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Bad Chile Beer

Classification: spiced beer, chile beer, chili, extract

Source: Brian McGovney (, HBD #1770, July 1, 1995

I've recently made my third batch of beer, a chile ale listed in the (Winter?) Zymurgy as a silver medal winner. Opened it on May 25, and it tasted .. pickled? Vegetal? Sulfurous? These words all come to mind, in that order.

So I let it sit for a month. Still there, very little diminishment. I'll let it sit for a few more months if neccesary (the recipe stated it was judged after four months in the bottle), but I must admit I am beginning to Worry. My sanitary precautions are second to none (my fiance often worrys about my mental health re: kitchen anality), and I used bleach water on *everything*.



Grains steeped for 15 min @ 150-165 F. Hops added to boil at 0, 40, and 55 min, respectively. One hour boil. Chiles added at end of boil, pasteurized for 15 minutes, threw all into carboy w/cold water.

Fermentation began VERY sluggishly 17 hours after pitching. Transferred to secondary after one week. Toward the end of fermentation, the sediment seemed to "creep up" the sides of the carboy a little. This leads me to suspect contamination, dagnabbit.