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  • Peppercorns

    I am looking at spicing a Saison with some peppercorns. I will be brewing a 10bbl batch and looking for some usage rates, varieties and purveyors. Thanks in advance for your help.

    Black Tooth Brewing Co
    Sheridan WY

    tjzeilstra at hotmail dot com

  • #2
    A light touch


    I have used many varieties and rates of peppercorns in many types of beers although never in the boil. I think for a Saison, it depends on what kind of yeast characteristics you will be looking for/getting.

    Our Saison yeast spits out a lot of white pepper like phenols and I find that using whole white peppercorns plays right into the flavor profile. I buy them from Penzeys spices which has locations all over the U.S. and also online. Whatever you end up buying, get the good stuff and make sure it's fresh.

    I use Black peppercorns at a rate of .8 oz per bbl, whole, for our Pale Au Poivre for 3-5 days in secondary. For a Saison, depending on strength, I would start at 1/4 that rate.

    Just a word of warning: the Penzey's India Tellicherry black peppercorns are VERY intense when used fresh.

    You might also check out Szechuan peppercorns which, in my opinion, lend a mint like pepperiness and have a subtle hotness to them.

    Feel free to email/PM me if you have more ques. porter t b c (at) gmail dot com. Hope this helps!


    • #3
      I just brewed a non traditional Wit with peppercorns commissioned by a local restaurant. I did a few small proof of concept small batches that kept coming back from the chef with the request for more peppercorn...she wanted it peppery! All said and done, I ended up with an eye popping 5lbs(!!!) of ground peppercorns for 12 bbls at 10 minutes to knockout. The beer is nice and sparkly on the tongue, kind of cooling minty with some heat that builds during a whole pint, but then fades pretty quickly.

      We get jugs of tellicherry peppercorns provided by the restaurant, toast them the night before brewday and then grind them pretty fine. I'll be happy to find out where they are getting the peppercorns.

      Good luck and have fun!

      Chris Davis
      Fullsteam Brewery
      Durham, NC


      • #4
        I used black peppercorns in a recent spiced amber along with several other spices. For just the peppercorns, I used 2oz of whole, lightly crushed peppercorns in 15bbls, added in the last 2 min of the boil and left to steep during the WP and WP rest.
        As a side note, we seem to get extreme utilization out of our hops, so we almost never use more than 4oz total spices in 15bbls unless we're doing something like a Wit.