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.