Chilli Beer

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Doctor's Orders Brewing
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I've seen a number of recipes around that use chillis. Generally they are either added to the bottle after primary fermentation, or added to the secondary when you rack from primary.

I have a chilli bush that is going nuts at the moment producing lots and lots of chillis, and I would like to do something good with them. They are small to medium length in size and the plant was called red missile. The chillis are quite hot, but are fantastic in hungarian goulash.

So has anyone actually tried a chilli beer and can recommend a recipe including the method for the chilli additions and dosage ?

Brew Your Own website has a good article on brewing with chilis. Check it out at

Also if you do a search on their site with "chili", it will bring up a number of other articles and recipes on the subject.

Cheers - Snow.
I think this line sums it all up

It's very easy to make a bad chili beer, and very tricky to get it right.

Guidance is what I need. I don't want to go overboard like I did with the first (and only) beer I added coffee too :lol:

Have you tried any of those recipes Snow ?

Here is a picture of the chili plant in question.
I picked about 25 red ones last weekend, but check out the number of green ones still there and the flowers.


I've tried a brew of Vindaloo's that had a chilli added to the bottle after primary fermentation. Was bloody brilliant :) You got the chilli flavour, as well as the hotness. It balanced suprisingly well with the taste of the honey influenced ale.
Doc said:
Have you tried any of those recipes Snow ?

No I haven't, Doc, but I have a friend who just makes a good, malty ale, not too hoppy, and just puts a single bird's-eye chili in each bottle. It's not too hot, but has just the right amount of chili flavour. I might try this with a few bottles of my next brew to gauge the effect. I think I'll try one with half a chili, then another with 1 whole chili, then 1 1/2, then 2.

I'm not sure how to sterilise the chilis first, though. Maybe wash them with Sodium met and then give them a quick rinse?
Thanks for the praise kook :) Richie from OCAU was quite ... disturbed by a bottle of my first chilli ale - something about it being "brutally hot"... but anyway. Chilli beer is easy to make despite what some may think.

Step 1. Make any regular beer - I find it works best with lighter ales and draft style beers.

Step 2. Buy some chillies. Fresh, packet, dried, whatever. I have a big packet of dried ones from the local Coles.

Step 3. When bottling time comes around, drop a chilli into the bottle after lightly scoring the skin.

Step 4. Age! The longer the more disturbing.

Of course this is a crude method - you get an uneven distribution of flavour and heat as some chillies are hotter than others, but in my experience it's tasty and fun to surprise your friends with!

I bottled my first chilli beer last night. I used the pre packed mexican cerveza style pack from Big W (anyone else used these kits??). I then popped a chilli into a stubbie.

The problem was these were huge chillies and they are in small stubbies will this make fire spew from my nostrils :blink:???

What size chillies are you guys using?? Are or using them in long necks or stubbies?
fergiej said:
The problem was these were huge chillies and they are in small stubbies will this make fire spew from my nostrils :blink:???
Yep :) I use medium sized chillies in 600ml PET bottles. If you leave them for a good period you'll get killed when you drink em! Whee! heh.

i have some habanero chillis at home i WONT be doing this with.. :)

(we once put 2 into a full large frying pan of spagetti sauce with mince.. and the 2 chilli heads that ate it were sweating like pigs... and then again a day or so later :) )
GSRman said:
i have some habanero chillis at home i WONT be doing this with.. :)
I once used habanero chilli's in a dish when I was living in Darwin. Of course, being Darwin, I was sweating profusely. After I had finished with the chilli's I wiped the sweat from my neck and forehead. BIG MISTAKE! After three-quarters of an hour under a cold shower I could still feel the buring, and it left large red welts where the chilli juice had come in contact with my skiin. Needless to say, I removed 90% of the habenero's from the recipe.


I had a similar experience, Pete. Except I went to the toilet and had to put a bag of frozen peas down my y-fronts for an hour! :eek:
Anyone know where I can get pickled Habaneros in Sydney while I'm over there?

I know where I can get powdered/dried habanero, but I'm looking for some whole pickled ones to take back for whenever I cook mexican.
kook: i bought mine fresh in woolies.. they have them occasionally in the boutique chilli section.. you could preserve them yourself? or just keep them under beer :)
Woolies over here dont have fresh habaneros :(

None of the fruit+veg shops I've been to have any either...

I'd grow a plant myself, but I tend to kill plants very quickly :p
they dont normally have them here either.. :( only for about 2 weeks a year... i just look when i go past and stock up the freezer :)
Try around the November/December period. As far as I can recall, that is when I had the habanero-sweat pore incident.
:blink: whoa, I'm blowing smoke from my ears, that was hot!!!!!!

I just tried the mexican chilli beer and it was way, way to hot, and I like hot and spicy food.

I did like the flavour and will try this again with smaller chillies.

Looks like I will be looking for chilli beer food recipes so that I can use up this batch!!!!!

Anyone got any good recipes???
what about a chilli beer batter?
Nice piece of fish/seafood,fried
Should be nice with a thai side dish/salad


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