Sichuan pepper in an Ale.

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Muggy Dawson
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Preferred Brewing Method: Single-Vessel All-Grain (SVA)
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Sichuan pepper in an Ale.

Post by Muggy Dawson » 4 months ago

Tasted Honey Ma Gold Ale the other week at Great Leap Brewing in Beijing. Loved this and wanted to have a go at making something similar. I've got some basic parameters for a recipe, but the only info I've got so far on the Sichuan pepper addition is to use them like a hop addition.
Does anyone have experience with using this ingredient, or have suggestions for other preparation of it.
A pamphlet I got at their tap house said the brewer perfected his recipe after talking with a local cook, famous for his Sichuan chicken wings, who has a special process for them.
Am I over thinking this? Is it as simple as a late hop addition?
I'm going to try a batch in about two weeks, and I'm seeing if anyone has other ideas on how to approach this.
Next - Bohemian Pilsner.
Cubed - Sierra Pale.
F.V's - Smokey Dark Ale, Basic Stout.
Briefly Bottled - Basic Stout II, Basic Stout III, Stock Stout, Victory Stout, Southern Cross Pale, Smoked Porter.

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ShorePoints
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Re: Sichuan pepper in an Ale.

Post by ShorePoints » 4 months ago

Muggy, what's the dosage?
There are hot peppers and then there are HOT peppers. While in grad school we had a garden plot among students from other parts of the world. We shared growing techniques and vegetables. A fellow from India gave me a pepper that he said he might use on salad. Foolish student that I was, I took a small bite and cried through body spasms from the "heat." :cry:
And you can add a Scoville scale to your brew along with Tinseth. ;)
A small scale pilot experiment might be in order before you commit the whole batch.


Topic author
Muggy Dawson
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Australia
Posts: 42
Joined: 1 year ago
Location: Western Australia
Region: Oceania
Preferred Brewing Method: Single-Vessel All-Grain (SVA)
City: Geraldton

Re: Sichuan pepper in an Ale.

Post by Muggy Dawson » 4 months ago

These aren't peppers or chillies, they're a peppercorn type pepper. They belong to the rue or citrus family and the strength is fairly consistent. Different amounts will give varied flavour and effects with a lemony overtone, but generally this quote from Wikipedia covers it nicely -

According to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking, they are not simply pungent; "they produce a strange, tingling, buzzing, numbing sensation that is something like the effect of carbonated drinks or of a mild electric current (touching the terminals of a nine-volt battery to the tongue). Sanshools appear to act on several different kinds of nerve endings at once, induce sensitivity to touch and cold in nerves that are ordinarily nonsensitive, and so perhaps cause a kind of general neurological confusion."

Suggested amount from another forum was a 7-10gram addition at 10minutes before flameout. But I still think there might be more to it, like cold steeping prior to the addition, or some weird wonderful way that I just don't know about yet.
Next - Bohemian Pilsner.
Cubed - Sierra Pale.
F.V's - Smokey Dark Ale, Basic Stout.
Briefly Bottled - Basic Stout II, Basic Stout III, Stock Stout, Victory Stout, Southern Cross Pale, Smoked Porter.

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ShorePoints
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Re: Sichuan pepper in an Ale.

Post by ShorePoints » 4 months ago

Thanks, Muggy, for educating me on Sichuan peppers. Those are interesting effects as described. I'll have to learn more about the "active ingredient"
It is the peppercorn, in the citrus family that is added, not a garden pepper. :interesting:

The peppercorn seems to activate sensory nerves other than taste! A New York Times article from 2004 - the part about 50 Hz is interesting. A new kind of "buzz." :shock:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/04/dinin ... index.html

It's fascinating stuff, but I'm still a fan of Reinheitsgebot.
Last edited by ShorePoints on 04 Jul 2017, 04:12, edited 1 time in total.


Topic author
Muggy Dawson
Gold
Gold
Australia
Posts: 42
Joined: 1 year ago
Location: Western Australia
Region: Oceania
Preferred Brewing Method: Single-Vessel All-Grain (SVA)
City: Geraldton

Re: Sichuan pepper in an Ale.

Post by Muggy Dawson » 4 months ago

They're a strange sensation in food. I've found they numb my mouth enough that I can keep eating the spicy hot chillies in a dish, which is a little dangerous for the next day.

As suggested I may just try a small test batch, using a soaking then add like a hops addition.
Next - Bohemian Pilsner.
Cubed - Sierra Pale.
F.V's - Smokey Dark Ale, Basic Stout.
Briefly Bottled - Basic Stout II, Basic Stout III, Stock Stout, Victory Stout, Southern Cross Pale, Smoked Porter.

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