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bovineblitz 04-06-2010 11:46 PM

5x pepper beers
 
I'm planning a brew this weekend, it's going to be a lightly hopped pale ale, and after primary fermentation I'm racking it to five 1 gallon fermenters where I will add five different peppers, cut into strips if too large to fit in the opening.

I currently have:
dried Ancho
dried Panca
dried New Mexico
dried Habanero
fresh Serrano (will roast before adding to secondary).

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/799...0406193807.jpg

I'm wondering how much of each pepper to put in. It's only one gallon so I don't want to overdo it, especially with the habanero. But with the less spicy peppers, I want to be sure to extract a lot of flavor, especially the berry-like Panca.

I was thinking:
- 1 Ancho
- 2 Panca
- 1/4-1/2 of a habanero
- 1.5 New Mexico
- 1 Serrano

I'm excited to try each one, and then mix and match to find the perfect combination, then perhaps I'll try a 5gal batch with appropriate amounts of each pepper.

mmonacel 04-07-2010 02:12 AM

I don't have an answer for you, but it certainly sounds interesting! IPAs and spicy food are like peanut butter and jelly! :)

bovineblitz 04-07-2010 02:40 AM

Well at the very least I'll post updates and specifics. I'll try and remember to take some pics of my pepper preps :)

I've looked all over and there's not a lot of info out there, just general advice.

SevenFields 04-07-2010 03:10 PM

Cant wait for some updates. This one sounds great.
I would like to find some of those Panca!

ThinkinDavid 04-07-2010 03:30 PM

bovine, I think you've got something great going here, but might I suggest you take a second look at just how much of the peppers you're adding. Surely, by adding any peppers at all you will get flavor and heat from them, but if you add too many the beer may be intolerably hot. I would suggest, if you can, to measure the peppers by weight rather than counting whole and half peppers. 1/4 of a habanero pepper may seem minimal but depending on its mass you may end up with a "blistering hot" beer. It could be that 1/4 peppers is equal to 1/4 oz. but it's worth finding out. Either way, with your 5x peppers, I'm sure you will get a flavorful, hot beer, just be careful of how hot you make it.

Coincidentally, I will be adding chili peppers to the secondary of my belgium today or tomorrow. Here is my plan as of yet:

I have dried Guajillo which I plan to add 1 - 4 peppers depending on their weight. I'm thinking I will want 1 - 3 ounces of these, as well. Then I have Ancho and Cayenne powder (I know, why would I get the powder, but those are the peppers I wanted) which I plan to put in a tea-ball laced with cheese cloth and hanging in the fermented beer from a string. I figure I'll do about 1/4 oz. of the Cayenne and 1- 2 oz. of the Ancho.

I'm hoping this will give me flavor and heat without making it intolerable to drink.

bovineblitz 04-07-2010 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SevenFields (Post 1991994)
Cant wait for some updates. This one sounds great.
I would like to find some of those Panca!

I'm lucky enough to have a great spice shop a block away, they have everything I can dream of :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThinkinDavid (Post 1992047)
bovine, I think you've got something great going here, but might I suggest you take a second look at just how much of the peppers you're adding. Surely, by adding any peppers at all you will get flavor and heat from them, but if you add too many the beer may be intolerably hot. I would suggest, if you can, to measure the peppers by weight rather than counting whole and half peppers. 1/4 of a habanero pepper may seem minimal but depending on its mass you may end up with a "blistering hot" beer. It could be that 1/4 peppers is equal to 1/4 oz. but it's worth finding out. Either way, with your 5x peppers, I'm sure you will get a flavorful, hot beer, just be careful of how hot you make it.

Coincidentally, I will be adding chili peppers to the secondary of my belgium today or tomorrow. Here is my plan as of yet:

I have dried Guajillo which I plan to add 1 - 4 peppers depending on their weight. I'm thinking I will want 1 - 3 ounces of these, as well. Then I have Ancho and Cayenne powder (I know, why would I get the powder, but those are the peppers I wanted) which I plan to put in a tea-ball laced with cheese cloth and hanging in the fermented beer from a string. I figure I'll do about 1/4 oz. of the Cayenne and 1- 2 oz. of the Ancho.

I'm hoping this will give me flavor and heat without making it intolerable to drink.

Good point, I definitely should weigh them, especially for consistency's sake in future batches.. I'll be sure to do that, I have a small scale that'll do the trick. I am worried that 1/4 of a habanero will be blisteringly hot, but I don't really know how to scale pepper heat in beer at all... I know it will probably seem hotter than in food, but I really have no idea A) how much heat will be extracted, and B) how much is too much.

I did think about doing a habanero experiment where I'd do a "dose-response" test with 5 mini beers containing differing amounts of habaneros, but I figured I'd rather explore many peppers at the same time. If the habanero is waaaaay too hot, I can always dilute it with the ancho, or I can dump it if need be... it's only a gallon and an experiment at that.

I almost got Guajillo but decided on New Mexico instead. It sounds like you should have a good blend of flavorful peppers... in my experience powder is generally very hot in comparison to actual peppers, not sure how that'll shake out. I decided to avoid powder (I did consider coarsely crushed dried peppers but it was cheaper to get the full ones). That'll definitely be an interesting beer, let us know how it turns out!

One thing about powder... you can always add more if it's not hot enough.

jgourd 04-07-2010 04:04 PM

I've been wanting to do a similar experiment with a Pale Ale. I will brew 5 gals. and try a different pepper in each of 5 split 1 gal. batches. Anyone know if there's a difference between peppers at the end of the boil or in the secondary?

ThinkinDavid 04-09-2010 02:52 PM

So here is what I decided on for my Belgian Chili Ale.
O.G. 1.055
F.G. 1.010

After racking to secondary I steeped 5 dried Guajilo peppers (just under an ounce) 4 grams of Ancho Powder and 1 gram of Cayenne powder at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minuets. Since the tea ball was to big to fit into the carboy, of course, I wrapped the powder in the cheese cloth and then tied it up, making a little cheese cloth sack. Then threw all the chiles, powder sack, and steeped water into the secondary. I plan to let it sit for about three weeks but I will taste it every week to see just how flavorful and hot it is.

malc 04-09-2010 03:11 PM

Basic Brewing video podcast has something similar to this if I remember correctly. You may want to check it out.

bovineblitz 04-09-2010 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by malc (Post 1996677)
Basic Brewing video podcast has something similar to this if I remember correctly. You may want to check it out.

I did find that:
http://www.howcast.com/videos/261896...tember-30-2009

I emailed them and James got back to me yesterday, he said that he believes that Steve used one pepper for each, with the exception of three pequin peppers because they're tiny.


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