Water Based Tinctures

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dmcmillen
Water Based Tinctures

I have an ale that I have made for years (5 or 10 gals) that uses Jalapeno and Anaheim peppers.  I currently use half the peppers in the boil and half in the secondary, but the most difficult thing is getting consistency because of the variance in the peppers from brew to brew.  When I read about the use of tinctures in your book, I had the "aha" moment.  Can't believe I hadn't come across that as a solution before because I've been talking about this problem for years. 

Using an alcohol based tincture seems pretty straight forward here, but if I wanted to elimate the possibility of any ethanol taste from the vodka or bourbon, could I do a water based tincture with the peppers?  Not sure if that would even extract the oils I need.  And what if I used a whipping siphon with the water?  (can you recommend a whipping siphon?)

Also, I'm thinking I would use only the tincture to get the flavor profile I want and not use any peppers in the boil and secondary.

Would appreciate your thoughts here.

David

dmtaylor
dmtaylor's picture
From one David to another,

From one David to another,

The Jalapeno Porter that I've been making for years uses in part a boil of some of the peppers in a quart of the finished beer.  When final gravity is achieved, I chop the peppers and cover them in some of the finished beer from the primary, bring to a boil for like 10 minutes, then allow to cool, then strain the flavored beer and add back into the fermenter again.  I combine this also with a vodka tincture but really that is optional.  You might wish to go this route.... call it a "beer tincture" if you will.  No hot alcohol flavors, and no volume of the beer wasted on adding peppers into the secondary or anything like that.  And because this is done at the very end, you can choose to add a little of the beer/pepper tincture at a time and taste the beer along the way to avoid overdoing the heat and flavor if you wish.

Cheers.

Dave "This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

dmcmillen
David, thanks for the ideas. 

Interesting way of doing it.  Are you using the tincture only as necessary to flavor to taste if the initial quart boil addition is not enough? 

I originally started out adding peppers only to the boil (pre-primary) and then started putting half in the secondary to compensate for flavor loss from the boil and ended up with a better flavor profile.  The main problem has been that over the years, I've had to increase the volume of peppers and can't really predict the final taste.  Seems like both the Jalapenos and the Anaheims have gotten weaker and weaker over time.  The ones I get come from Mexico.  I like the idea of a Jalapeno Porter.  Cool idea.  

David

dmtaylor
dmtaylor's picture
To be perfectly honest, I use

To be perfectly honest, I use both the boil and the vodka tincture simply because I'm not certain which one works better, but I do know I get fantastic results this way so I never changed my method.  More experiments are needed.

I do find a lot of variability in heat from year to year.  Sometimes it's mild even with the entire tinctures, sometimes too hot even with just half.  You really never can tell.  That's why it's good to add just a little at a time to end up with what you want.  FYI - I use 2 jalapenos per gallon for a generally moderate level of heat, not too little and not too much.  But it does vary how much of the liquid tinctures are needed.

Dave "This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)