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Fermenting Peppers 101


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#1061 YAMracer754

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 03:29 PM

The nice plus about fermenting mash vs peppers halved too is quantity:space ratio! Do you always leave the seeds in then remove later? I noticed most all my pepper mash ferments I'm fortunate enough for the seeds to separate as the process moves forth. Have you ever tried smoking, then fermenting peppers, then dehydrating to make a paste or interesting pepper halves? Thinking of trying this on 3lb of reapers I just gutted..

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Edited by YAMracer754, 12 October 2018 - 03:29 PM.


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#1062 RocketMan

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 10:06 AM

YAMracer754, I get that layering from years of practice 😎
And I leave my seeds in. They get removed when I run it through the mill.
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#1063 nmlarson

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 10:56 AM

On checking my latest attempt at fermenting, I found this on the only jar that didn't have an airlock.  The silicone airlocks I have were all used on other jars, so, as a weight, I used a glass lid from another Weck jar, and covered it with 2 layers of cheesecloth.  In considering what I did wrong, I believe the saline solution must have evaporated below the level of the weight, exposing the lid and cabbage to air.

 

mold.jpg

 

To my inexperienced eye, it appears I have a healthy dose of mold and kahm yeast.  The mold appears to be present on the cabbage leaf and hasn't moved past it.

 

The view from the side:

 

kahm and mold.jpg

 

It appears the liquid level has dropped about 1/2" from it's original level.  The kahm also looks to be working its way throughout the mix.  My plan is to pitch the lot, but correct me if I am wrong....I believe I've read somewhere (maybe here, maybe somewhere else) that I might actually save this lot by scraping and disposing of everything above the liquid.  While I don't have the stomach for it, could I possibly save this batch by doing that?

 

And, is it true I could leave the kahm?

 

Eew.

 

One final question.  Could I save any future ferments by adding saline if it appears their liquid levels are dropping?

 

Thanks for any insight.

 

 


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#1064 salsalady

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 02:11 PM

nm~ This is the problem-

 

"I used a glass lid from another Weck jar, and covered it with 2 layers of cheesecloth."

 

Ferments need to be in an oxygen-free environment.  Cheesecloth allows mold spores in.  That black stuff looks like mold.  As it's a small jar, I'd pitch it.  Too much risk.

 

I don't think the evaporated brine is the issue, I think it would of gotten moldy on top of the brine even if it still covered the vegetable/cabbage.  Hopefully others will chime in.

 

There was a post by Chili Monsta (it might have gotten stickied) about yeast, molds, saving and such.  I'll see if I can link it~

SL

 

 

 

edit- it is pinned in this Making Hot Sauce section.


Edited by salsalady, 13 October 2018 - 02:15 PM.

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#1065 Jim-Shaklee111

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 07:05 PM

I don't understand the wisdom of using something (sourdough starter) that has something in it (yeast) that can potentially compete with the acid producing bacteria (lactobacillii).....overwise, it looks like a pretty good tutorial.


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Agreed!  Rushing things is what brought us to the isles of crappy pickles, sauerkraut, and hot sauces we see in the stores today.


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#1066 Jim-Shaklee111

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 07:28 PM

Great overview of pepper fermentation, thank you.

I am fermenting my first batch of mixed peppers adding only kosher salt to my mash.  I will use canning salt in the future, thank you.  My qt jar is 3 weeks old and still bubbling.  No signs of any type of mold, but a very cheesy smell  when I burp it.  Is this natural and when should this smell subside?  Is there a problem with me adding filtered water to replace the liquid that "boiled out"?


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#1067 RocketMan

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 04:21 AM

Hi Jim,
How you start your ferment is totally a personal choice and many of us have tried different methods over the years until we found what we like best to use. Personally Ive done over 250 ferments from 1 gallon up to 5 gallons (that was an expierence) batches and it took me probably 50 or 60 to find the method I like best.

Digging Dogs quote mentions the use of Sourdough Hooch and to understand its use you have to understand that a sourdough starter is broken down into 2 parts when you first open the container. On the bottom is a doughy part and on top is a watery part. The watery part is an alcoholic off shoot of the sourdough process that has the lacto bacteria in it while the yeast remain in the doughy part. In my time using it as an inoculation I never had a yeast problem from the starter. As I said though, how you start your mash is a personal choice.

If your mash is putting off a Cheesy smell there may be a problem with it. Thats never been a good discription of the smell coming off of a pepper mash. It should be a fermenting pepper smell, a good smell that tempts you to crack open the container and want to grab a bag of chips or a spoon and dig in. Id let it continue to run but keep an eye on it and anything suspicious showed up, post a picture.

Glad you liked the guide and found it useful.

Edited by RocketMan, 14 October 2018 - 04:30 AM.

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#1068 nmlarson

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 09:25 AM

nm~ This is the problem-

 

"I used a glass lid from another Weck jar, and covered it with 2 layers of cheesecloth."

 

Ferments need to be in an oxygen-free environment.  Cheesecloth allows mold spores in.  That black stuff looks like mold.  As it's a small jar, I'd pitch it.  Too much risk.

 

I don't think the evaporated brine is the issue, I think it would of gotten moldy on top of the brine even if it still covered the vegetable/cabbage.  Hopefully others will chime in.

 

There was a post by Chili Monsta (it might have gotten stickied) about yeast, molds, saving and such.  I'll see if I can link it~

SL

 

 

 

edit- it is pinned in this Making Hot Sauce section.

 

Thank you for the insight.  I'll take a look at the Hot Sauce section. 

 

Looking over my original post, I see I may need to clarify a point.  The cheesecloth was covering the jar, not the lid I was using as a weight.

 

Not meaning to belabor the point, but how would I create an oxygen-free enviroment, even using an airlock?  There's still air trapped inside a bottle when you use an airlock.  All the airlock does is allow for expansion without letting more air in, right?

 

As you say, the cheesecloth allowed mold spores in, but I still can't help but think evaporation played a part in the equation.

 

I'm hoping you can shed some light on this for me.  And, yes, it's been pitched.


Edited by nmlarson, 14 October 2018 - 09:27 AM.

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#1069 MikeUSMC

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 10:48 AM

Not meaning to belabor the point, but how would I create an oxygen-free enviroment, even using an airlock?  There's still air trapped inside a bottle when you use an airlock.  All the airlock does is allow for expansion without letting more air in, right?

The bubbles you see inside the jar is CO2 that is produced from the fermentation. Somebody here funnily described the process like (paraphrasing here) "The LAB (lactobacillus cultures) eat up sugars and fart out CO2" hahaha

CO2 is heavier than oxygen, so every time a little CO2 bubble rises up through the mash and 'pops' in the headspace, a little bit of oxygen will be pushed out through the airlock, since oxygen is lighter than CO2. Eventually, after the fermenting mash produces enough CO2, over time all of the oxygen in the headspace will be displaced, creating the anaerobic (oxygen free) environment.

Hope that makes sense :cheers:
(I think I got that right ;) )

Edited by MikeUSMC, 14 October 2018 - 10:50 AM.

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#1070 Masher

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 11:11 AM

Red Rocoto, antep, garlic, shallot and cardomen pods.
3% brine

20181013_165925.jpg



Orange Rocoto, yellow bell, garlic, shallot, ginger, turbinado sugar, cardomen pods
3% brine

20181013_170043.jpg

Edited by Masher, 14 October 2018 - 03:09 PM.


#1071 MikeUSMC

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 11:20 AM

Nice, Masher! :cheers:
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#1072 emanphoto

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 12:01 PM

Smoking = Good  ;)

 

IMG3231.jpg

The nice plus about fermenting mash vs peppers halved too is quantity:space ratio! Do you always leave the seeds in then remove later? I noticed most all my pepper mash ferments I'm fortunate enough for the seeds to separate as the process moves forth. Have you ever tried smoking, then fermenting peppers, then dehydrating to make a paste or interesting pepper halves? Thinking of trying this on 3lb of reapers I just gutted..

Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

 



#1073 nmlarson

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 06:39 PM

Eventually, after the fermenting mash produces enough CO2, over time all of the oxygen in the headspace will be displaced, creating the anaerobic (oxygen free) environment.

Hope that makes sense :cheers:
(I think I got that right ;) )


Ahhhhh..... Now it makes sense! All this CO2 talk reminds me of Alton Brown's belching & f*rting yeast puppets. Which are making a return to TV tomorrow night!

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#1074 salsalady

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 07:36 PM

Well , I haven't seen Alton's yeast puppets....but Mike's description is right on of the process.  RM's OP talks about bacterias farting and pooping. 

 

With things like sourdough bread starter, maintaining the oxygen-free environment is not critical and feeding the sourdough starter regularly is important.  Opening the starter container and mixing in flour keeps the sourdough going. 

 

With fermented things, the oxygen-free environment is critical.  So you can use the hooch from a sourdough starter to help kick-start the vegetable fermentation, but the fermentation needs to stay oxygen-free after it gets started.  Whether it is a week or 3 years, oxygen-free is critical.


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