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Ferments don't require cooking?


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#1 robanero7

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 11:40 AM

Hi everyone, 

 

First time posting in this amazing community. I've been making sauces (all cooked) for the past few months with varying levels of success and failure. It's been quite an adventure. My question for you all is whether a ferment has to be cooked in order to remove the "nasties" as instructed in the Hot Sauce 101 sticky thread. 

 

Thanks a lot!

 

  ...Robanero7


Edited by robanero7, 09 April 2016 - 09:58 PM.


#2 Jase4224

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 12:45 PM

I've asked this question recently and the conclusion was that whilst it's highly unlikely your ferment will get infected by anything harmful it is still good practice to cook just to be safer than sorry.

You may NOT want to cook if either your keeping it in the fridge to use when you want or you are using it for personal use and willing to risk it.

If your sharing with family and friends it's safer to cook.

If you look back a page or two into the 'hot sauce making' section of this forum you will find my thread titled 'why cook a ferment?' That will provide you with more info.

#3 jedisushi06

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 12:56 PM

Chef Sean Brock of Husk, his hot sauce is fermented and not cooked.  The recipe is in his cookbook.  



#4 SmokenFire

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 04:02 PM

You do not *have* to cook a fermented sauce.  The fermentation will get your pH to a safe level (kill the nasties), so further processing is not necessary.  BUT - if you plan on distributing your fermented hot sauce (giving away to friends, ect) it would be advisable to cook and process your fermented sauce so that it does not continue to ferment at room temp once bottled.  Tobasco is a fermented hot sauce that is never cooked, but during the final processing they mix down their fermented mash with vinegar.  The amount of mash to vinegar is disputed, but it's enough vinegar to kill the lacto and halt fermentation.  I'd suggest you experiment with it as you've done with cooked sauces and see what you like best.  


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#5 robanero7

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 10:17 PM

I've asked this question recently and the conclusion was that whilst it's highly unlikely your ferment will get infected by anything harmful it is still good practice to cook just to be safer than sorry.

You may NOT want to cook if either your keeping it in the fridge to use when you want or you are using it for personal use and willing to risk it.

If your sharing with family and friends it's safer to cook.

If you look back a page or two into the 'hot sauce making' section of this forum you will find my thread titled 'why cook a ferment?' That will provide you with more info.

 

 

Hi Jase4224, nice to meet you and thanks for pointing me to your earlier thread. I do intend to distribute my sauces eventually and I want them to be safe and shelf stable so cooking, regardless of ferment, seems like the best choice. 

 

  ..robanero7


You do not *have* to cook a fermented sauce.  The fermentation will get your pH to a safe level (kill the nasties), so further processing is not necessary.  BUT - if you plan on distributing your fermented hot sauce (giving away to friends, ect) it would be advisable to cook and process your fermented sauce so that it does not continue to ferment at room temp once bottled.  Tobasco is a fermented hot sauce that is never cooked, but during the final processing they mix down their fermented mash with vinegar.  The amount of mash to vinegar is disputed, but it's enough vinegar to kill the lacto and halt fermentation.  I'd suggest you experiment with it as you've done with cooked sauces and see what you like best.  

 

Thanks for the confirmation! I definitely want to feel safe sharing my creations with friends and family. 

 

  ..robanero7



#6 salsalady

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 09:47 AM

Hi Robanero :welcome:

 

 

To expand a bit on what SnF and Jase have commented on-

 

The goal for preserving chiles and whatever is to get the pH to a good level.  This can be accomplished by adding vinegars or citrus juices to whatever or by fermenting the veggies.  Kimchi is the same process that's been done for 1000's of years. 

 

Once the veggies have fermented and all the Good Bugs have done their thing, the pH is low and it's all good.  BUT---with a fermentation, the ferment is still happening, even at a very slow rate, if the stuff is just stuck in the refer...or buried in the ground as traditional kimchi is made. 

 

 

If the sauce you have beren taking such good care of over the last XXX? weeks is still fermenting and you just stick it in some jars, it will still be fermenting and can explode the jars or make a big mess as it leaks out. 

 

If you want to let the fermentation process continue, put the jars with the air locks into the reefer as the cold environment will slow down the process but not stop the fermentation process.  If you are happy with the flavor, then cook it to stop the fermentation process. 


