After 40 days in the fermenting vessels, the taste of the two hot sauces were getting to where I expected them. A little funky, slightly sour and with a lot of depth and heat. Using airlocks on the mason jars kept the environment anaerobic (enough I guess) so that I never had any issues with mold forming on the surface of the mash. The resulting sauces are a great mixture of heat and flavor.
What to do:
- run the fermented pepper mash through a food mill on its finest/smallest die
- run both directions until little or no liquid is coming out of the mash
- save the pepper pulp and add more to the sauce to increase the thickness and texture or dry in a 150° F oven for 1-2 hours for use as dried chile flakes… fermented dried chile flakes even
- If you are reusing any pulp in the sauce run it through the next larger size die in the pepper mill
- add the vinegar, pepper sauce and pulp, any additional spices to a blender
- taste for salt level or adjustment of vinegar or spices
- blend on low for 30 seconds
- mix the Xanthan Gum with 2 Tbs of water and add to the blender, blend for 30 seconds (this helps keep your finished sauce from separating)
- pour into a mason jar or some other non reactive container and cover (I poured back into the Mason jar fermenting vessel I built in phase one).
- let sit for an additional 1-2 weeks to let the flavors meld
- taste for flavor and adjust if needed
- bottle in sterile bottles or jars
- refrigerate for … hell I don’t know. Hot sauce never lasts that long.
Fresno pepper sauce (see starting ingredients here):
- 2 1/4 cup of pepper mash liquid
- 3/4 cup Braggs Cider Vinegar
- 3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum
Habanero pepper sauce (see starting ingredients here):
- 2 1/2 cup pepper liquid
- 1/2 cup pepper pulp
- 1/2 cup brown rice vinegar
- 2 oz grated ginger
- 3/4 tsp Xanthan gum
Disclaimer: I am not a food scientist so always check with the FDA\USDA (or your country’s Food Safety group) for their standards.
If you have the ability to check the pH of your sauce and it registers below 4.0 you should be acidic enough for bottling this sauce without boiling it first and then shelf storage. The act of fermentation itself lowers the pH (increases acidity) and many fermented foods have a low enough pH as it is. The addition of vinegar also helps, but don’t just go by that because vinegars can be bottled at varying concentrations. All of this worry is to avoid the development of botulinum toxin which thrives in low acid anaerobic environments. It’s pretty rare but can be fatal, so try to avoid it. If you don’t know or are worried:
- bring the sauce to 190° for 15 mins
- pour directly into sterilized bottles
- add cap and reducer if using
- tip bottles upside down for 25 mins so the hot, hot sauce comes in contact with the cap and reducer
- Some suggest running the bottles through a water bath for an additional 15 mins.
If you do not want to heat process the sauce, bottle and store in the fridge.