It’s that time of year again!

Last year we worked with our good friend Doug Appeldoorn at People’s Pint to brew a unique beer that used szechuan peppercorns to spice up the holiday season.

We’re at it again but changing up the recipe a bit. While we love the peppercorns we decided the Saison of last year didn’t quite bring out the flavour in the optimal way. All part of the experimentation process really.

After being inspired by a beer we tried while in Portugal, we opted to go for a pale ale. Doug suggested using a wheat as part of the malt bill to bring out even more of the spicyness of the peppercorns.

Thus, with recipe in hand, we headed over to Peoples Pint, and started doing SCIENCE!

We ground up our own malt, did some mixing and pitched some yeast.

We did have some issue this year, but they were nowhere near the famed “table” disaster of last year. Most of our issues were just around moving and cooling the actual liquid between containers.

Then the fun part began, the part that all brewers know is of the utmost importance…

You may notice that we didn’t add any of the peppercorns here! Don’t worry, we didn’t forget. After cleaning up we went home to wait, very patiently.

You see, Doug had a fantastic idea: he made a tea out of the peppercorns that would be added AFTER fermentation, allowing us to taste it as we add it to get just the right amount of flavour.

SCIENCE.

Using the very scientific tools of a Betty Crocker measuring cup and a syringe, we tried the beer, mixed with different amounts of tea, at a small scale. Keeping track of the amounts so we could scale up the math for the full batch.

Eventually we found just the right flavour, started carbonating the kegs and now… Well now we wait.

On December 14th, at 3pm we will be releasing Chinese Food for Christmas at People’s Pint! Please come by and give it a try, it’s sure to warm you up on these cold winter nights.

Also, make sure to pair it with some takeout!

Kole McRae

Founder of Toronto Booze Hound. He can be seen drinking almost anything in the wild from beer to rum. Try not to startle him, he may use humour as a self defence method.

Email: kole@torontoboozehound.com

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