July 30, 2010

Awesome blonde beer becomes awesome chili beer and awesome lime beer

I posted this recipe up on HBT, but I wanted to share it here as well. The base blonde beer is a 5 gallon batch that I split and did half lime beer, half chili beer. If you want to replicate this with all 5 gallons with lime or chili, make sure you double the additions.

Blonde ale:

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: 1338
Yeast Starter: 1L
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter: N/A
Batch Size (Gallons): 5 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.055
Final Gravity: 1.016
IBU: 16.1
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 4.5
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7
Tasting Notes: Awesome

Grain Bill:
8.75 lb Pale malt
1.25 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine
.25 lb Crystal 20L

Hop schedule:
.5 oz Mt. Hood (5.2%) at 60 min
.5 oz Hallertau (4%) at 60 min

Mash schedule:
Single infustion of 12.81 qt at 170.5F to reach 158F for 60 min
Batch sparge

Boil volume:5.72 gallons

Lime Beer (aka Acid Trip):

1. I froze, and then thawed and peeled 7 small limes and tried to remove as much of the pith as possible.

2. I crushed the lime fruit up to release the juices and provide as much surface area for the yeast as possible. In retrospect, I would not do this, because the small pieces of lime clogged up my bottling lines. I would recommend instead just cutting the lime into thin slices.

3. I added the lime to a cup of water and pasturized at 160F in a saucepan for 20 minutes.

4. Cooled and then racked the beer on the fruit. Ferment for seven days, and then bottle.

Tasting notes: Very tasty. It is more bitter than Bud Lime or Miller Chill, but on the other hand, it doesn't have that chemical-lime flavor. It's mostly a tart flavor, but it is definitely a little bitter. It tastes exactly like what you would expect of a blonde or pilsner if you added a healthy amount of lime to it. If you wanted to make it a little sweeter and more like Bud Lime/Miller Chill I think it would work to backsweeten this beer with some lactose to balance the bitter lime flavor without making it taste chemically like the commercial products.

Edit: After enjoying several pints out of my party pig of Acid Trip, I definitely find that it is rather tart for a lot of people. I don't mind the bitterness, but others have said it's a little too bitter for their tastes. Next year when I make this, I'll definitely add some lactose to balance the bitterness.

Chili Beer (aka Lying Scorpion):

This beer uses hatch green chilis, but the blonde base could easily work with spicier chilis. My dad grows these chilis, so I made this beer with his chilis. It is easily one of, if not the best beer I have ever brewed.

1. I used two fresh hatch chilis and three roasted chilis, all treated the same way. I froze them and then thawed them out to breakdown the cell walls. I then chopped off the tops, sliced them length-wise, and removed the seeds and veins.

2. Rack beer on chilis

3. Ferment seven days in secondary, then rack and bottle.

Tasting notes:Awesome beer. It has great chili flavor with only a hint of heat in the aftertaste. The roasted flavor comes through. As I said, perhaps the best beer I've brewed. Hatch chilis are not known to be among the hotter chilis, so this has very mild spiciness but a big chili flavor that would pair well with Tex-Mex, Mexican food, southwest food, or Bar-B-Que.

You will want to taste the beer every couple of days to see when it reaches the flavor profile you want. Early in the chili addition the beer will be hotter and the fresh chili taste will come through. About five days in the heat subsides and the chili flavors blend well into the beer. The roasted flavor started to show at about five days in and melded well at seven.


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