Hi all, I've been feeling creative with the thought of making my next batch up, so we're back again looking for some tips and insight into the newest concoction.
It seems looking around here that peppers are a popular bit of a brewing mystery. What I was contemplating is this. I start with a simple Irish Red, add some heat, a bit of smoke flavor, and enjoy. Of course that's not too helpful so far so the long version, here's the base kit I was planning to start with:
6 lb. Gold liquid malt extract
12 oz. Caramel 40°L
2 oz. Special B
2 oz. Roasted Barley
1 oz. Cascade
1 oz. Fuggle
Now what I'm looking at is a complete "theme" in having a dark red color, light smooth body, a bit of heat on the front end and a final smoke taste (think sitting by a bonfire for a few hours) at the end.
Some thoughts so far, for peppers I'm pondering cayenne rather than the (seemingly) more typical jalapeno given the somewhat more muted flavor but with a spice that seems like it can both hide and show itself at the same time. Having never used any sort of pepper in my beer though I wouldn't know how they blend in over all, so any suguestions on specific types or amounts would certainly help.
I'm guessing that some amount of Carapils would be needed because of the pepper's oils, but I'm not looking for real thick beer, any alternatives I might use, or an amount that would keep the head from going completely flat without overdoing it?
The last part is the hardest for me. The background smoke flavoring probably has a few options I figure. I've considered some heavily toasted oak chips/spirals but having never tried it would that give more of a wood/cask rather than the smoke background I'm trying for? Another option I'd guess at would be some heavily roasted grains steeped in, but then the color could get too dark, or are there some lighter ones to try that could give the same effect?
Blast that creative bug! It's causing my posts to go epic length! But hopefully those here (and I know there are plenty of you) who've worked with it for some time now can help me find the answers to create just that perfect pint.