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Old 01-14-2012, 05:23 PM   #1
Tamarlane
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Default Lacto Fermented Hot Sauce

I haven't seen any threads around here for making fermented hot sauce, so I thought I would share my recipe.

For this batch I used 1.5 lbs scotch bonnet peppers and 2 lbs (total) of jalapenos, fresnos, and serrano peppers. I have made it from 100% scotch bonnet peppers and it came out great, but it was really, really hot. I prefer to blend other hot peppers with the scotch bonnets for a more complex and less intensely hot version.

You do not NEED to use a starter, but I have found that peppers do not ferment as readily as cabbage, cucumbers, etc and a starter helps greatly. I also use less salt than is sometimes recommended (one site calls for 6-10% which would be 3.5-5 oz in this recipe, I use less than half that). With less salt the starter helps ensure the lacto takes over before anything else has a chance. You can skim some whey off of the top of some plain active yogurt from the store if you do not have any other sources of whey handy. I just use a few tbsps of mash from the previous batch.


Ingredients

3 ½ lbs hot peppers (I prefer a blend of scotch bonnets, jalapenos and fresnos)
3-5 tsps minced garlic (3-5 cloves)
1 ½ oz kosher salt or sea salt
1 oz sugar
2 tbsps whey or previously fermented pepper mash for starter

Process

1. Wash and cut stems off of peppers, leaving the “crowns” intact – they will add a floral flavor. Edit: In this particular batch, I found that leaving all the crowns added a harsh bitterness and was a little overpowering when tasting the mash, in future batches I will remove about half to be on the safe side. The bitterness did not transfer to the sauce, thankfully.
2. Puree peppers with garlic, salt and sugar in a blender until a nice thick mash is formed.
3. Add whey or pepper mash starter and mix in blender.
4. Pour mash into mason jars, crock, large glass bowl, pitcher, etc and cover loosely. Leave plenty of room for expansion – the mash can expand as much as 30% during a vigorous fermentation.
5. Set in dark place (68-78 degrees) for 5-7 days. It should produce a sour lactic acid smell after a couple of days. Check on it daily and stir to keep the liquids and solids from separating and to prevent it from expanding too much and overflowing.
6. Once it has reached the desired level of sourness, pour through a coarse strainer (I use a stainless steel colander) to separate the mash from the liquid.
7. Pour the liquid into a bottle to use as hot sauce.
8. Scoop the mash into mason jars and use as a soup base or to add flavor and heat to anything you saute, stew or stir fry. Also use in any recipe that calls for chili garlic mash or sauce.

hot-sauce-9-.jpg   hot-sauce-16-.jpg   hot-sauce-19-.jpg  
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:46 PM   #2
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Looks pretty good. I like to make a sauerkraut batch when cabbages are starting to come into fall season. This will give me the required starter for my annual "throw all the remaining peppers in the garden into a gallon jug" hot sauce. This year I added some shredded onions and carrots for some added fermentables and color. We'll see how it turns out some time this fall when I process it.

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Old 01-17-2012, 10:02 PM   #3
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I prefer to ferment with beer yeast...

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Old 01-17-2012, 11:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usfmikeb View Post
I prefer to ferment with beer yeast...
In that case you should replace the 1 oz sugar with 6.5 lbs DME and replace the 1 oz garlic with 1-2 oz Northern Brewer (@60 min), eliminate the salt and add the pepper mash to the kettle at flame out. Chill and pitch a neutral ale yeast.

Please post your results...
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:13 PM   #5
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Update: Day 4 of Fermentation

It has been an extremely frigid January here in Florida with temperatures approaching the 40s overnight and barely topping 75 in the afternoon, so fermentation has been slower than normal.

After 4 days the mash has begun to show signs of healthy fermentation. You will notice the distinctly sour smell of lactic acid and should be able to taste quite a bit at this point.

In the picture below you can see the air "pockets" produced by the fermentation. Pepper mash does not produce the bubbles typical of sauerkraut or pickles as the mash is way too thick. These pockets are what make it expand so much if you do not stir regularly.

hot-sauce-24-.jpg  
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:16 PM   #6
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I'm always amused by the responses of people to using brewers yeast for hot sauce, and yours didn't fail to amuse.

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Old 01-17-2012, 11:18 PM   #7
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Very nice. If you need more info on fermenting peppers, check out The Hot Pepper.com
Tons of great info and people willing to help.

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Old 01-17-2012, 11:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clann
Very nice. If you need more info on fermenting peppers, check out The Hot Pepper.com
Tons of great info and people willing to help.
Yep, great site.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:22 PM   #9
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Looks GREAT! We're going to try this, maybe with some habaneros. I like HOT.

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Old 01-18-2012, 12:01 AM   #10
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that first photo of the peppers is worthy of being a background wallpaper for the screen display.

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