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#7 RocketMan

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 07:35 AM

Remember that even though you've run it through the fermentation process and the Ph is now below 4.0 until you run it through proper hot packing it's not going to be shelf stable. Yep, there's a low chance of nasties getting in but it can still go bad and make you or someone you share it with sick. So, if your not going to process it to make it a shelf stable sauce, make sure that your just taking it out, removing however much your going to use and returning it to the fridge.


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#8 robanero7

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 09:49 PM

Remember that even though you've run it through the fermentation process and the Ph is now below 4.0 until you run it through proper hot packing it's not going to be shelf stable. Yep, there's a low chance of nasties getting in but it can still go bad and make you or someone you share it with sick. So, if your not going to process it to make it a shelf stable sauce, make sure that your just taking it out, removing however much your going to use and returning it to the fridge.

 

 

Right on, RocketMan. I like the idea of sharing my creations with anyone crazy enough to trust me so I'll continue processing all my sauces, even once I start fermenting.


Hi Robanero :welcome:

 

 

To expand a bit on what SnF and Jase have commented on-

 

The goal for preserving chiles and whatever is to get the pH to a good level.  This can be accomplished by adding vinegars or citrus juices to whatever or by fermenting the veggies.  Kimchi is the same process that's been done for 1000's of years. 

 

Once the veggies have fermented and all the Good Bugs have done their thing, the pH is low and it's all good.  BUT---with a fermentation, the ferment is still happening, even at a very slow rate, if the stuff is just stuck in the refer...or buried in the ground as traditional kimchi is made. 

 

 

If the sauce you have beren taking such good care of over the last XXX? weeks is still fermenting and you just stick it in some jars, it will still be fermenting and can explode the jars or make a big mess as it leaks out. 

 

If you want to let the fermentation process continue, put the jars with the air locks into the reefer as the cold environment will slow down the process but not stop the fermentation process.  If you are happy with the flavor, then cook it to stop the fermentation process. 

 

Thanks salsalady for the warm welcome. I still can't believe how many people out there love hot sauce like I do and pursue it as a creative hobby. 



#9 salsalady

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 08:08 PM

 

 

Right on, RocketMan. I like the idea of sharing my creations with anyone crazy enough to trust me so I'll continue processing all my sauces, even once I start fermenting.


 

Thanks salsalady for the warm welcome. I still can't believe how many people out there love hot sauce like I do and pursue it as a creative hobby

 

 

You have no idea!!!...:lol: .... but you've come to the right spot ;) 

 

Have Fun~


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#10 Jase4224

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 08:49 AM

At the risk of sounding ignorant.. even when you add vinegar to a ferment to stop the fermentation process is it still necessary to cook?

Or can you choose to cook OR to add vinegar?

I add 20% vinegar once my ferments are done fermenting (I know they never truly finish) do I still need to cook?

Sorry for all the Q's just want to be clear ;)

#11 SmokenFire

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 12:32 PM

At the risk of sounding ignorant.. even when you add vinegar to a ferment to stop the fermentation process is it still necessary to cook?

Or can you choose to cook OR to add vinegar?

I add 20% vinegar once my ferments are done fermenting (I know they never truly finish) do I still need to cook?

Sorry for all the Q's just want to be clear ;)

 

Most vinegar here in the states is around 5% acidity Jase.  I don't know how much of the 20% vinegar you're adding, but referencing my post above about Tobasco I've heard/read that they are using 1 part mash to 4 or 5 parts vinegar.  Sorry I don't have a more definitive answer for you, but I'm just not sure how much vinegar is going to kill the lacto and stop fermentation.  


It felt like satan pissed in my mouth it was so hot and lasted a long time. It was a horrible experience eating one of them. - SavinaRed
I would love to travel to your castle to roam the land,eat pie and hunt woman. - sicman
 
 

#12 salsalady

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 02:22 PM

Are you adding regular vinegar to 20% by volume?  1cup vinegar into 4 cups ferment would be 20% by volume.   Like SnF, I've never seen a 20% acidity vinegar. 

 

Back to your last question, I can't say how much vinegar would stop the fermentation, and I haven't done enough work with ferments to say for sure. 

