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Good afternoon, guys.

I never done tincturing before, and actually just saw a recipe for Capsicumel (jalapeno mead or methodology). The recipe states adding 2 peppers into the primary when the ABV reaches 10%, and at the same time put 3 peppers in 175ml (6oz) of vodka... After 3-4 weeks use the created peppered vodka to adjust the taste of the mead to desired one. So, since I'm new to this method, my questions are:

  1. After soaking peppers in vodka for 4-6 weeks, do I just add to the batch (obviously oz by oz) straight?
  2. Can it be done with other ingredients like oak chips, spice (cinnamon, etc), berries (juniper, etc), herbs (wormwood, heather, etc), hops etc.
  3. What can I use besides vodka? I'm thinking about bourbon or brandy for creating oak tincture...
  4. Is there anything I should try to watch out?

Thank you very much in advance.

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  1. The preferred way to determine how much to add is by measuring a very small amount (a few milliliters to start) into a small sample of beer. It would be helpful to have a pipette or eye dropper to do this. Peppers can vary widely in capsaicin content, to you really want to be careful with them.

  2. Aromatic flavors will extract in alcohol, as they tend to be not very hydrophilic, and a little volatile (otherwise they would not get to your nasal passages). Things like salt, sweet, bitter, OTOH act directly one the tongue.

  3. Anything that contains alcohol should work. Other solvents would work too, but that's probably a bad idea.

  4. Don't use too much, obviously, and for some spices don't soak too long.

  • I have an additional question regarding your answer #4. I've seen a recipe for jalapeno tincture where an author suggest to hold it in vodka for 30 days at temperature of 60-70F. Also it stays that for very strong tincture, I can keep it in 70-75F for 3 month. What can go wrong here? – Trigger Apr 22 '15 at 16:57
  • I've never actually used tinctures made from peppers, but things dissolved in alcohol should be very stable: all enzymes would be denatured (all biology has stopped), so oxygen is probably the only threat to the flavor. I think the greatest risk here would be to spill it, or touch your eyes after handling it. You might be making pepper spray. – Pepi Apr 23 '15 at 2:37

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