After scoring some excellent jalapeno and cayenne peppers at the farmers' market, I bit the bullet and attempted my first ferment. This will be a wild fermentation with nothing but peppers, Himalayan sea salt and a little water. I picked up some air locks from the local brewer, some vodka to go in them, drilled some holes in some mason jar tops and sealed them in.
Because I found such wide variance in salt / pepper ratios in my reading - from 2% - 10% - I went with 1 oz. / 1 lb. of peppers. Expecting the salt to pull the majority of the necessary liquid from the mash, I added only enough water to the food processor to help liquefy.
After 2 full days @ 70 degrees and no light, there are no signs of liquid separation. Should I break the air seal and add additional liquid or is this common at this stage and should I make that decision once fermentation picks up? I don't want the peppers to begin molding before everything gets off the ground.
Also, what have you found to be the best salt / pepper ratio? I have read such wide variations and little concensus as far as what is best not only for fermentation, but final taste. Also, any advice you have on the extent of sterilization needed prior to fermenting would help. My reading leads me to believe the process is not nearly as finicky as home brewing, so I simply ran all my implements through the dishwasher prior to processing.
Thanks - I look forward to your comments! (I would be happy to add a pic as well, but can't get it to do so!)