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Anybody want to help a noob with a beer recipe please?

I have brewed all of three batches so far using extract.
I really, really want to brew a chili beer…but I want it to pack some heat! I love love spicy food…I am thinking using chipotles to get some smoky flavor, maybe Serrano’s and habaneros for the heat. I have read some recipes where people soak them in vodka and that sounds interesting…but do you add that to the boil? or somewhere else down the line.
Also, what extract recipe from Northern Brewer would you recommend to add it to? I want something deep in color, like maybe Jamil’s evil twin? Any suggestions or advice would be awesome.
Thanks from a noob!

in my opinion you want a fairly basic base beer so the beer doesn’t fight with the chili taste. the jalapeno beer i make uses 6 peppers cut up and soaked in vodka for a week and then strain the juice and add that to the keg or bottling bucket. i’ve got quite a few ribbons with mine, if you want the recipe i can get it tonight when i get home.

+1. I would go with a Pale Ale of standard gravity or something very similiar.

Depending on how much heat you want, and whether the peppers have been dried, I would use 1-4 oz, coarsely chopped and steeped in just enough vodka to cover them for a few days. Once fermentation starts to wind down, I dump the whole mess into the fermenter and let it sit for a few days at room temperature before crashing. Treat it like dry-hopping, essentially.

I don’t think anything too hoppy would be a good base, personally. A porter or malty amber would get my vote.

I add my peppers on bottling day. Yes, that’s right. This way I can taste the base beer and make sure it’s worth a darn and decide whether I want to tweak it without the distraction of the spicy heat, or maybe even bottle some of the base beer without any chilis, split the batch or whatever. And I still get plenty of heat out of the peppers adding on bottling day. I use a combination of two methods to add the peppers. First, I chop up all my peppers and soak half in a few ounces of warm vodka or tequila (I heat it up in the microwave for a few seconds), then let that soak for 5 or 6 hours, then add just the spirit to the final beer (no chunks to deal with in the bottling bucket). For the other half of the peppers, I remove a few ounces of the beer from the fermenter (I suppose you could also use water but it just seems wrong to me) and boil the peppers for a few minutes, then allow to cool and add just the liquid back in. Next time around I’ll run an experiment to determine which of the two methods I like better – maybe one is better than the other. But both definitely add heat and flavor – I just don’t know exactly the difference. All I know is that it works really well.

Thanks guys! This is great advice. I really appreciate it.

here ya go
8 lb 2 row
11 oz crystal 40
10 oz oats
2 lb wheat
1 oz saaz at 60 min
mash at 155
ferment at 64
05 yeast or 1056
do peppers as stated above.

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