Originally Posted by Linda
I would like to make a "hot" cider for some friends who think scotch bonnets are candy. Do you use dried, smoked, roasted or fresh chilis?
When using serranos, I generally use 2-4 per 5-gallons; habs are generally 4-8, depending on taste and heat of the specific peppers for that particular batch. The sweeter the cider, the more heat I'm comfortable adding.
So, I'm going to qualify my earlier statement regarding habanero peppers. TEST your peppers for heat prior to adding them to your cider!
I was originally sourcing my fresh habs from a local store. The habs in my garden are starting to ripen, so I used those the last couple of batches. Since I was getting consistent results earlier, I just went ahead and added them without tasting. Not a great idea.
It turns out, my habs were/are hotter for some reason. I ended up mixing two 5-gallon batches - one with habs and one without - to make a drinkable brew. On the bright side, I now have 10-gallons of cider goodness to share with my brave friends.