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Old 02-05-2008, 09:15 PM   #1
kaptain_karma
 
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Anyone ever made a beer spiced with peppers? What varieties would you recommend? Also, how should they be prepared, and when should they be added?

I've had the Rogue Chipotle Ale, and my local microbrewery has an intersting chili beer. I love peppers, and would love to try them in a homebrew, but have no idea of where to even start.

 
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:19 PM   #2
c.n.budz
 
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I've never made one, but I believe most people put the peppers in the secondary. I've made pepper vodka a few times and regular jalapenos worked well, habaneros were way too spicy and made the vodka nearly undrinkable
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:32 PM   #3
kaptain_karma
 
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When you made jalapeno vodka, how much pepper did you use per volume?

 
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:33 PM   #4

When brewing a chili beer, I say go with the advice of our resident expert. (I know I plan to.)

Quote:
Originally posted by Brewpastor

Brewpastor’s Chili Beer Notes

Chile beer is what I won my Great American Beer Festival medals with. In my opinion, when making a chile beer you have to decide if you want heat, flavor or some combination. I tend to go for a blend, with the balance going towards the flavor and aroma. I am not a fan of FIRE beers that just burn and want something that I can enjoy and not remember with regret the next time I'm on the can.

My personal favorite chile is a fresh roasted New Mexico green chile. They have a great roasted flavor and the heat is variable and therefore fairly easy to gauge and manage.

I like a golden beer base, along the lines of a golden ale or European lager. I like it clean with few esters and lightly hopped and only bitter hopped. A little crystal is fine but I want the roast chile flavor and aroma to take center stage and not have to do battle with lots of extra flavors.

It is useful to add some cara-pils and/or wheat because the oils from the chile will really kill the head on these beers. I also avoid boiling the chile and dry hop with them in the secondary.

I dry hop for a couple reasons. First I want the chile in the fermented wort enviroment where the alcohol and the ph can help extract the oils. Second, I want to retain as much aroma as possible and the CO2 of primary fermentation will drive much of this off. Third, I DON'T want my chile fermenting any more then they need to. They do have sugars and I am not after chile wine.

SO, after primary I chill the batch down and dump in my chiles. Frozen chile works well because the freezing ruptures the cells in the fruit and more liquid is exposed. As I said earlier, I like a roasted chile as well. In New Mexico we take our chile very seriously, but elsewhere I would suggest oven roasting your chiles under the broiler until the skin is dark brown to black and splitting. When you put it in the secondary, put every bit in, stem seeds, skin and meat.

Let it soak for a week of so. It is my advice to start on the conservative side. You can always add more chile.

My assumption is a chile beer is a beer first and a chile beer second. It should be clean and have the character of your chile, not the other way around. Balance is key.

Key points:
Crisp, straight forward base
Roasted chiles or peppers
Dry hop the chiles in a secondary
Don't go overboard with the heat!

 
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:34 PM   #5
Jim Karr
 
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Our own Brewpastor has a recipe for chile beer............................

Beat out in the race to post!
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:39 PM   #6
c.n.budz
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaptain_karma
When you made jalapeno vodka, how much pepper did you use per volume?
I used 4 or 5 normal sized jalapenos, sliced in half length wise, in a 750ml bottle
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:42 PM   #7
Brewpastor
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I like flavor more then heat and so don't use the Jalapenos - too much heat, not enough flavor!
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:02 PM   #8
kaptain_karma
 
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Brewpastor - I really love serrano(sp?) peppers and was thinking of using those for some flavore and some chiles for a touch of heat. Any thoughts?

 
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:05 PM   #9
kaptain_karma
 
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"In New Mexico we take our chile very seriously, but elsewhere I would suggest oven roasting your chiles under the broiler"

What would be the authentic way to roast a chile?

 
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:05 PM   #10
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I've had chili beer that just had a single pepper in the bottle. not sure if that's all they did to make it, but stands to reason that it'd work.
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