Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fermented Hot Sauce: 2-1

My first batch of fermented hot sauce was so successful that I have two orders for more!  Never one to rest on my laurels I've decided to experiment with the second batch.

I'm starting off with thai chili peppers again.  I've been reading up on hot sauces and for fermentation you want to use super hot peppers.  The high levels of capcaisin (the molecule that makes you burn) help keep bad bacteria at bay.  I again added garlic and I'm trying the fermentation process with whole peppers this time instead of ground peppers.  

I have four cups of peppers fermenting so I can make a whole lot of sauce as well as allow two of the cups to ferment for a longer period of time.  As you can see I left the green stems in again and I plan to grind up some of the green tops with the peppers once the fermentation period is over.  I'm rather excited about this hot sauce experimentation.  There are so many ways to experiment and change the character of the sauce even with just the basic ingredients.  How long do you ferment them for?  How long do you age the sauce?  How much vinegar do you add?  How finely is it ground?  Do you keep the seeds and membranes or remove them?  Lots to contemplate.

The peppers and garlic and brine are now bubbling away in my darkest cupboard.  I like to keep the top on loosely so that the glass jars don't explode spraying peppers and garlic all over my kitchen.

Once the fermentation period is over I plan to remove the stems and add a touch of chipotle pepper when I blend the thai chilis up.  Chipotle is a smoked red jalapeno and I think a hint of smoke should be nice in the hot sauce.  

At this point, I'm not sure how long I will let the other jar of peppers age?  Any thoughts?  Suggestions?  I am learning that hot sauce lovers are a passionate, somewhat obsessive, bunch and I would love to hear other contemplations on aging and fermenting and heat.

"You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you.  I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you.  You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours."
-from Saint Augustine Confessions

Shonagh explores the guts of food in An Offal Experiment


  1. I've never made fermented hot sauce. What a great idea! Also, I love the name of your blog. : ) I found you on the RFM network, and am a fairly recent joiner of the network, too.

    I just launched a new real food blog carnival called Fill Those Jars Friday. I'd love to have you come stop by and share this on it:

    See you there!

    1. Cool! I will definitely check it out. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Phooey, I just bought hot sauce. I don't know why I didn't think to make my own hot sauce. I could totally tailor it to my taste. Is there any way you could conduct experiments with small batches with dates on them so you could see which fermentation time and method tastes best?

    1. I just started my third batch and I am going back to fermenting the chilis in mash form rather than whole. That works better in terms of consistency of the finished product. I could be more scientific but because this is a hobby I prefer to take a more free hand approach. I'd love to hear how your sauce turns out if you decide to make it.