 

 

Here's some options, hopefully others will add or edit as they see fit- 

All these are assuming starting with a completed fermentation with a pH of below 3.0-

 

Refrigerate- sauce will keep fermenting

Add vinegar and refrigerate

Cook then refrigerate 

Cook then Hot Pack process for a shelf stable jar

 

Vinegar can be added to the cooked sauces if desired for flavor, but isn't necessary for pH (the fermentation already got the stuff to a low pH).

 

 

Clear as mud???  :lol:


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#13 Jase4224

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 05:46 PM

Sorry SmokenFire should have been more clear. I mean I add 20% by volume so 1 part vinegar to 4 parts mash.

Just looked at the bottle and it is 5% acidity.

Thanks SalsaLady you do explain things very clearly actually :) very helpful

Might stick to adding my vinegar to my mash then cooking, and then hot packing. Also gives me the chance to add some other ingredients to balance out the flavours if needed.

Edited by Jase4224, 17 April 2016 - 05:46 PM.


#14 RocketMan

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 10:32 PM

If you seriously don't want to cook your sauce and want to stop the fermentation you can add Potassium Metabisulfite, which is available through your local homebrew shop, and it will kill off any bacteria.
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#15 robanero7

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 06:49 PM

If you seriously don't want to cook your sauce and want to stop the fermentation you can add Potassium Metabisulfite, which is available through your local homebrew shop, and it will kill off any bacteria.

 

Anyone have thoughts on adding citric acid powder to stop the fermentation for a raw uncooked sauce INSTEAD of vinegar? Will that accomplish the same goal?


Edited by robanero7, 01 February 2018 - 06:50 PM.


#16 jhc

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 09:23 PM

Another thing to consider... can you be 100% sure there was no growth of botulism in your ferment prior to the pH dropping? Since you can't smell or taste it, I'm gonna say no. Cooking it for 5 minutes will destroy any botulinum toxin that could have formed. Adding acid will not.

#17 patrad

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:08 AM

All this talk about nasties but some other considerations:

 

Cooking fermented mashes alters consistency.

Cooking fermented mashes alters taste. 

Cooking fermented mashes (and jacking acidity) can kill probiotics (not that I think a ton of us are here for health reasons :P )

 

Personally I:

- cook my ferments (lately I've been going 12 minutes in a Instant Pot pressure cooker to save time and water loss in lieu of simmering)

- put em through a food mill

- add any post cook adjuncts

- throw in fridge for a day

- taste and adjust salt, ph and flavor if needed

- bring to boil and hot pack

 

 



#18 YAMracer754

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 12:25 PM

That's the way I've been doing my non refer ferments and I'm glad you contributed this because I was aware of all the changes/effects from cooking and vinegar on the ferments but it's good to share that so others that may not be aware now know :)
Only difference I've been doing is kitchenaid food mill before cooking due to fear of the seeds and skin affecting the flavor before I cook.
Will try your way next time to find out how it changes it. I've blended seeds and skins to a puree before too and enjoy the consistency sometimes but too many seeds can affect the brightness of the sauce big time I noticed..

All this talk about nasties but some other considerations:
 
Cooking fermented mashes alters consistency.
Cooking fermented mashes alters taste. 
Cooking fermented mashes (and jacking acidity) can kill probiotics (not that I think a ton of us are here for health reasons )
 
Personally I:
- cook my ferments (lately I've been going 12 minutes in a Instant Pot pressure cooker to save time and water loss in lieu of simmering)
- put em through a food mill
- add any post cook adjuncts
- throw in fridge for a day
- taste and adjust salt, ph and flavor if needed
- bring to boil and hot pack
 
 


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#19 Maverick27

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 02:51 AM

At the risk of sounding ignorant.. even when you add vinegar to a ferment to stop the fermentation process is it still necessary to cook?

Or can you choose to cook OR to add vinegar?

I add 20% vinegar once my ferments are done fermenting (I know they never truly finish) do I still need to cook?

Sorry for all the Q's just want to be clear ;)

 

Useful info on this thread.

 

Do I add the Vinegar to the brine during fermentation or after I'm done with fermenting ?



#20 emanphoto

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 02:55 AM

If you add it to the brine it won't ferment.  It will age but AFAIK no fermentation is possible after you add vinegar.

 

 

Useful info on this thread.

 

Do I add the Vinegar to the brine during fermentation or after I'm done with fermenting ?

 






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