Getting heat into beer with Habanero Chilis

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Bad Bubba

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I am experimenting to make a habanero IPA. I am putting chopped habanero peppers into the secondary. I have initially put one pepper in but after a few days there was only a hint of heat. I then added another chopped pepper and after a couple of days there is a nice warmth in the throat and down to stomach but no kick or heat in the mouth. I am wondering if it is even possible to get any kick without ruining the beer.

I was wondering if anyone had experimented with peppers in beer and what the results were. I am debating adding another pepper or to create a tincture with vodka and try adding that. This is a small test batch.
 

501irishred

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I typically make a tenure by chopping peppers and soaking them in vodka for a week or two. It’s easier to get the heat level where you want it than adding peppers to a secondary, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with what your doing either, just more trial, error, and time is needed. Keeping in mind “Mo Hotta Mo Betta”!!
 

501irishred

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BTW - you can leave them in solution indefinitely. I use the tenture as well as the peppers for cooking too! It’s turned into my preferred long term storage method. Way easier than canning, and you can add them as they ripen in the garden without needing “enough for a batch”. Here’s some habanero and ghost peppers from last years crop.
 

Still Brewn

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Damn! Why didn't I think of that! The SWMBO is a vodka girl so we always have some. I only ever use it to sterilize my wood... what a waste.
I grow peppers for cooking, pickles, relish, dehydrated seaoning and Cajun spice mix and end up composting close to half because its not enough to fire up the dehydrator for days at a time. Why isn't that in cooking 101?
I know I could stick them in vinegar but I don't like the results in food with that. I wasted close to 10 lbs of habanero last year through the season.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Also you can put them in oil, or freeze them....?

I must admit, for me a little chilli goes a long way in beer, it's really easy to overdo it. It can be great when it works though - here in the UK Orchard Pig do a ginger and chilli cider that is delicious, precisely because it is quite subtle and manages to balance the two in a way that most commercial chilli and/or ginger drinks fail to do.
 

Qhrumphf

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I've had the best results in terms of both flavor and heat adding the whole pepper (sliced up). I still soak em overnight in just enough vodka to cover and add it all.

I've tried both straight vodka tincture, as well as evaporating off the vodka down to pepper oil. The latter smells like holy death fire, especially with habs, but takes a lot of it (more than just adding the peppers straight would). And this was several weeks of the peppers soaking, too. Probably needed a higher vodka to pepper ratio.

Either way it didn't seem particularly efficient compared to a vodka sani and just adding the peppers directly.

I've also had luck (with chipotles in this case) just adding em late boil and leaving them in the beer through fermentation.
 
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Bad Bubba

Bad Bubba

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I kept tasting for several days after adding the second pepper. The heat has increased to the point where I like it - still light on the initial mouth burn but better - I will see what the impact of carbonation on that. I am starting a vodka tincture with habanero chili so my next experiment will be to try that. Thanks for the feedback.
 

Imhoppy

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Kama Citra IPA extract kit from Northern Brewer. Modified with one habanero - seeds and all diced up fine and soaked for 3 days in 4 oz. Hornitos 100% agave tequilla, strained and added during kegging time. Great citra taste with tequilla notes and a slight lingering but pleasant warmth that is just right. Call it "Citrabanero". I'm gonna do this one many more times.
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