Thai Dragon

Thai Dragon

Thai Dragon peppers

Thai Dragon plant

Capsicum annuum

Background:
This is a fairly short, bushy plant which produces 3 to 4 inch long upright pods. The pods mature from green to bright red. The heat averages around 75,000 Scoville.

Ratings:
Heat: 4
Flavor: 7
Burn Profile: Immediate heat, mostly just mouth
Effects: None
Cap Cramps Potential: None

Review:
The flavor was tangy and sweet. Heat was immediate and mostly just around the mouth. It didn’t last very long. The skin was a little tough.

Video review:

How to start your own lettuce seeds in the AeroGarden

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If you don’t have a seed pod kit, the process for seeding your own AeroGarden pods is very simple. You can reuse an old pod basket/cage, and replace the sponge. If you have to buy sponges, it’s cheaper to use the BioDome type that Park Seed sells, specifically the 60 cell refill size. If you buy the AeroGrow brand, it costs about the same as the Park Seed, but you get less than half as much.

Replace the sponge, and place a small pinch of seeds in the hole at the top. You can use the nutrients that AeroGrow sells, but I make my own with a combination of 4-18-38 MasterBlend, Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), and Calcium Nitrate. I describe these nutrients in more detail here.

The strengths (and order of mixing) that I’m using for lettuce growing are:
1.6 grams/gallon 4-18-38 MasterBlend
.8 grams/gallon Magnesium Sulfate
1.6 grams/gallon Calcium Nitrate

Black Bhutlah Scorpion

Black Bhutlah Scorpion

Black Bhutlah Scorpion

Black Bhutlah Scorpion measured

Black Bhutlah Scorpion cut open

Capsicum chinense

Background:
This superhot was grown by Andrew Whitaker (aka 96Strat on thp). The strain was created by Tony Rose (Scorched on thp). This pod wasn’t a perfect example of Black Bhutlah Scorpion. The grower shared this picture with me of one of the earlier pods. This is what they are supposed to look like. They are also typically much hotter than the one I tried. The grower and I think the off shape and lesser heat is due to it being a late season pod.

Good pheno Black Bhutlah Scorpion. Photo by Andrew Whitaker

Ratings:
Heat: 6
Flavor: 5
Burn Profile: Overall mouth, tongue
Effects: Some tingling on head soon after swallowing
Cap Cramps Potential: Very mild to none

Review:
The initial flavor was earthy, slightly sweet and slightly floral. The taste after swallowing was more floral and a little ‘soapy’. The flavor didn’t linger much after. The initial heat was strong, brought hiccups, head started tingling. It peaked early. The heat was mostly overall mouth and tongue. I only ate half the pod, but comparing the other one, it was only a little more that a gram less and heat was less than half.

Video review:

Unknown pod test (Possibly Madballz x Bhutlah)

Unknown, possibly Madballz x Bhutlah

Unknown superhot, whole pod

Unknown superhot measured

Unknown superhot cut open

Capsicum chinense

Background:
Super hot cross grown by Andrew Whitaker (aka 96Strat on thp)

Ratings:
Heat: 10
Flavor: 6
Burn Profile: Extreme back of throat, Eustacian tubes, then all over mouth
Effects: Some dizzyness, couldn’t stay still
Cap Cramps Potential: Moderate to severe

Review:
The inside had a lot of placenta, and coated with a beige lining. The aroma could be smelled immediately after cutting open. The flavor initally was tangy, after swallowing got hit with some floralness then overwhelmed with heat. The heat was the most intense I’ve experienced in a while, probably one of, if not, the hottest pod of 2016. It only weighed 4 grams, but was extremly hot. It seized the back of my throat almost immediately, felt like hot coal. While it was hitting my throat, I also felt it in my Eustacian tubes. It peaked after a few minutes, released my throat and moved to my mouth. Had an overall mouth burn as the effects dimimished. I had fairly intense cap cramps about 30-40 minutes after, and they lasted for about 45 minutes.

Video review:

AeroGarden updates

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I’m currently running three AeroGardens (one is at work not shown). The two I have at home are an AeroGarden Bounty Elite and an old AeroGarden Classic 7. The seven has only herbs in it now, and they are doing well for the most part. The Bounty Elite has four pepper plants; a crossed Peach Lightning Hab, a crossed eximium and two Aji Pineapple. The roots are so massive they are starting to push the plant pods out. I plan to yank those prior to starting seeds for the 2017 grow season. I’ll start nine plants, and move eight of the sprouts to different hydroponic systems. I’ll keep one in there to grow to maturity. I also have an AeroGarden Sprout that I plan to start soon with lettuce. I’ll show how to start lettuce seeds without needing to buy the pre-seeded pods from AeroGrow. I’m going to run this at the same time as my Kratky lettuce experiment and compare the grows.

Indoor grow update

Since my outdoor grow for this season has ended, I have time to fix some much needed issues with my indoor setup. The main problems were improper spacing between the CMH light and plants, and neglect of the DWC hydroponic setup for my Jamaican Hot Chocolate.

