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Pepper Melomel

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Keith1940

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I read the Jalapeno Pepper Wine thread earlier. I want to make a pepper melomel. I don't just want to use Jalapeno's, I want to use some of all four of the different peppers that I am growing. I have Jalapeno Grande, Black Hungarian, Sweet Banana, (They do have a little bit of heat) and Quadrato D'Asti Giallo Bell Peppers. All of these are heirloom peppers, I bot the seeds from Baker Creek Seeds in Missouri. I probably have at least 15-20 pounds of peppers at my ready.

I have a few questions.

Can I simply make this using only peppers, water, and honey? Would that even work?

Do I have to use apple juice, apple juice concentrate, and or raisins along with the peppers?

In all of the wines/melomels that I have made I mix up everything on day one, the fruit, honey and the various wine ingredients. The next day I add my yeast. Can I do it that way with a pepper melomel? In the Jalapeno Pepper Thread it seemed like a lot of different steps were required.

I made 6 gallons of apple melomel from Whole Foods Organic Apple Juice by mixing everything up on day one and the next day adding my yeast. Could I do that and simply add a lot of peppers to it? Could I cut back on the apple juice and replace that with water if I added enough peppers?

Thanks
 

Arne

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If you still have some of your apple left, take a bottle or so and add the peppers you like to it. Let it sit for a time and see how it comes out. If it is how you want it you can make more that way, if not you can add peppers or make another bottle with less peppers or you can try fermenting some with the apple juice. Or you can try fermenting just with the peppers. When I made it, I used apple juice and put the peppers in while fermenting. Don't notice much of the apple when done, but the peppers come thru just fine. Arne.
 

Keith1940

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OK Arne I have come up with a plan, what do you think? I just picked 12 oz of bell peppers, 8 oz of sweet banana peppers, that have a little bit of heat to them, 8 oz of black Hungarians, and 10 oz of Jalapeno's. I have 3 gallons of watermelon wine in the basement that has been in the secondary since 2006. It is very clear and does have some sediment on the bottom. I bottled 5 gallons of that same wine a few years ago and it was very dry. I will cut off the tops of my long peppers and remove the stems from the bells. I will then dice them all and leave in the seeds and pith. I will syphon off most of that wine into another 3 gallon carboy. I will use a couple of cups of that wine and let the diced peppers, seeds and pith simmer in that for about 20-30 minutes. That will help to bring out the heat and flavor from the peppers. I have done this before in my canning. I will remove the seeds and pith from my peppers and let them simmer in vinegar for 20-30 minutes. I will then strain that and incorporate that vinegar into the recipe. That vinegar is HOT! I also don't get the seeds and pithy stuff in my relish or salsa. I just don't know how long to let it sit for. I would think at least a couple of weeks. When it is time to bottle it I would like to sweeten it up a bit. I will probably add 1/2 cup of sugar in a cup of water and add the usual ingredients to prevent any additional fermentation.

Maybe in a few weeks I will make a pepper wine with apple juice and water from day one. I have 3 large primary's so I have plenty of capacity to play around with.

At the top of the picture is a zucchini and a yellow squash, next are the orange sweet banana peppers, (I took a bite out of one in the garden and I could feel some heat on my tongue) bell peppers, jalapenos, and black Hungarians with some that have turned red.

IMG_20170830_113055.jpg Peppers Zuke Squash.jpg
 

Arne

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The rest of your plan will probably work out just fine, but I would stay away from the vinegar. You probably do not want your wine turning into vinegar and there is a chance the vinegar you are using might turn the wine. Don't know for a fact but I wouldn't take a chance on it. Arne.
 

Keith1940

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I did not use vinegar in my wine, that is what I have done in canning to give things some extra heat. I thought that simmering with the wine would be a good way to give it some more heat. Wednesday I cut the long peppers into slices than cut those in half. I cut the bells in half, sliced them and cut the slices into 1/2 inch pieces. I put all of those into a pot with one quart of wine, it got hot almost instantly. I added another quart of wine so all of the pieces would be covered with wine. Since the wine got hot so easily I never cooked it any, it did not need it. While the solution was sitting I cleaned my other 3 gallon carboy and let it drip dry for a few minutes. After the peppers were sitting in the pot for 30 minutes I took about 20% of the pieces and put them into the cleaned carboy, I then syphoned the wine from the carboy and the pot into the other carboy. I had to add about 1/4 cup of water to top it off. Before I put the airlock on the carboy I picked it up and shook it back and forth a few times with my hand over the opening. The peppers floated to the top. Thursday morning some were above the liquid. I stirred them the best I could with a dinner fork and most of them were on the side that angles up, a few were in the neck. The peppers in the neck are mostly under the wine. I am stirring them every 12 hours. I don't want them above the wine for too long, they might get moldy. After stirring this I tasted the wine on the fork, it has a comfortable amount of heat with a little bit of an after burn. Not sure if it is a sipping wine or a drinking wine. It does not take much in the way of hot peppers to heat up 3 gallons of wine. If I make a wine with a lot of peppers I will use mostly the sweet banana and bells that I have. I am thinking that the heat from the banana's might be enough to give the wine a warm feeling. There is visible sediment on the bottom of the carboy as well as some seeds, the wine is cloudy. I can just barely see the bulb of the flashlight through the wine, it has cleared up a little bit in the last 48 hours.

I will probably rack this in the next day or two and top it off with some dry banana wine. Once it clears out I will bottle it.
 

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