What are some of the weirder (successful) flavourings you have tried in your beers, and at what point would you normally add these extras?

It occurred to me the other day that basil or even rocket (arugula?) might be interesting in small amounts, but I wouldn't know at which stage to throw them in, or even what constitutes a "small" amount.

2 Answers 2


In terms of timing, flavorings can be added a lot like dry hopping. You want to add them after the bulk of fermentation has already occurred so usually 2-3 days or even a week after pitching the yeast. There are a couple reasons for this. For one, the wort will already have some alcohol in it which means you are less likely to get an infection when you add your flavoring. Also, vigorous fermentation can blow off the volatile oils that give things like vanilla or hops their flavor, so you want to add additives later on when the beer is already pretty stable.

In terms of quantities, I haven't played with anything other than hops too much, just a little citrus juice into one beer. Generally 1-3 oz. of dry hops is not unheard of so that amount might be a good starting point for things like basil. One option is to split up the beer into some smaller (1 gallon?) containers and try different amounts or flavorings in each of them. Play around, get creative, you are unlikely to mess it up too much and it might turn out really good! Good luck with everything.


I had the chance to try a cucumber Wit a couple of weeks back. It was great - a very drinkable summer beer.

Here, the brewer peeled and deseeded 4 cucumbers, roughtly chopped and put in a hop bag after primary.

The cucumber flavor and aroma was definitely present, but was light enough not to overpower the beer.

  • I sampled a Basil Cucumber Saison a friend once made. Was pretty tasty.
    – GHP
    May 13, 2013 at 12:22
  • There's a collaboration between Fyne Ales and The Wild Beer Co (@FyneAles, @WildBeerCo on twitter) called "Cool as a cucumber" just hit the beer festival(s) of Edinburgh. Very nice refreshing cucumber flavoured session beer. Sounds odd, but works a treat.
    – Dave E
    Jul 10, 2013 at 19:40

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