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Aji Amarillo Peppers in Secondary

Hey All,

I’m in my last few days of primary on this Gojira ale and the kit calls for adding Aji Amarillo Peppers to the secondary for a few days. My question is what is the best way to add these in? Whole? Chopped? My fear is if I were to chop/cut them up that the resulting beer will have too much heat to be enjoyable, though I’ve never used these peppers before.

Any advice on using peppers? Thanks in advance!

:cheers:

I recently made a Mango Habanero Cream Ale and didn’t want to overdo the heat. I chopped a couple of peppers up and soaked them in cheap vodka. After a few days the vodka was smoking hot. I added some of the infused vodka (no peppers) to the bottling bucket when I transferred. It wasn’t quite enough heat so I added a little more to where I wanted it. I think you have a little more control of the heat level this way rather than dropping the peppers in. Plus, you can wait to be sure the batch is exactly where you want it before adding the heat.

+1 to the method above. One of the big problems with peppers is you have no way, without some sophisticated equipment, to measure the content of the individual vegetable (fruit?). Better to be able to control it based on your own palette I say.

I actually really like this idea. A couple questions I have regarding to this technique.

1.) How much vodka did you use? 8oz?
2.) Should I anticipate the heat to intensify as the beer conditions?

I think this might be the route I take. I’m not sure how hot the amarillo peppers are.

Cheers!

[quote=“anthonyterrell”]

I actually really like this idea. A couple questions I have regarding to this technique.

1.) How much vodka did you use? 8oz?
2.) Should I anticipate the heat to intensify as the beer conditions?

I think this might be the route I take. I’m not sure how hot the amarillo peppers are.

Cheers![/quote]

I used a small food storage container. Probably about 5 fl oz of vodka in there, but I used about 2-2.5 oz for half the batch. The other half of the batch I left as Mango Cream Ale (wish I would have done the whole batch with pepper because I’ve given away a bunch of bottles). I filled a 1.5 oz shot glass first and added it to the half filled bottling bucket. After gently stirring, I tried it for heat level and filled the shot glass about halfway again and added that. At that point it was where I wanted. If you go this route, you’ll need to decide how much to add for your taste but start out lower than you think (half or one third your guesstimate). As I’m sure you know, once added, it can’t be removed. Taste a small amount of the tincture after it’s soaked for a few days or a week to get an idea of flavor and heat level.

You could also pour 3-4 four ounce samples of the finished beer and add a different measured amount of the vodka-pepper tincture to each. Whichever one you like the best, scale up the amount of the tincture to add to the batch. That was too much math for me. Since heat levels can vary somewhat from plant to plant or year to year, I wasn’t too concerned with figuring out the exact amount to add because it will be different next time anyway, based on the heat level of that pepper. Either way, I’m going to add it to taste.

I tried the first one about two weeks after bottling. It’s been about four weeks since then and the heat level stayed pretty much the same or maybe only slightly less. What I like is that the burn doesn’t linger. You feel it at first, but I guess the alcohol helps wash the oils away. Speaking of oils…this beer had almost no head. I’ve heard the oil in peppers can cause that.

I still have some of the tincture left. I brewed a Pale Ale on 4th of July weekend that I’m going to add some to. Gonna call it Firecracker Pale Ale.

Cheers and good luck with whatever you choose. Keep us updated on how it works out. That recipe intrigued me so I’m interested in how it tastes.

[quote=“Mabus”]
I still have some of the tincture left. I brewed a Pale Ale on 4th of July weekend that I’m going to add some to. Gonna call it Firecracker Pale Ale.

Cheers and good luck with whatever you choose. Keep us updated on how it works out. That recipe intrigued me so I’m interested in how it tastes.[/quote]

Firecracker pale ale sounds AWESOME!

Just as an update I ended up adding the peppers straight in. I sliced up the peppers and removed the seeds. Then I added them straight to the secondary for about 5 days. I was more so pushed to do so by my fiance daring me.

Peppers cut up on the place
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Peppers added to secondary
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I’ve got a weekly farmers market here and I’m planning picking up some jalapenos and other peppers and doing this tincture process. I’d love to have this sort of thing hanging around the house.

So far the beer is still conditioning. I’ve used fizzy drops for the first time and it seems to be taking longer than the priming sugar route. Either way I’ve opened up one to test and it’s pretty good. The flavor is hard to nail down but it’s earthy but light. The heat is just right. It’s actually pretty cool. It’s totally absent when sipping but as soon as you put the glass down you get the creep on the back of your throat.

Really interesting and I’m looking forward to see it in it’s finished state. Will post back the results of the final tasting.

:cheers:

While you don’t have as much control, I’m sure that will be fine and probably pretty tasty. Those peppers don’t pack the same punch as a habanero. Plus it’s fun to try different methods and compare what works best for you. (I definitely wouldn’t do this with habaneros tho-alcoholic hot sauce, lol).

I’m hopefully going to bottle the Firecracker Pale Ale this weekend. Looking forward to your thoughts on the Gojira. I might have to order that one.

FYI - I brewed the Gojira kit a few weeks ago and was wondering about how to add the peppers, so I emailed Northern Brewer and asked them. The suggestion I got was to dice the pepper, place the pieces in ziploc bag and freeze them for 48 hours to kill off any bacteria and then add them directly to the wort, or place them in sanitized mesh bag. They also said the vodka tincture method described above works well. Think I’m gonna try the freeze method, for the simple fact that I don’t have any vodka around and don’t really feel like buying any just to add some pepper to my beer.

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