Author Topic: How Many Habaneros?  (Read 2341 times)

Offline rodwha

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How Many Habaneros?
« on: January 22, 2016, 12:58:57 AM »
I've been brewing jalapeño beers for a while now and believe I have settled on using 8 in my 5.25 gal batches for a great flavor/aroma aspect with enough spice to know its a pepper without being overly spicy that you may not want to drink many, and I love fresh peppers.

With that in mind, and liking very spicy dishes (I eat serranos and Thai chili saw well), I decided I wanted to make a burn your throat strong ale using Habaneros. Having never worked with these I figured 4 might be plenty as the scoville units are off the charts compared to jalapeños. As it turned out upon my sample at bottling it's not even remotely spicy.

I roasted 2 in the oven at 350* for 30 mins and sliced thin. These were saved for brew day and went into the boil at 14 mins. The other two were left raw, sliced thin, and placed in vodka for a few weeks and added to the bottling bucket. This is my routine for my jalapeño beers.

So how many peppers does one need to get the heat noticeable?

Offline gman23

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2016, 01:25:54 AM »
I put one quartered (with seeds) hab into a keg of pineapple wit for 2-3 days and the heat is just about perfect. I can't imagine needing more than 2 for a few days to get pretty damn hot.
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Offline rodwha

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2016, 02:06:58 AM »
Hmmmm... Seems something went wrong then. I don't see how time would draw out any heat.

As an aside, if it isn't what I expected I at least coupled it with plenty of Centennial and Cascade! It's just a bit shy of IIPA standards with 57 IBUs plus a whirlpool.

I love peppers so much I've created a Serrano cream ale and a Thai chili rice beer recipe to get around to one of these days.

Offline jackmarshall77

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2016, 09:11:32 AM »
I used to throw a red chilli in each longneck at bottling. The beer would then develop heat over a few months, about 4 week in, brilliant. 12 weeks in, thermonuclear - at this point the chilli would have added to the co2 so it was a high pressure beer. On opening the sudden pressure drop would cause the chill to split and spread the seeds. Would like to try again one day with some really mild chillies


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Offline rodwha

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2016, 12:35:27 PM »
Interesting.

The only commercial jalapeño beer I've had that had strong flavor with a good kick of spice was a Mexican lager with a chili in the bottle.

This might be a terrific idea for using Thai chilis.

Offline jeffy

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2016, 04:10:24 PM »
Interesting.

The only commercial jalapeño beer I've had that had strong flavor with a good kick of spice was a Mexican lager with a chili in the bottle.

This might be a terrific idea for using Thai chilis.
Cave Creek Chili Beer was one of the very few beers I could not drink.  Not so much because of the heat, though, just an overall bad beer.
I had a beer in competition with a pepper in the bottle only for flavor with absolutely no heat.  Odd.  I think it was pickled.
I personally like pepper beers, but I do not want to be poisoned by heat.  Somebody from West Palm gave me a sample of habanero mead once that killed my taste buds for hours.  Paul Blatz, you remember that at Sunshine Challenge several years ago?  I use poblano peppers for flavor (three or so for five gallons) and one half of a hab for a touch of heat.
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Offline rodwha

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2016, 04:48:23 PM »
Typically I don't want too much heat. My jalapeño blonde has enough to know its a jalapeño but not so much that the masses who like medium salsas wouldn't enjoy it. However I did want my strong ale to be as hot as a fresh Serrano or somesuch.

SWMBO has said I should make a beer with Hatch chilis.

Offline Pinski

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2016, 05:16:04 PM »
I like to roast, deseed, chop and cover with vodka just to saturate for a few days.
Add to fermenter after fermentation has slowed down for five days prior to kegging/bottling.
0.5 peppers per gallon of finished beer. 

This may be a bit aggressive for what you're looking for. Maybe try .25 pepper per gallon to just get a hint of the heat.

Have fun!
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Offline a10t2

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2016, 05:57:52 PM »
For really intense flavor I'll use up to 4 oz of de-stemmed/seeded habaneros. I want to say that works out to something like 15 chiles.
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Offline rodwha

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2016, 09:59:34 PM »
15 peppers how many gallons? And how spicy would you say that is? I'm looking for something like the heat you'd get from biting a good chunk off from a raw jalapeño in each sip, which is why I figured a strong ale (~9%) was appropriate.

As 4 didn't seem remotely perceptible it's obvious doubling wouldn't likely get me where I'm wanting to be.

Offline rodwha

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2016, 10:03:33 PM »
1/2 a pepper per gallon would reduce the number of peppers I used and I don't perceive any spice at all. Maybe I'm off my rocker. But then at a Thai restaurant I ordered the hottest curry with plenty along with plenty of Thai chilis with my pad Thai. I was visited by several staff as they hadn't seen anyone do such a thing. Needless to say I was a bit sweaty

I'm not exactly looking for that level of heat, but not too far from that. I seem to be somewhat of a masocist when it comes to chilis...

Offline Pinski

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2016, 12:00:16 AM »
1/2 a pepper per gallon would reduce the number of peppers I used and I don't perceive any spice at all. Maybe I'm off my rocker. But then at a Thai restaurant I ordered the hottest curry with plenty along with plenty of Thai chilis with my pad Thai. I was visited by several staff as they hadn't seen anyone do such a thing. Needless to say I was a bit sweaty

I'm not exactly looking for that level of heat, but not too far from that. I seem to be somewhat of a masocist when it comes to chilis...

Yes, but you put two of the four in the boil, so that could have an reductive impact. I'm not sure about how volatile or delicate capsaicin is.  But yeah, I'd say if you're not perceiving anything from 4 habaneros in 5.25 gallon batch you're not getting very good extraction, the peppers could be light on capsaicin, or you may just be off your rocker. ;)
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Offline rodwha

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2016, 12:08:13 AM »
Probably a bit of both quite frankly.

Offline a10t2

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2016, 02:51:56 AM »
15 peppers how many gallons? And how spicy would you say that is?

That's for 6 gal, and it's definitely piquant. I also will eat the 10/10 at the Thai place and ask for a side of sauce.

And please don't hold me to the 15 chiles thing. I only have it recorded as 4 oz.
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Offline rodwha

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Re: How Many Habaneros?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2016, 04:35:27 AM »
Way off subject, but why don't you like Chico (US-05 or WLP 001)?