Peppercorn Rye Ale (6.3%)
What goes well with steak? Lager maybe? Sure, but as we know, peppercorn sauce compliments steak perfectly. So why not combine it with beer? Here we paired the beautiful, warming rye malt alongside the earthy hops and finish it with a big peppercorn bite, making it the perfect red-meat companion.
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- 60-minute mash at 67°C
- 2.4 L (2½ qt) water, with an extra gallon (3.8 l) for sparging
- 450g (1 lb) Maris Otter malt
- 270g (0.6 lb) Munich malt
- 225g (0.5 lb) Rye malt
- 135g (0.3 lb) Aromatic malt
- 45g (0.1 lb) Cara-Pils malt
- *All grains should be milled - see this page for information on milling
- 8.5g (0.3 oz) Challenger hops, split in half
- 12.5 g whole black peppercorns
- 6.8g (0.24 oz) Willamette hops, split in half
- Belgian ale yeast, such as Safbrew T-58 (see note)
- 65g honey, for bottling
- In a medium-sized stockpot, heat the 2.4 L (2½ qt) of water over high heat to 70°C. Combine with all the malts and stir gently. The temperature should decrease to 66°C in around 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat. Steep the grains for 60 minutes between 62°C and 67°C. Every 10 minutes or so, stir and take a temperature reading. If the temperature of the grain becomes too cold, return it to heat and stir until the temperature returns to the specified range and then take it back off the heat. With 10 minutes remaining, in a separate medium-sized stockpot heat 1 gallon (3.8 litres) of water to 77°C. Once the grains have been steeped for 60 minutes, turn the heat to high and stir until the temperature hits 77°C. At this point, take it off the heat.
- Position a fine-mesh strainer across a stockpot and pour the grains into the strainer, maintain the liquid. Pour the gallon (3.8 litres) of 77°C water over the grains. Recirculate the collected liquid through the grains once.
- Place the pot with the liquid in on the stove and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the liquid starts to foam, lower the heat to a slow rolling boil and add half of the Challenger hops. After 30 minutes, add both the peppercorns and the remaining Challenger hops. After 50 minutes, add half of the Willamette hops. Prepare an ice bath by stopping the sink and filling it halfway with water and ice. After 60 minutes, take the pot off the heat and place in the ice bath, cooling it to 21°C, this should take about 30 minutes.
- Use a funnel and strainer to pour the liquid into your fermenter (remember, it MUST be sanitized). Supplement with water in order to fill the to the 1-gallon mark. Add the yeast using your hands (remember to sanitize those too!) cover the mouth of the jug with one hand, and shake to distribute evenly. Insert the sanitized stopper and tubing to the fermenter and place the other end of the tubing into a bowl of sanitizing solution. As the yeast activates, this solution will bubble as gas is forced through the tube. After 2 to 3 days, once the bubbling has reduced, replace the tubing system with an airlock. Once a further 11 days has passed, bottle your beer using the honey - see this page for bottling instructions.
Suggested Food Pairings
- Beer-Soaked Oven Fries, Black Pepper Beer Poutine, bone-in steak
For 5 Gallons:
60-Minute Mash at 67°C
- 12.3 L (3¼ gallons) water, with an extra 4 gallons (15.1 L) for sparging
- 2.2kg (5 pounds) Maris Otter malt
- 1.4kg (3 pounds) Munich malt
- 1.1kg (2.5 pounds) Rye malt
- 680g (1.5 pounds) Aromatic malt
- 225g (0.5 pound) Cara-Pils malt
- 42g (1.5 ounces) Challenger hops, split in half
- 63g (⅔ cup) whole black peppercorns
- 34g (1.2 ounces) Willamette hops, split in half
- Belgian ale yeast, such as Safbrew T-58
- 340g honey, for bottling