Thursday, July 11, 2013

Jalapeno Red - Chilled, Ready and Tasted

Okay, I (William) pushed the envelope with a pepper style right out of the gate.  The previous posts showed the process and that home brewers have free license to experiment in creating beer flavors and style.  The Jalapeno Red was an adventure into into the unknown.  We added the jalapenos with 15 minutes left in the boil to give the beer flavor and heat.  And we also added about 2 cups of brown sugar as well to give the yeast something good to eat to boost something later in the process.

We used a box mix for Red Ale with between 5 - 5.5% ABV.   The beer had very good color and head.  We bottled it just right to get that carbonation solid.  The beer had a distinct jalapeno aroma but little malt and hop.  That was an early sign that the Jalapeno bum rushed the party.  So we all tasted, including Derick from next door, and had similar reviews.

It had a strong jalapeno flavor, there was only a little hint of malt and hops.  I personally felt it was unbalanced, that the jalapeno had jumped everything else and beat them up, badly.  The interesting thing about pepper beers is that there is no heat like you would get from eating a Jalapeno in a food dish or fresh.  It is a pepper taste on your tongue that you feel and I must say that was a plus.  All in all it wasn't bad but it wasn't that good either because it was out of balance.  However, it went real well with the nachos I prepared for the family later.

Corb and Kev suggested the next attempt we use a brew mixture that can fight back, such as a stout or double IPA, with strong malt overtones to give it greater balance.  Hops add bitterness and that would probably not work with the jalapeno.  Corb even suggested possibly introducing habaneros to the next attempt.  Corb mixed it with an IPA we had which give it greater balance and you could still smell and taste the pepper.

I have to agree and those other combination would also give it a higher ABV.  We'll keep y'all posted on our next jalapeno beer attempt.  We'll jump into habaneros one day too.

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