Looking to add complexity and a unique flavor to your homemade beer or root beer? Look no further than Licorice Root! This versatile ingredient is traditionally used in darker beers like Porters and Stouts, but can also be used in lighter beers like pilsners.
Adding just 1/2 to 1 ounce per 5 gallons of beer during the last few minutes of the boil will impart a distinct licorice flavor and surprisingly sweet taste. Licorice Root contains Glycyrrhizin, a substance 50 times sweeter than sugar!
Not only does Licorice Root contribute to the flavor profile of your beer, it also improves head retention in finished beers. Try using it in combination with other strong flavorings like juniper berries and Mugwort to create a tasty holiday beer.
When working with a new spice like Licorice Root, take a conservative approach to avoid overdoing the flavor. You can also soak the spice in a small amount of Vodka, Scotch, or Bourbon for 2-3 days before adding it to your brew.
Licorice Root is often combined with other strong flavorings, such as juniper berries and mugwort, in beers made with black, chocolate, or brown malts to create complex and delicious flavor profiles. Try combining it with other strong flavorings to create a tasty holiday beer.
The roots themselves have a reddish-brown exterior and yellowish interior and are often crushed or shredded before being added to the wort. Keep in mind that shredded root will give you more flavor faster than whole or crushed pieces.
Don’t confuse Licorice Root with brewer’s Licorice Sticks, which are a concentrated version of Licorice Root. Licorice Root is subtler and sweeter than the stick, making it a great choice for adding depth to your beer or root beer.