I'm making a witbier this weekend that calls for 1 tsp of coriander added to the boil at 2 minutes. I'm wondering if I should purchase seeds and grind them myself, or just buy a jar of ground coriander off the spice rack. Anyone have any experience they could share on which would be better? Thanks in advance!
I don't have any experience with buying coriander ground, but the coriander seeds from my garden smell great when I grind them. It's not too hard to do, either, if you have a mortar and pestle.– SimonMar 20, 2015 at 14:54
Thanks Simon. I was considering using a coffee grinder with the seeds. But I think I've got a mortar/pestle buried somewhere in my kitchen if you think that'd be better.– GregMar 20, 2015 at 15:20
1The easy way to to put them on a counter and use a pan to gently crack them.– Denny ConnMar 20, 2015 at 18:01
You'll get the best flavor if you use whole, and coarsely crack it before adding.
I buy whole coriander and use a mortar and pestle to crack the shells before adding it to the boil. Whole coriander keeps longer and will give a fresher aroma than pre-ground.
To grind it at home, a coffee grinder would probably be overkill. You only need to break the shells. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can use a meat tenderizing hammer (or even a regular hammer). Just put the whole coriander in a plastic bag, wrap it in a towel and tap it evenly. You don't want to turn it to dust as that makes it more difficult to filter out.
Also it would be better to weigh the spices rather than use a teaspoon. A teaspoon of whole coriander versus a teaspoon of ground coriander can be very different by weight. 1 oz (28g) per 5 gallon batch is a common quantity.
Turned out I had neither a mortar/pestle nor a coffee grinder. So I placed the seeds on a plate and used the butt end of a pint glass to crack them. Worked great.– GregMar 27, 2015 at 12:22
Also consider putting in a plastic zip lock or other and using a pastry roller. It's also good for cracking small specialty grains that are too small for the setting on your mill.