I rearranged the light so it is suspended from the ceiling now instead of the top of the shelving unit. For the hyrdo, I setup a two bucket design. The inner bucket, which the net pot lid fits on, contains the tubing and air stone and has holes in the bottom and sides. The outer bucket contains the nutrient solution. This way I can easily replace the nutrients by moving the inner bucket to a bucket container that has fresh solution. This makes the process quicker and easier, and also prevents disturbing the roots. I also started a calendar to remind me when I need to change the nutrients. I’m going to do this every two weeks, but will add nutrients/water if needed between nutrient solution refreshes.

The new lighting arrangement should help my Thai Dragon and Chiltepin plants also. The Thai Dragon is in a two gallon self-watering system that I built. It was outside, and has been doing really well. Also have a Chiltepin in a Kratky setup, but it has depleted its solution. I added some to give me a little time to figure out a more long term solution. I pruned all the plants back too, which will help new growth.

I’ll post updates every week or two showing how it does. I plan on adding a Kratky setup with some lettuce to the rack soon also. I’ll do a comparison grow between that and same type lettuce growing in an AeroGarden.

Piment Leopard

Piment Leopard

Piment Leopard pod

Piment Leopard pod in hand

Capsicum chinense

Background:
The Piment Leopard is a cross between Bhut Jolokia and Pimenta de Neyde. This strain was created by Italian growers. The colors range from dark purple/black to very bright red.

Ratings:
Heat: 5
Flavor: 6
Burn Profile: Mostly tongue some roof of the mouth and some towards back of throat.
Effects: None
Cap Cramps Potential: None

Review:
The Piment Leopard that I reviewed was sent to me by 96Strat from thp. The flavor was similar to Bhut but was fruity and slightly sweet. There was some bitter after taste after swallowing, but that went away soon. It gave me pretty string hiccups right away. The heat stayed mostly on the tongue, some crept toward the back of my throat. The heat level on this one was between habanero and Bhut, but probably a little closer to habanero.

Video review:

Pom Bomb – Blueberry Pomegranate Pepper Jelly

Jar of pepper jelly

This jelly turned out great. I’m sharing the recipe as it can be followed as is, or adapted using different fruits and peppers.

Ingredients:
11 oz mixed peppers (Cereja da Amapa, CGN-20800, CGN-20800 cross and one Jay’s Red Ghost Scorpion)
4 1/2 cups of cane sugar
1 package of Sur-Jel powdered pectin
1/2 cup lime juice
Fruit from two pomegranates
1/2 cup blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Puree the peppers, fruit and lime juice.
  2. Add mixture to a large sauce pan and stir in powdered pectin.
  3. Bring mixture to a rolling boil (can’t stir down).
  4. Stir in cane sugar and bring back to rolling boil
  5. Boil for one minute
  6. Remove from heat and ladle mixture into sterilized jars.
  7. Hot water bath jars for approximately 20 minutes.
  8. This yielded 11 4oz jars.

    This is the equivalent blender that I used.

    Video of the process:

Elijah’s Xtreme Reaper Sauce review

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Elijah's Xtreme Reaper Sauce bottle

Elijah's Xtreme Reaper Sauce bottle label description

I reviewed Elijah’s Xtreme Reaper Sauce yesterday. I found this hot sauce at a local Ingle’s supermarket, but is also available at Amazon. It is produced in Gastonia North Carolina, near Charlotte. The flavor is very good, has kind of a dark sweet blend. The main flavor ingredients are Black Cherries and Cranberries, but they are overshadowed by the bourbon, vanilla, and sugar flavors. You can still taste the fruit though, but first impressions were the bourbon and vanilla. Although the label and description on the bottle imply a very hot sauce, the heat is actually pretty mild (to medium). It started with a stinging tongue burn, then overall mouth. The heat kind of radiated, but at no point was it very hot. I think you could use this liberally on anything you would use sweet flavored condiments on. Probably would go great with a Thanksgiving meal with all the cranberries in it. Elijah’s also has a Ghost Pepper sauce, which I have not tried. I saw another review saying that it was hotter than the Reaper sauce, so I’m assuming it has a higher concentration of peppers. The next time I’m at Ingles and see it available I’ll buy a bottle and do a review on it.

Ingredients shown on the label:
Black Cherries, brown sugar, tomato paste, cranberry sauce, Carolina Reaper Peppers, Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, white onion, vinegar, vanilla extract, sea salt.

Video review:

Habanero, Orange

Orange Habanero

Orange Habanero whole

Orange Habanero cut open

Capsicum chinense

Background:
The Orange Habanero is a very popular chinense pepper, often used in cooking. The peppers can be found at most local grocery stores, but can easily be grown as well. The plant is very hardy and productive. The estimated Scovilles are 100,000 to 350,000 on average.

Ratings:
Heat: 4
Flavor: 6
Burn Profile: Stingy overall mouth
Effects: None
Cap Cramps Potential: None

Review:
This particular pod was from seed that came off my 2015 season hab plant. Apparently a pod from that plant fell on the ground, and a seed germinated and sprouted. The flavor was the best of any hab I’ve eaten. It was very fruity and crunchy. It had upfront immediate heat that peak early.

Video review: