Capsicumel [1]

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  • 16 medium-sized jalapenos (for less heat, use 8 jalapenos)
  • 1 lb golden raisins chopped or minced
  • 2 1/2 lbs light honey
  • 1-1/2 tsp acid blend
  • 1/4 tsp grape tannin
  • 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 7 1/2 pts water
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • 3/4 tsp yeast nutrient
  • Pasteur Champagne Yeast

Mix honey into 7 1/2 pints water and bring to boil. Boil 20 minutes, skimming off any scum that forms. Meanwhile, wearing rubber gloves, wash jalapenos and cut off stems. Slice length-ways and remove seeds. Place chiles in blender or food chopper with 2 cups water and chop coarsely. Separately, chop or mince raisins. Put raisins in nylon straining bag and, over primary, pour chopped jalapenos in with raisins. Tie bag and leave in primary. Add acid blend, tannin and yeast nutrient. Pour honey-water over ingredients and stir. Cover primary and set aside until room temperature. Add pectic enzyme, recover and set aside 12 hours. Add yeast and recover. Stir daily until vigorous fermentation subsides (7-10 days). Wearing rubber gloves, squeeze nylon bag over primary, then discard contents of bag. Transfer liquid to secondary, top up and fit airlock. Ferment to absolute dryness (60-90 days). Rack into clean secondary, top up and refit airlock. Rack twice more, 45 days apart. Stabilize with potassium sorbate and crushed Campden tablet (stirred well), wait 14 days, then add 1/2 cup light, clear honey and stir well to dissolve. Taste. If heat is too strong, add 1/4 cup honey and stir well. Taste again. Add additional honey if required. Wait final 30 days and rack into bottles. Age at least 6 months. Will improve to 2 years. [Author’s own recipe]