[Loch-ruadh] For the brewers and meadmakers

Sat Jun 9 14:58:24 PDT 2001

Copied from a meadmakers newsgroup

I've made several variations of my smoke'n chiles mead. I use lopsang
sochong (Chinese smoked tea, delicious in it's own right), jalapeno
peppers and sometimes a little ginger (sometimes a lot of ginger). The
last variation I made used a couple of pounds of jalapenos in a five
gallon batch so it has a pretty good heat level. YMMV.

For a five gallon batch (starting in a 7.5 gallon poly primary
fermenter) I simply take a gallon (4L) of hard water, add about a cup
of the loose tea and bring the temp up to hot (about 200F/93C) so it
can steep. Let the water cool, add, hmmm, 12-14 pounds of light
colored/flavored honey, as many jalapenos as you feel comfortable with
(run thru a food processor using the 1mm blade, seeds and all), the
same with ginger if you want, and dilute with cold water to 5.25
gallons. Use the tea water, honey and additional water to make up the
must up to 5.25 gallons, *then* add in the peppers and ginger. Mix

That's it. Rehydrate one 5gr pack of Lalvin K1 V1116 (two if you're
nervous)exactly according to package directions, add to the must and
mix in. Seal and ferment at 65-75F (18-24C) for, hmmmm, 1-2 weeks.
Rack off of the peppers/ginger to a carboy making sure you take *all*
liquid (and any yeast on the bottom). Easiest way to rack is to stick
the racking cane into a sanitized fine-mesh grain bag then stick the
cane/bag combo into the must and siphon.

If you didn't mess it up by boiling the honey it should completely
ferment out in no more than 4 weeks, more likely 3. Because of the
tannins, it should also fall pretty much crystal clear almost
immediately after fermentation is finished. I've found that this is
much better with some residual sweetness, so after a couple of
rackings when all the yeast has fallen out you can pretty much add
enough honey to sweeten with impunity and without additional

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