Rasberry Ring Sting. Hot and Sour. Hellzapoppin'. Sabotage. There's no doubting the chilli-beer fiends were out in force with the hopheads at the recent GABS beer festivals in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.
Most often the advice you find on making chilli beers is along the lines of DON'T, its just WRONG. Or if you must, use the chillies sparingly, its all about subtlety and balance. I disagree! I like a nice chilli burn, it feels good and makes me happy. If you're making a chilli beer, then bloody well make it taste like chilli I reckon.
Inspired by GABS and a dirty big freezer bag of fresh hot chillies, I set out brewing a robust chocolate chilli porter. I added 80g of sliced chillies (warning - wash your hands BEFORE you wee) for the last 10 minutes of the boil. Just breathing the steam brought tears to my eyes. I was crying like a little girl. The cooled wort had a nice long mellow burn, but I wanted more. So I added another 30g to the secondary fermenter for freshness and aroma. Soaking the chillies in vodka first hopefully pickled any nasties. The chilli-infused vodka tasted pretty good too.
Afterburner chilli porter is now safely bottled and conditioning for a couple more weeks before its ready to unleash. I'm kind of scared what it might do to my guts. It definitely won't be a session beer so I didn't bother kegging any of it. It'll probably be one of those brews where I'll still be coming across stray bottles at the back of the garage for months and years to come. But at 6.5% ABV and with the awesome preservative power of a bagful of face-melting chillies, hopefully it'll age alright. At least with its beautiful Beerskins labels, I'll know exactly what's in the bottle and how long it's been festering. Wouldn't want to get sucker-punched by this badass beer!
I'm thinking something more easy drinking for my next brew...perhaps a Belgian sour laced with kero.
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