can get creative.