We really liked this chili! Nice ratio of beans to meat. I would classify it as mildly spicy (I used the full 3 TBS chili powder, and 3/4 tsp cayenne) but brought up the heat level with the addition of pickled jalapeno slices passed at the table. I used the full amount of brown sugar, but no salt and no cornmeal as my chili was nicely thickened without. This made alot more than I was expecting (I don't know how much my usual 24 cm stewpot holds, but I had twice as much as it could handle, so before adding the water and beans I divided the mixture between two pots and proceeded from there; the chili was cooked to perfection in about two hours). Thanks for posting!