Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jalapeno Pepper and Cocoa Imperial Stout Infusion

When made my first beer infusion I used ingredients I knew would go great in an imperial stout - cocoa and coffee.  There are plenty of coffee and chocolate stouts out there as evidence.

My next infusion I got a little more creative and daring.  Using a French press, I infused jalapeno pepper and Dominican ground cocoa nibs with Samuel Adams Imperial Stout.  

I've had pepper beers before.  A great example was a jalepeno pilsner that Two Roads recently casked and I had the pleasure of having a glass (or three) (maybe four) of.  I am also a fan of Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero, a chocolate chili imperial stout.  So, there is a taste precedent that I find most agreeable.

Jalapeno Pepper / Cocoa Imperial Stout Infusion

Pour one teaspoon cocoa nibs into the pot along with a couple slices jalapeno pepper with the seeds. Top that with a 12 ounce bottle of beer. Gently stir to release the grounds trapped in the foam so that they will fall into the beer. Let the cocoa and pepper slices rest in the beer for 3 minutes.  Finally, press the filter down slowly and pour into a glass.  

The results were interesting but good.  The aroma was very chocolaty with a hint of pepper.  The cocoa added a nice chocoalate flavor to the stout, but I was a little disappointed at how little pepper flavor carried through.  But as I continued to drink a very pleasant capsaicin warmth began to build; not a burn, just a nice soft warming.  It was very pleasant to drink.  

I think the beer overpowered the pepper flavor and a four minute infused would have pulled more of the pepper taste into the beer.  But overall, it was quite nice.

The transformation in the stout was fantastic.  The cocoa and pepper didn't detract from the beer, only added flavor and sensation.  Awesomeness!


Note:  I use Choffee brand ground cocoa  nibs.  This infusion used La Española.  They can be ordered directly from my friend Kat here. Let her know you heard about them from me.  

No comments: