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Fermenting Peppers 101


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#941 SmokenFire

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 05:42 PM

I've never done this and haven't had a need to, thankfully... I'm wondering though if you are trading a small amount of salt for some amount of potato starch and if so, what did it do to the product? Help to thicken or maybe leave a white residue in the bottle?

 

I've not noticed much if any thickening, and certainly no white residue in the bottle.  Then again I haven't used many potatoes in any one batch before.  


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#942 Greenguru

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 03:12 PM

The farmhouse culture seams to be going great and I have around 3 gallons of sauce I used three pinches of salt and directed it to the head of cabbage in this batch, bought it to Cover top and threw the whole head In after short conference with Salsalady and others thanks for all the support

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#943 Theharnettz

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:11 PM

Awesome, ty

Edited by Theharnettz, 16 July 2017 - 03:11 PM.


#944 jeff84

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:43 PM

how does this sound

 

8 cups of chopped peppers, several varieties mostly jalapapeno, and naga inferno (it was a freebie, they look like tobasco but are quite a bit hotter), 2 buhts, 2 carolina reapers and some green and purple bells.

 

2 cups fresh pineapple chunks

 

2 cups of shredded carrots

 

a small yellow onion

 

and 6 cloves of garlic

 

brine is one cup pickling/canning salt to one gallon water  i also added 2 tbls of white sugar and what little juice from a single serving of yogurt

 

 

I used the same brine to do a jar of dill pickles,  is that a strong enough brine for pickles?

 

 


Edited by jeff84, 17 July 2017 - 02:48 PM.


#945 Theharnettz

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 04:36 PM

This is great, thx. I started 10 different batches last night. I think my live bacteria culture I had in my fridge is dead culture. I am going to try a mini batch of your ferment too and see how it all turns out.

 

how long do you leave your batch to ferment for ?



#946 jeff84

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 02:58 PM

 

 

how long do you leave your batch to ferment for ?

as long as it takes.  I would say a minimum of 45 days though.  years if you want



#947 Physics202

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 01:23 PM

I browsed through the thread and read some great information.  One of the comments was about nasties and yeast contaminating the ferment.  My question is: Is yeast actually bad for the ferment? 

 

The OP suggested sour dough hooch, which I believe is a combination of lactobacillus and yeast.  I'm a homebrewer, and my initial thought was to use dregs from some of my sour ferments to kickstart my pepper ferment, but If yeast is bad, I'd probably want to refrain from this?  If nothing else, could be a good cause for some experimentation :)

 

The beer dregs that I'd use, have live bugs of Lactobacillus(bacteria), Pediococus(bacteria), and Sachromyces(yeast).  I'm pretty sure the sachromyces is dead though, as it was not a particularly pH resiliant strain, and this dropped down to 2.9pH.

 

Edit:

Sorry, I've read through more of the thread and realize that yeast is bad, simply that it takes over and doesn't leave anything for the lacto to eat.  In sour beer, the yeast only eat specific sugars, and the lacto takes over everything the yeast can't consume.  I wonder if there's similar sugar complexity in the pepper mash?  I also have a bag of maltodextrin which is a sugar that yeast does not eat, but bacteria does.  I could maybe add some of that to the mash to make sure lacto has enough to lower the pH.


Edited by Physics202, 26 July 2017 - 09:13 AM.


#948 Physics202

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:59 AM

Had another thought.  The people that use a cheesecloth and open ferment their sauce, are likely getting a good variety of yeast and bacteria.  So, I'm thinking yeast might not necessarily be so bad... Sure, the yeast will eat up a bunch of the sugars that would have been left for the lacto; but being that yeast is somewhat selective on what sugars it eats, there is still plenty of sugar in the mash for the lacto.  It would explain the good results people using both open ferments and sour dough hooch.



#949 Jubnat

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 11:56 PM

That's interesting about the maltodextrin, I'll have to look into that.

And on the open ferments...I don't think it's so much the bacteria from the air that the ferment is utilizing, but bacteria that is on the vegetables, fruits, wheat flour that you put into it. So I don't think open ferments actually result in more/better lactic acid bacteria, as it does not need oxygen, but maybe other yeasts/bacteria helping out. Though, I don't actually know, I should probably research this sometime. I have read actIcles about creating sourdough starters, and it does seem that you have all the yeast and bacteria you need in your bag of flour already.

As far as vegetables go(i.e. not beer), I've only used open fermentation. That said, I do use plastic wrap to cover(in contact with) the top of the ferment. And then I use a lid on the container on top of that. So it's not just completely open like with cheesecloth or coffee filter or whatever. I did find that I will get some yeast growth(or even worse if left too long) if I don't stir it often enough. Once active fermenting starts, I try to stir it down every day or two. Replacing with fresh plastic wrap every few days. I guess the yeast/other bacteria need a certain amount of time exposed to fresh air to grow, and as I stir them down, they can't multiply and the lactobacillus takes over. And I guess I could use something like cabbage to weigh it down, but I never really bothered. Because without an airlock, there's always something exposed to the air.

/latenightrambling

#950 ShowMeDaSauce

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 09:16 AM

I cant stress enough how simple it is to make your own starter culture from just cabbage, salt, non-chlorinated water and a tiny bit of sugar. I can make pucker sour kraut in under 2 weeks with enough juice for many gallons of ferments. Lacto B is extremely aggressive if conditions are favorable, I just made another batch of kimchi in my E-jen type fermenter 2-3 days ago. Its already fairly sour. Not a speck of visible yeast on top.

 

Make kraut

Enjoy kraut

Save juice

Use kraut juice at 1-2 tbs per 1-2lbs of new ferments

 

Ancient Korean secret....Lacto B loves Asian pear or bosc pear. ;)



#951 MikeUSMC

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 07:20 PM

It doesn't get any simpler than these. Just sayin'.....

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#952 Jubnat

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 08:14 PM

I don't ever add any cultures, unless I have another ferment going, then I'll add a couple spoonfuls of the liquid.

Maybe I should try out one of those methods to compare.

 

But, here's an idea I had while salting up some peppers the other day...

I know some people are interested in doing lower salt ferments.  I've also read about people adding fresh vegetables to ongoing ferments, presumably a veg in brine type ferment.  Even though it seems problems could pop up with that eventually, as the veg would leach salt out of the brine a little at a time...but, who knows, never tried it.

But it got me thinking, as I was staring at my two pepper ferments.  As I pick more peppers, I could grind up and add some more into these.  Or I could even prep up a new, similar batch to ferment, and just mix it with the batch that is already chugging along.  Sort of like a starter you would use in breadmaking or homebrewing.

Anyone ever try this out?

 

And then back to the low salt ferments...in my understanding, the problems with too little salt, is that you are allowing too much time for the bad bacteria, that is usually inhibited by the high salt content, to take hold before the good bacteria has a chance to.

So, what if you started a smaller batch, with a decent amount of salt(more than you would normally), and then once fermentation was at its peak, you could add in more fresh ground peppers(without salt).  So, in theory, you would end up with a lower total salt content than you would be comfortable using from the start.  Assuming that the lacto bacteria are very active, and remain active once you add in the fresh pepper mash.

 

Just sort of brainstorming for fun...

any thoughts?



#953 MikeUSMC

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 09:01 AM

And then back to the low salt ferments...in my understanding, the problems with too little salt, is that you are allowing too much time for the bad bacteria, that is usually inhibited by the high salt content, to take hold before the good bacteria has a chance to.

From everything I've read, what you said there ^ is absolutely correct. My very first ferment used something like a 5-6% salt brine, and that's all I could taste when it was done. That's why I SWEAR by those powdered, single serve, 1g probiotics packets. That way, I can go very light on the salt. I think most people that use those packets as a starter usually use 1-2g and a "normal" salt ratio by weight. I go VERY light on the salt (usually a teaspoon or less per 1/2 gallon) and add 4-5g of probiotics to ensure they're gonna start multiplying before the "bad" bacteria takes over. I usually see some activity in the jar in 18-24 hours. 20+ ferments later, and I haven't had one fail me yet (knock on wood!). It's easy to add salt after it's done, but nearly impossible to take it out after it's in there (the raw potato trick has NEVER worked for me)

So, what if you started a smaller batch, with a decent amount of salt(more than you would normally), and then once fermentation was at its peak, you could add in more fresh ground peppers(without salt)

I guess, technically, that could work. But the biggest problem I see is that you're (voluntarily) introducing oxygen into an anaerobic environment, which is the EXACT opposite of what you're trying to accomplish with fermenting in the first place. Not saying it couldn't work, because it probably could. I just think it'd be a gamble, and why chance it (unless you were just trying to experiment)? Just my $0.02 :)

Edited by MikeUSMC, 01 August 2017 - 01:01 PM.

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#954 Jubnat

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 11:17 AM

I guess, technically, that could work. But the biggest problem I see is that you're (voluntarily) introducing oxygen into an anaerobic environment, which is the EXACT opposite of what you're trying to accomplish with fermenting in the first place. Not saying it couldn't work, because it probably could. I just think it'd be a gamble, and why chance it (unless you were just trying to experiment)? Just my $0.02 :)


But here's the thing, I'm not using air locks, and I open up and stir my ferments anyway. In a sense, what I'm doing is limiting the exposure the oxygen, by preventing the top layer to be exposed for too long. And once it's stirred in, the co2 would just push it up and out.

I guess the main concern is introducing contamination. But I think a healthy active ferment would have no problem outcompeting any incidentals.

#955 MikeUSMC

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 12:56 PM

But here's the thing, I'm not using air locks, and I open up and stir my ferments anyway

Aaahhhhh..... that didn't even cross my mind, haha. Yeah, I guess that would work. One thing to keep in mind would be your headspace, though. The more stuff you add, the less headspace you'll have, so you might have to switch to a larger container when you combine everything

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