Saturday, November 12, 2011

Feliz Navidad

For Christmas this year I wanted to brew a beer that I could bottle and hand out to friends, neighbors, etc. I wanted something approachable to everyone, but also something that stood out and was special, it is my Christmas beer! I have been throwing around the idea of brewing a Mexican Hot Chocolate style beer for some time. I attempted this last year, using an amber base but once I tasted the amber with ancho chilies, it was so good I left it as is. That beer placed 1st in the Southwest regionals of the NHC in 2011, although it didn't place in the finals. I finally got my act together this weekend and brewed a Chocolate Stout as a base recipe and will add Ancho chilies, cinnamon and probably a hot pepper to add a slight heat spice. The base beer is a export stout/American stout hybrid with cocoa powder added at flameout. I hope the base beer turns out nice, because I know the anchos will be nice with a chocolaty base beer. I am debating how I will add the cinnamon. I am making a tincture of vodka and cinnamon sticks which I could add to the keg to taste, or I could add the sticks with chiles and dry-cinnamon the beer. Haven't decided yet.

Recipe: Us 2-Row, wheat malt, Chocolate malt, Crystal 40L, Roasted Barley, Crystal 80L, Cocoa Powder (unsweeteneded), ancho chilies, cinnamon, spicy pepper (most likely), US S-05, US Goldings @ 60 min.


  1. This beer and the cranberry gose sound great!

    Tinctures work really well infusing chili pepper heat and flavor, well played. Cheers!

  2. That does sound great. Are you planning on this being a dry stout or are you adding some lactose to be more of a sweet stout?

    I'm curious if the chili heat and chocolate would be better in a dry or sweet beer.

  3. Thanks guys! I hope these turn out really well. I have had good luck with treating chilies like dry hops and adding them to the keg for 7-10 days. I am hoping on brewing a smoked light lager with dried chipotle peppers.

    Jeffrey- I based the recipe on a export stout, or an American stout with less hops. I think the sweet stout would balance better with spicy chili flavors. I think a dry stout would be too roasty for a chili beer. We will have to see.

  4. The smoked light lager is actually a smoked helles..oops