Chili Beer assistance

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Chili Beer assistance

Postby caughtinamosh87 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:15 pm

Looking to brew a chili beer in a couple of weeks, but have some questions that hopefully someone can answer.

1) What's a good quantity to use? and what kind? I want something with a little bit of a kick, but not over the top.

2) Being that I can't ferment it at lager temps, what would happen if I use a lager yeast at ale femerntation temps? And which one would be best to use? The local brew store carries the White Labs line.

Thanks for your help!
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Postby jawbox » Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:28 am

try chipotle peppers in a porter.

You should maybe take a look at using WLP810 San Francisco Lager Yeast. Ferments up to 65
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RE: Chile Beer

Postby wottaguy » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:28 am

Hello caughtinamosh87,

I have had a few brews that have had a single small chile pepper inside the bottle and they were great! You either luv em or hate em!

I have been told to make a great chile beer..lager or ale..(I would prefer an ale), that you should brew up your best and favorite recipe and ferment it out as a normal beer. A week before you brew, purchase some small jalapino or serrano peppers, wash them good..then take a needle and prick several holes into each pepper, then soak the peppers in a non flavored vodka to sterialze them. When you go to bottling the beer, drop 1 pepper into each bottle, fill with beer, cap and let condition for at least 8 weeks.

If using an ale recipe try WLP001, Wyeast 1056 or Safale 05 (which i like a LOT)

If a lager...then try what jawbox suggested and go with the Cali Lager strain.

This is just 1 method that you could use. I'm sure their are others...

Hope this helps! and good luck!

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Postby caughtinamosh87 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:50 pm

Thanks guys for your help. Unfortunately I can't get down to 65degrees. Usually around 70-72 at best. I was planning on using the WLP001.
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Postby slothrob » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:58 pm

Since AZ is so dry, I'd bet you could get a few degrees temperature drop using a "swamp bucket". Place your carboy in a large pan of water, drape a t-shirt or towel over the carboy and into the water. The evaporation will cool the carboy. I can get a 5
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Postby caughtinamosh87 » Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:52 pm

Thanks slothrob!! I'll have to get that a try.
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67 deg question...

Postby wottaguy » Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:32 am

Heloo caughtinamosh87,

I too live in a rather warm state (florida) and do all of my fermenting in an un-air conditioned garage...even during the summer...am am able to maintain constant temps of 67 degF with a bit of work! Here's what I do...

I picked up a Sams Club insulated food bag, a medium sized ice cooler (well insulated) a cheap aquarium pump (9.95) some 3/8 hose...and a 25 ft coil of soft copper coil and a temperature controller. I wound and formed the copper coil around my carboy so that it fits some what snugly but still able to carefully remove it when needed.
Once done, I place the copper wound carboy into the insulated food bag and zip it up as much as i get get it..then attach the hose to each end of the copper ends....(top it off with a blanket or sleeping bag)..one goes to the output of the aquarium pump, and the other is the return back into the cooler. (I drilled a couple of holes thru the cooler to do this.) Fill the cooler with about 3 or 4 inches of water, then fill the rest with ice and close the top tightly. Plug the aquarium pump's power cord into a temperature controller and set it to your fermenting temperature. The temp probe can be taped to the out side of the carboy OR as I have mine, that is I have a stopper thermowell and the probe monitors the direct temp of the wort in the carboy. The pump will recirculate the ice water thru and around the copper coil and will keep your fermentation at the cooler temps you desire. (Within reason that is..no lagering). Of course you'll have to monitor your ice and replace it on a daily basis, but it's better than making hi fusal alc and off tasting beers!

If you want some pics of this setup, you can see it on my blog. (url listed under my profile) If I can provide you with better pics, I would be happy to get them to you.

Hope this helps and Good luck!

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Chili's?

Postby hansolo » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:14 pm

My local Brewpub made a chili beer and said they used a certain dried chili and dry spiced it in the fermenter. They wouldn't say what type but I can assure you it tasted great. It had a hot chili taste in your mouth but it disappeared when you swallowed with every drink. If I can lure the answer out of them, I will post it on here.
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RE: Chili's?...

Postby wottaguy » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:21 pm

And yet another method would be to use a handfull of your favorite hot peppers, slice them length wise and de-seed them, then toss them into your kettle right after flame out and let them steep for 15 minutes or so before cooling the wort.

I really need to make a chile beer soon.

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Postby caughtinamosh87 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:45 pm

Only 5 more days till brew day!!!! Thanks everyone for your input so far. Not sure yet how I'm doing the chilis, but will let you all know which way I do, how much, and of what variety.

As of now leaning with after boil and primary fermenting with 6-8 oz of serrano chilis. I figure if its not the spice I want come racking it to secondary, leave the chilis in. And when it comes time to bottle, can also drop one in there too if needed.
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Postby Benjamin1c » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:36 am

Chili beer is awesome, but I must report the terrible wasteful mistake I made.

Generally, the peppers can be added right to the finished product, a whole or part pepper to the bottle, if one is bottling. The commericial versione I tried uses really large serrano peppers, like three or four inches long.

CAREFUL what peppers you use, they vary hugely in the amount of heat (scoleville units, in other words)! I used the tiny little szechuan chilis, like an inch long and thinner than your pinky, one per bottle... next thing I know, entire batch is ruined, unless you really feel like tearing up the inside of your mouth :-(

Next time, I will only use a thin slice, and use a relatively less hot pepper... probably jalapeno. I also plan to clear out the seeds and inside lining of the pepper, as this supposedly is where most 'heat' is.
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