Making "Firewine"

This is the Academy of the IKV Melota.
This is where you will find useful information on HOW TO to many of the things that we assume are regular processes for our ship.

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I did not originally write this. I have for the most part taken an email to me and printed it here.
I did modify and make a few comments.

OK, This is in 5 gallon batches, you can modify as nessesary.

3 lbs Ginger root (whole, fresh)
1/2 lb habanero peppers
5 lbs sugar
1 tablespoon yeast (sherry yeast is best)
Brewing vessel. I use a five gallon GLASS water bottle

Cut ginger into chunks.
place in large pot with water and boil for about 1/2 hour. Let cool, covered, for one hour, or until warm to the touch (make sure your hands are clean)
Put sugar and yeast in brewing wessal (sorry Chexov*)
add ginger root and 'broth' to brewing vessel (boil more water if nessesary)
put gaslock on top of brewing vessel
add peppers (save 4 or 5, freezing them is fine), seal bottle, and let age at least one month (the longer, the better)
Carefully transfer to bottles (you don't want the sediment on the bottom), and add 1 pepper to bottle.
The more you drink, the hotter it gets. If you feel the need to cut down the potency, cut with ginger ale (trust me, nothing else works)

This is the end of the original email and my modifications.

*Since I wrote this, I have paid good money to learn the Russian language as a third language.
ST:TOS and even the new ST:WtF movie that came out recently with two Spocks completely ignored the actual language. Roddenberry may have wanted technical accuracy, but he was willing to ignore linguistic accuracy. The third letter of the alphabet is "V". Chexov would have said "Vessal" on any day, any time, any episode, any movie.

Carnahan wrote:

If you use ginger powder, you have to filter it. I find fresh ginger works best.
peppers; dried ones are fine, just don't use pickled ones. Jalapenos would work if you want to try it that way. The recipe is a modified ginger beer recipe, but for some reason, it doesn't burn as much when you drink it as wine. maybe the aging.


2007 addendum:

OK, in 2006 for the Fall Tournament I made this using five pounds instead of the listed three pounds of ginger root. I am also using 20 pounds of sugar and a specialized yeast. This brews a ginger ale base that tasted great to me as I like a ginger bite. It is also 20% ABV right out of the carboy so if the ginger burn does not get you, the liquid hammer will. It had two weeks in the plastic bottling bucket and later two weeks in crown cap (disposable) bottles with the habenero. It really was wonderfully hot. In fact, too damned hot for casual drinking. Yes, I could drink it straight. But, I found that 2:1 and/or 3:1 mixing with more ginger ale base made it more survivable.

I used disposable crown cap bottles because I don't want to have to worry about cleaning alkaloidal poisons out of my expensive snap cap bottles. I would not attempt this in a plastic bottle unless I knew that it would be consumed and the bottle burned as trash within two weeks of bottling.

As it is, my version of ginger ale base is very drinkable. I do find that many folks cannot really handle the oktan rating and/or the ginger burn so using the original 3# recipe and sherry yeast will be better for most people. But, for a ginger ale, it is really very good. At this writing, I intend to continue making this ginger ale as an 'all year around' regular item. Once you add the habeneros, then you will find those with the nads, or nad (singular), to drink this are few and far between. I do intend to experiment with simple high scoville jalapenos as upposed to habeneros with their usual scoville ratings.

Consider making the ginger ale base to supplement the Bloodwine. It is simply good regardless of your favorite source of alkaloidal poisons.


2008 addendum:

I have now been using the 5#ginger/20# sugar/superyeast for some time as a ginger ale base. This is good stuff! The main report here is that whereas habeneros are pure *hot* with little flavour, and jalapenos are really full bodied flavour, I have tried making various versions of the "Firewine".
I have found that jalapeno version is too wimpy, but with good flavor. But. the habenero version is too hot to really enjoy, and without real pepper flavour.
Thus. I like to take the ginger ale base and then make full one gallon units of Firewine based upon 2 or 3 jalapenos and one lone habenero. This allows for the lateral flavour of the jalapeno to come through, but with the vertical heat of the one 'habby' to improve on the Scoville Unit count. In this manner, I can pour from the gallon container into disposable (used) water bottles so that I no longer need to acquire glass crown cap bottles.

2010 update: For the last 3 years I have been using disposable bottled water bottles. With the hab or jal, you don't notice any plastic flavor.
Also, making this with the hab/jalapeno mix is actually better. Rather than trying to make a "manly, ball stretching drink", having a useful, flavorful drink is a much better use of your time. The straight jalapeno version is actually quite good for casual drinking. If you have the nuret, it is a form of "comfort food".
The habenero version is still worth being made specifically as a mixer. Mix it with bloody marys and the like.

This was originally a full gallon of "low octane" firewine.
3 jalapenos and one lone habenero in the full gallon.
Very drinkable and flavorful neat. Still a good mixer.

Suds and Honor
Cdr. Salek Sutai
Ship's Brewer