Hop Chef: Chili Peppers?

Knee Deep Brewing was founded in June of 2010 in Nevada. Now six years later and move to Auburn California, Knee Deep has earned a reputation for unique blends, and a creative outlook on brewing. We stopped by Knee Deep and were able to talk Hop Chef with Brewmaster Dean Roberts.

Dean was unable to attend the Hop Chef ingredient drawing, but Master Cicerone Nicole Erny graciously drew on their behalf. What did they get? Chili Peppers. “When we heard it was chiles our head brewer and I were a little disappointed. We had never used peppers in any of our beers and never really enjoyed pepper beers.”

Within a day or two, Dean and his team embraced their ingredient and had a killer plan they could stand behind. “We decided to do an imperial stout with the chiles traditionally used in mole sauce: Ancho, Pasilla, Mulato, and Chipotle,” Dean told us. “We thought that the roasted sweet and smoky flavors of the peppers would complement the rich chocolate flavors of an imperial stout.”

Knee Deep added peppers to the kettle and the fermenter post fermentation. If that sounds like a lot of spice to you, there’s no need to worry. “We removed the seeds to decrease the amount of heat the beer picks up. We want people to be able to drink, and enjoy a whole pint of this beer.”

Last we heard Dean and his team had just transferred their beer into the fermenter. “The flavor from the peppers just from the kettle addition was very subtle but definitely present. We’ll be sampling daily until we feel the flavor we are going for is there. Then we will remove the peppers and filter the beer. I’m excited to see how it turns out, and how everyone else’s beer turns out.” Us too. Us too.

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