Sunday, July 8, 2007

Chile beer? Hold, please....

Finally some traffic from brewers! I was getting a swelled head about how many hits I got this week until I traced pretty much all of them back to a homebrewing forum's interest in those Kathy Ireland pics. (Sigh...and here I thought it was my legs that you loved.)

Well, welcome Kathy-obsessed homebrewers, because the upshot for me so far has been a helpful tip--thanks, Ron & Brenda--with regards to my current batch of would-be chile beer. It seems that chile oils wreak havoc on head generated by barley malts, so you're best off adding some wheat or Cara-pils, a.k.a. Dextrin malt.

Anyhow, the English Pale Ale I had hoped to dry-hop with chiles during the secondary fermentation stage didn't contain either of these head retainers, so I decided to keg it just as it was yesterday. I then dug around in a bunch of old Zymurgies until I found a wheat-containing, contest-winning recipe for 'chili' ale, as well as one for that (Belgian) saison-style I'd been wanting to make. Things are getting a bit more complicated, as I had to go beyond my usual supplier to find the specific yeasts these recipes require. (Can someone please explain to me why there is no brew supply store anywhere in the five boroughs?!) I'm also about to have my first experience with liquid malt extract and yeast. Meanwhile, New York is finally starting to heat up, and the witbier, my current light offering, is going fast--so I have a hunch that I'll be glad to have the plain old English Pale to fall back on with so much experimenting going on.

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