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is it possible to brew beer using cilantro?

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I really enjoyed the short-lived Peeterman Artois from the makers of Stella which was brewed with coriander (British English for cilantro). It appears I'm the only one who liked it though as it has a pretty poor selection of reviews on ratebeer.com. I think this was coriander seeds as there was a lemony flavour which you don't get from fresh coriander. I'm actually planning on spicing my next batch of ginger beer with coriander seeds and will report back if it's any good. –  Jamie Bull Mar 7 at 7:26
    
Cilantro always refers to the leafy herb, not the seed. "Coriander" can mean leaf or seed, depending on where you are. It is not only possible but common to brew beers with coriander and orange peel, and plenty of Belgian witbiers score very highly on ratebeer. I take the question to mean the fresh herb because there's no context in which "cilantro" refers to the seed. Enjoy that ginger beer! –  Rich Armstrong Apr 30 at 17:39
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1 Answer

It's possible, but cilantro's flavor relies on several very volatile flavor compounds. If you end up with the wrong ones, you might end up with a soapy beer.

See Harold McGee's article from yesterday's New York Times about the various flavor compounds and how they affect taste.

I would be very careful about this. As a cook, I'm generally very careful with cilantro for anything but fresh use. If I knew that my drinkers were cool with cilantro flavor, I'd only "dry-hop" with fresh cilantro, and only for a day at most.

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