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Old 12-27-2010, 01:47 AM   #1
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Default Chili Peppers in the beer bottle?

I have a friend that wants to help me do a pepper beer but along with a the pepper flavor he wants to put a chili pepper in the bottle during bottling. Kinda like the worm in the bottle of tequila. What do you think should be done to the pepper before putting it in the bottle? I would think that I could de-stem the pepper, maybe de-seed it too, and then do a short boil before dropping them in. Any suggestions? I will probably do a lighter beer too. Any suggestions on what would possibly work for a style?

Thanks for your input.

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Old 12-27-2010, 03:33 AM   #2
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First off I don't have any experience with pepper beers. I would think taking the stem and seeds out in particular would be good. If it's a particularly hot pepper maybe boil it to help calm down the heat it imparts?? Basically I agree with your ideas so far.

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Old 12-27-2010, 04:32 AM   #3
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Any of the beers I've seen with the actual pepper in it have whole peppers.

Give them a good wash and then dip them in sanitizer.

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Old 12-27-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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Just did a pepper beer. Turned out great. I put in whole serranos (de-stemmed) in 12 and whole jalepenos (de-stemmed) in 12.

The serranos got hotter faster (obviously, they're a hotter pepper), were more consistant (loosely used term, as putting the pepper in the bottle is probably the LEAST consistent way of making a pepper beer), and were easy to fit in the bottle.

With jalepenos, you have to pick through to get smaller ones that will fit in the bottle. They took longer to build up any noticable bite and were inconsistent in terms of amount of heat (again, loosely used term).

I washed the peppers well, and froze them. On bottling day, I dipped them in sanitizer (still frozen), plopped them in the bottle, and filled the bottle.

It took about 4-5 weeks from bottling to get a nice bite to the beer. I like hot stuff, so I didn't think it was too hot, but some of my non-spicy-food-loving friends thought it was liquid fire... so maybe I should have served it earlier for the weaklings.

When it gets the right amount of heat, stick it in the fridge and DRINK IT... it will only get hotter as the beer sucks out the hotness from the pepper.

From the very first bottle opened, a week in the bottle, a noticable "vegetable" pepper taste was there. Not hot...more like a beer soaked bell pepper. Some (probably most.. but I'm weird) people will think it is odd (it is.. really) to have that taste with beer, but I thought it was interesting and good.

I used this as the base recipe (five gallon batch, PM - this beer by itself is excellent, FYI):

2 lbs Rahr 2-row
.5 lbs Carapils
.25 lbs flaked barley
.25 lbs flaked maize

3.15 lbs Pilsen malt extract
1 lb Briess Pilsen dry malt extract

.75 oz Cluster (45 min)
.25 oz Cluster (15 min)

Wyeast 1056

Mash at 152*


I'll be making more "Flamin' Tailpipe" at the beginning of January... goes great with burritos!

All of the info I gave is IMO, so take it for what it's worth.

Good luck!

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Old 12-27-2010, 12:53 PM   #5
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A friend of mine has been putting some homegrown tabasco peppers into bottles of beer for the last few months. It seems to work well to add some spice without committing a whole batch, either a whole of half pepper per bottle.

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Old 12-28-2010, 12:55 AM   #6
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It sounds like it is possible to put the whole pepper in which is what I wanted to do. Trying to get fresh chilis right now might be tough in my area so I may have to resort to dried from the mexican grocery store. I kinda didn't want to do a habanero as I'd rather do a cayenne or a tabasco.

Metallhed, Why freeze the pepper? I can see sanitizing them but why freeze?

Thanks for the input everyone!

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Old 12-28-2010, 07:29 AM   #7
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I read that freezing the peppers ruptures the cells that contain the "hot" chemical (sorry for my poor scientific lingo, chemical starts with a p, though) thus making the pepper more effective, heat-wise.

Just something I read when researching for my pepper beer... I'm no biologist, though, so I'm not sure just how effective it was... at any rate the beer turned out good... maybe I'll try not freezing them next time and seeing if they get hotter, faster.

Our mexican market was closed so I ended up getting jalapenos and serranos at wally-world. :S

They had habaneros, and I originally was going to add a thin slice of habanero to each bottle, but someone on here said they put a whole habanero in secondary for a full five gallon batch, and it came out REALLY hot, so I backed off... I still might do habanero in the future... just to try it..

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Old 12-28-2010, 07:46 PM   #8
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I think the habanero would be too hot also. I was looking for the flavor with a touch of heat. Above all, I want it drinkable. Once I make the batch I'll repost with my results.

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