What we have here is a nice, light, crisp, jalapeno ale. Jalapeno dominates the aroma and flavor, but it’s very drinkable, a balanced bitterness, and the barley has enough complexity to add depth and flavor. The hops are not present. Bell peppers give it a garden-like quality that I don’t think you would get with the jalapenos alone. A good beer.
If my memory serves, this is the fourth beer I brewed using some combination of peppers, two of which are on this website. Most similar to this one, beer #6 was a summer Jalapeno Beer. It had a big jalapeno aroma and flavor, an earthy garden quality, and a light, crisp malt profile with a hint of sweetness (using Caramel Crystal malt for the sweetness). I noted that two jalapenos didn’t give the subtle burn I was looking for, and that three might be perfect. I was right. The three peppers in this batch gives a nice, subtle, lingering heat that coats your mouth. I also tweaked the barley a bit. I like using Munich and/or Vienna malt for complexity, depth of malt flavor, and a touch of sweetness, rather than using Caramel Crystal altogether. That seems to be a trend right now. But I also threw in a pinch of Honey Malt, just for shits – not sure what that did.
Chipotle makes an excellent beer too. Beer #10 was a Chipotle Golden Ale, which was also delicious, had a great chipotle flavor, but lacked heat as well. My notes say “add jalapenos.” So of course, now we come full circle, and I’m saying to myself: why didn’t I put chipotles in this beer! I think that would be the best combination.
Other possible improvements: a large flame out addition of citrus or orange hops, like Simcoe. That might be good. Or a more ‘piney’ hop, like cascade or centenial.
As you can tell by my notes below, this was another victory for shitty brewing practices. I mashed only 30 minutes, and boiled for only 35 minutes. No off flavors that I can tell. I also diluted the beer, by adding 1.5 gallons of cold water after the boil. No apparent drawbacks: the bitterness seems spot on to me. Worse, I chilled this beer slowly for apparently two days before pitching the yeast. I remember waking up the following morning: Oh, shit, I forgot the pitch the yeast last night! US 05 did the job, just like it always does (oh, and don’t forget, no yeast starter or agitating the wort before pitching). Life is pretty good.
Pepper Pale (6 gal)
Mon, May 23, 2016 5pm
5.1 lb 2-row (30 min. mash)
4 lb Munich
3.8 lb Vienna
.3 lb Honey Malt
.5 oz Magnum (35 min. boil)
2 oz. Sterling (flame out, no chill method)
1 oz. Anthium (flame out)
3 jalapenos, sliced (flame out)
2 green bell peppers, sliced (flame out)
Monday, May 23: 30 minute mash, 35 minutes boil
no chill: after boil, added 1.5 gallons of cold water, then let sit outside for 10 minutes, then placed in cold fermentation chamber very hot (69C)
Wed., May 25, morning: beer at 26C (still hot), pitched yeast anyway
Monday June 1st: hydrometer 1.010, cold crashed, sample has nice heat
next day: added gelatin
Thurs, June 2: bottled 38 22 oz bottles (that’s a lot)