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Ghost Pepper Chocolate Stout

I grow a LOT of superhot peppers in my garden. I just harvested a bunch of ghost peppers, trinidad scorpions, and some other varieties. I’m purchased the NB Milk Chocolate Stout all-grain kit. Going to brew it as usual, and in secondary, add an extra 4 ounces of cacao nibs, and a whole ghost pepper with some slits cut in the side.

I am not a heat freak, but this just seems like a perfect combo to me. Nice dark, sweet beer with chocolate undertones, and some heat burning on the end. I don’t want it to be overwhelming, but noticeable - the kind of beer to warm your gut on a cool October evening at the football tailgate.

Anyone done anything similar. I am a little nervous about using a whole pepper, as these things pack a pretty good wallop, and I believe capsaicin is alcohol soluble (meaning that every bit of the heat in a pepper added to beer is likely to be pulled out).

Would love to hear about anyone else’s experiences brewing with hot peppers, especially superhots like ghost peppers.

Edit: I just took a little 1/4" sliver off one, and damn - talk about some heat! I’m thinking I might start with 1/4 of a pepper :slight_smile: So amazing the punch these guys can deliver…

My understanding of the problem of brewing with peppers is that it is almost impossible to measure the amount of capsaicin by any means other than testing an individual seed and multiplying up by the number of seeds in the pepper. IMO you’re right though: awesome flavor combos. I just had a habanero 95% cacao chocolate cup today. Amazing.

Have you considered making a tincture with a real clean vodka and the peppers (read: a mediocre vodka put through a brita a few times), then adding at bottling? I’ve had really good results from doing this on a variety of flavors in a variety of beer styles.

Oh, you can also send the peppers my way for evaluation. :cheers:

Just a thought as well: Pick up a copy of The Art of Fermentation and ferment the peppers on their own! Chop, pound, salt, immerse in water, puree in blender and boom, some killer fermented hot sauce…

[quote=“Pietro”]My understanding of the problem of brewing with peppers is that it is almost impossible to measure the amount of capsaicin by any means other than testing an individual seed and multiplying up by the number of seeds in the pepper. IMO you’re right though: awesome flavor combos. I just had a habanero 95% cacao chocolate cup today. Amazing.

Have you considered making a tincture with a real clean vodka and the peppers (read: a mediocre vodka put through a brita a few times), then adding at bottling? I’ve had really good results from doing this on a variety of flavors in a variety of beer styles.

Oh, you can also send the peppers my way for evaluation. :cheers:

Just a thought as well: Pick up a copy of The Art of Fermentation and ferment the peppers on their own! Chop, pound, salt, immerse in water, puree in blender and boom, some killer fermented hot sauce…[/quote]

Thanks for the reply Pietro! Yeah, I’ve made hot sauces before - and my favorite way to use superhots is to dry them in a dehydrator, then crush and combine with salts. I’ve even dried limes and added those to the mix. Great stuff!

Tincture idea is interesting but not sure I’d have any more idea how much to add to a 5 gallon carboy. I’m thinking I may just start very slow - 1/4 pepper for a week, taste test, and go from there, but I’ll think about the tincture idea…

And if you really want some peppers, message me - I will have a ton before the summer’s done.

This is a good option instead of a tincture. With respect to how much tincture to add if you went that way, just make sure you know how much beer is going into your keg, then carb it, add a 1/2 tsp to a glass then fill up. If 1/2tsp to a pint is the right flavor for you, just scale it up to the amount in the keg. This way, you hit the exact level flavor you (and maybe a few other select tasters) want.

Same way would work if you bottle condition, but you’d have to taste it flat and scale it that way prior to bottling the batch.

Added about 1/3rd of a fresh Ghost Pepper (after making some incisions along the sides). Left that for a total of 4 days, checking it every 2 days. After 4 days, a barely perceptible touch of pepper taste. Added several more 1/3rd slices and checked it after another 2 days. Taste tested last night and I think it’s perfect. Just a hint of that scary Ghost Pepper fragrance, and a definitely perceptible burn with the first sip. Not overwhelming, but enough to let you know ‘the Ghost’ has been there. I want folks to be able to drink a couple of these without inordinate pain and suffering. Think I nailed it but will taste again at bottling time to make sure it still feels right.

Excited to taste this after it bottle conditions for 6 or 7 weeks.

I’ll report back :slight_smile:

Several years ago I judged a Jalapeno Chocolate Stout, nice fruity Jalapeno flavor, but the after taste was like drinking gasoline on fire. Before bottling make sure you taste it all the way through the swallow, so you are sure of the total burn factor.

Will do - but one reason I used Ghost peppers is that they don’t have that strong, harsh flavor that Jalapeño does. They are very HOT obviously, but don’t taste harsh. Hopefully that works out in the final result.

I make a Jalapeno Pale, and the heat is ALWAYS different. I’d shoot for adding a little bit when you cold crash, and bring up the heat to taste. Also a blend of raw and roasted peppers helps profile the flavor of the pepper itself, instead of being just really freakin’ hot.

I’m want to make a ghost pepper stout with a John Palmer kit I received…was thinking about using 1 Moruga Scorpion pepper. Seems like the author forgot to report back. Anyone have a good idea on how much to add of a super hot? I was thinking of making a vodka tincture, tasting it, and then adding a certain amount depending on how hot and flavorful the tincture turns out. Good idea?

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