This spicy peppadew mead is an exotic change from your more usual sweet melomels; for those who are not afraid to experiment with something different. It's not cheap to make, using about R400 of quality natural honey; you'll get 5 litres of pure gold for your efforts.
Experimenting with mead is really only for beekeepers or those with money jingling in their pockets and time on their hands; there's no point in going to all this effort using commercial honey and ending up with a second-rate product.
It's important to make a few notes; the date you started the mead, the pH and SG readings and what you did to correct the acidity at each stage.
Since this spicy peppadew mead has fruit in it we should really call it a melomel.
The honey for our spicy peppadew mead today comes from three sources; burr comb which can be seen floating, that extracted from cappings using warm water and some liquid straight from the bottling tank.
You can use any combination you like. Use of the cappings means plenty of nutrients for the yeast. It is sometimes called an all-hive mead; no artificial chemicals like malic or citric acid need be added.
Place the fruit in a muslin bag with marbles to weight it down so that the peppadews and oranges do not float above the surface.
Black tea acts as an astringent. Brew for twenty-minutes and strain well.
Cappings contain about 38% honey but this is very dependent on how long they are left to drip and whether a hot knife, roller or spatula has been used.
These gleanings can be used to make your spicy peppadew mead. So, to get 2kg of honey you would need about 5 kilograms of cappings.
If using twenty litres of water you would need to make up 20kg of cappings, or some liquid honey. They would most likely contain plenty of pollen; nutrients for the yeast.
Place the cappings in a large bucket with rain water at about 50oC and stir until the honey has dissolved; allow to sit for a few hours as the liquid penetrates the cells and then agitate vigorously.
Filter off most of the wax, and pour the liquid into the carboy together with the tea and spicy peppadews.
Too much wax means you will not be able to add enough rainwater.
There are concerns about the fruit floating at the surface and out of the liquid. This can be countered by using a porous bag with marbles to weight the spicy peppadews down. The wax cappings should float to the top, adding yet more nutrients for the yeast.
In short there are many different ways to make your spicy peppadew mead.
This spicy peppadew mead is for those who love brewing and wish to provide the known benefits to some of the nether parts of the body.
It is sometimes called a spicy peppadew capsicumel.
Capsaicin is the important phytonutrient found in spicy peppers. It is a powerful painkiller, limiting substance P and has benefits for the prostate gland where it slows the spread of malignant tumours.
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