Homemade Fermented Hot Sauce
This experiment in fermentation was fun. Last night I had hot sauce on my dinner. I kept thinking “Will this make me sick?”. We are so brain washed by our culture to believe if it doesn’t come out of a plastic wrapper then it is bad. I’m working on clearing my brain of this kind of thinking, but it lingers. … and no, I did not get sick. It just tasted yummy.
What is it? It’s the first batch of fermented hot sauce that I’ve ever made. True to form, I did not follow an exact recipe. Rather, I looked at a handful of recipes and created my own.
Keep in mind that this recipe is how I did it, not how it HAS to be done. There are a few simple guidelines to follow, but you can be creative with this as well.
First, Pick a peck of peppers. Actually, I’m not sure what a “peck” is, but I’ve heard it somewhere before 😉
When I was harvesting these Peri Peri hot peppers I thought "boy these are going to be HOT!". Well I managed to clean them and de-stem them without indecent… Then I rinsed them in the colander. Aaaggh! I was choking and couldn't breath! It was like going back to Basic Training all over again and walking through the gas chamber. Ok ok I may exaggerate a little, but seriously it did choke me up. I'm drying the hot peppers to make super hot chili powder. #daddykirbs #farm #hot #peppers #growyourown #harvest #gardening
- 1/2 lbs hot peppers ( I used a mix: Peri Peri, Serrano, Jalapeños, Long Red Chilis )
- 1/2 lbs sweet peppers ( I used a mix: Banana Peppers and Red Bell Peppers )
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup organic sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
I'm trying my hand at some fermented hot sauce. The peppers are prepared to start the fermentation process. I'm excited to give this a try after all the comments on my "Chili Powder" video on my YouTube channel. This is another way to preserve all those amazing peppers coming out of the garden this year. If this works out well I'll do a video how-to on this method too. #daddykirbs #farm #garden #gardening #fermented #food #foodlove #hotsauce #hotpeppers #hot #diy #chilis #chilipeppers
Remove stems and wash peppers. Do not remove seeds. The idea is that we are creating a “hot” sauce. The seeds contain a good amount of heat. Don’t worry, the final product will not have seeds in it.
Using a blender or food processor (or if you are awesome, just a cutting board, knife and some ninja skills), create a rough mash with the peppers and garlic. Don’t over blend, just mash.
In a large bowl, mix peppers mash with the salt and sugar.
Now that you’ve prepared your goodies, let’s move on to the fermentation process. In this process the bacteria will work with the sugars in the mash to develop flavors in ways that you just cannot get any other way.
If your ingredients are of the same volume as mine, then I will suggest three quart sized canning jars. My experiment initially used only two, but your peppers mash will expand and over flow if you fill the jars too far. Yes, that happened and it was a bit of a mess.
Add one third of the mash to each quart sized jar. Add enough water to each jar to bring the volume just up past one half full. Stir water and mash well in each jar.
Cover each jar loosely with a lid, cheese cloth or some clean scrap lightweight material from the sewing closet. (you know you have extras… just use the ugly stuff)
My cloth “lid” was secured with a length of twine, but a rubber band would be much easier.
Place the jars in a cool dark location like in the back of the pantry. Each day for at least five days take the jars out and stir. Take this opportunity to observe the changes in the peppers. Smell the mix and look for clues that fermentation is happening.
Honestly this was loads of fun for me to come home every day after work and stir the mash. I was a bit concerned about it going “bad” so I was looking for signs of badness. I’m not sure what those signs are exactly, but when I looked up the process I found phrases like “You will know if it’s bad”. Well, there you go… it never looked or smelled bad to me so I’m thinking it’s good.
My experiment went on for nine days. This wasn’t a magical number but more of timing in my household that I could move on to the next step. Nine is nice.
Ah, the finished fermented hot sauce… So good! Now that I know how to make it I can do a video our blog post about it. The depth of flavor is like nothing you buy at the store, yum. #daddykirbs #farm #farmlife #homestead #fermented #fermentation #peppers #hotpeppers #hot #hotsauce #sheshot #diy #homemade #preserve
Make the Fermented Hot Sauce
You’ve waited long enough! Let’s do this thing.
Pour the contents of the jars back into your blender and mix it up good. Blend it, but not for too long. Over blending can destroy the bacteria that you’ve worked hard to develop. This is what I’ve read anyway.
Strain the mix. Use cheese cloth or a pasta strainer with fine mesh. The more fine the mesh, the less chunky the sauce.
The chunky mash left behind is an excellent treat for your chickens. They will appreciate the healthy bacteria rich snack!
Place the strained liquid back into the blender. Add the vinegar.
Blend in the vinegar, then add the Xanthan Gum. This is the step that turns the runny sauce into a nice thicker consistency. Blend for a few seconds at a time until you see the consistency change from runny to thick(er). If you like the sauce runny, just skip this step.