Sunday, 17 January 2010

4. Chilli Double IPA

IPA, the most meaningless set of initials in brewing. Apart from that inflammatory sentence I won’t explore the etymology or history of India (Imperial) Pale Ale.

Putting chilli in an IPA seems to make sense to a degree as chilli is an important ingredient in some of India and Bradford’s most famous curries. The chilli in my Chilli Double IPA is genuine Indian chilli powder sourced from a genuine Indian grocer packed by TRS wholesale of Southhall Middlesex. I added the chilli with the late hops at a rate of half a gram per pint. Adding the chilli to the kettle was enough to make most of the brewing team cough and sneeze.

Malt was pale ale malt with a little crystal for sweetness to balance the brutality of the insanly high hopping rate. Hops used were Northdown, Hallertau Northern Brewer, Perle, Challenger and Tomahawk. At a sensible rate of hop utilisation I expect the E(I)BUs to be somewhere in the region of 100. The OG is 1085 so I expect an ABV of about 9%. I’m fermenting it warm in a closed fermenter under a slight top pressure. That should ensure none of the hoppiness is lost to the atmosphere.

Yeast wise I am using the Sharp’s strain which in wonderfully attenuatative and gives a nice dryness to strong ales.

I'm hoping that the heat of chilli will boost the already intense hop flavour even more, making for a mindblowing olfactory experience. We shall see. . . . . .


BeerReviewsAndy said...

This sounds awesome! Quite interested by the use of chilli powder instead of actual chillis, it should add a nice bit of colour too.

ZakAvery said...

Half a gramme per pint sounds like quite a bit to me, or am I just a wuss?

Stuart Howe said...

We shall see Zak. I am using a very high yeast pitching rate on these brews to try to prevent underattenuation. The capsaicinoids are lipophillic so if they are going to stick anywhere it will be to the lipids in the yeast cells. Most of the burn should therefore come off with the yeast. That said it could turn out to be a Saccharmoyces tikka vindaloo. It's all part of the fun.

ZakAvery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZakAvery said...

What was it Ian Dury sung? "There ain't half been some clever......" - how does that line end again?

samhill said...


You may have already mentioned this but did you study chemistry before becoming a brewer?

I'm a chemist myself and would love to get away from pharma and into food or brewing science.

Stuart Howe said...

Sam hi,

No chemistry apart from an A level and the smattering in the Brewing degree and my Masters.

I would avoid the food industry like the plague. Brewing is a nice world to be in but the money is seldom good unless you are lucky or willing to sell your soul to the comodity producers. If you do that you might as well be sythesising organic moleclues for the job satisfaction it will give you.

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