August 18, 2013

Lying Scorpion rebrew

Lying Scorpion was one of the first recipes I designed and one of my first blog posts. It is a hatch chile infused blond/pale ale with a very basic recipe designed to put the earthy, vegetable flavor of hatch chiles forward without any interruption from assertive grains or hops. It was originally part of a split batch that went half on hatch chiles and half on limes (you remember when the whole lime beer thing was really popular in 2010, right?). Lying Scorpion was a huge hit and everybody (ok everybody but one person) who tried it begged for more. Unfortunately, I didn't brew much and by the time we started sharing it we were down to the last few bottles and promised some of the next batch. Unfortunately, it's taken me three years to get around to the rebrew. Too many other beers I wanted to brew.

There has been a slow growth of pepper/chile-based beer since I first brewed Lying Scorpion. Most of the beers have been in that mole stout variety although there have been a few jalapeno-based beers and some others focusing on spicier peppers. It's rare to find a pepper-based beer that focuses on a gentler, flavor-forward chile like hatch chiles. I don't mind spicy beers but I find they wear on the taste buds after a while. Hatch chiles are usually very mild so this beer had no heat whatsoever. It could easily be heated up with a blend of serrano peppers but personally I don't think it needs the heat.

This recipe uses a lot of carapils, which is a telling sign that I designed this homebrew recipe when I was very new to the process. I didn't bother to change anything about the recipe because everybody liked it the way it was. There is a touch of light sweetness from the carapils and C20 that helps round out the chile flavor. I didn't think it made sense to fix what wasn't broke. However, the carapils could easily be reduced in favor of more two row or C20.

Lying Scorpion Hatch Chile Blonde Ale Rebrew

Batch size: 2.5 gallons
ABV: 5.3%
SRM: 4.5
IBU: 20.3
Est. OG: 1.053
Est. FG: 1.013

Grain bill

85.2% 4lb. 6oz. US two row [2 SRM]
12.3% 10oz. Carapils [2 SRM]
2.50% 2oz. Crystal 20 [20 SRM]

The mash

6.41qt water at 163.7F infused for 60 minutes for 152F mash
2.17 gallons at 175F to sparge

Mash water

Water profile: Bru'n water yellow balanced

0.6g gypsum
0.5g epsom salt
0.1g canning salt
0.7g calcium chloride

Sparge water

0.7g gypsum
0.6g epsom salt
0.1g canning salt
0.9g calcium chloride
1.1ml lactic acid

The boil

60 minute boil
0.25oz Belma [12.10% AAU] at 60
0.5 tsp Irish moss at 10

The fermentation

Ferment at 62F with S04 (0.75 liter starter) for 5-7 days until fermentation reaches terminal gravity.

Take two fresh hatch chiles and three roasted hatch chiles and remove the seeds and stems. Add to beer at ambient temperature for 7 days. Rack off peppers and bottle to 2.5 volumes.


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