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#1 CAPCOM

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 03:43 PM

I have never really considered getting into hot sauce making, til now. That said, I have also never looked into any of the requirements either physical or business structured.

 

For those already involved and looking back at how you evolved, what are your recommendations?

What would you have not done that you did and conversely, what did you not do that you wish you had?

When it comes to tools of the trade, what are your tried and tested evaluations? Whats garbage and what really paid for itself?

What should my expectations be based on the realities you have endured?

 

 

 


Rev 22:17..............CHILI-CON / CHILE-CON is IMMINENT

 


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#2 salsalady

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 04:15 PM

DON"T DO IT!!!!  RUUUUUNNNNNN!!! :seeya:

 

Just Kidding~~~   I'll think about it a bit and get back to you later when I'm done working. 


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#3 CAPCOM

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 04:21 PM

DON"T DO IT!!!!  RUUUUUNNNNNN!!! :seeya:

 

Just Kidding~~~   I'll think about it a bit and get back to you later when I'm done working. 

I had hoped you would pop in at some point. Almost counted on it. Thx SL


Rev 22:17..............CHILI-CON / CHILE-CON is IMMINENT

 


#4 CAPCOM

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 04:56 PM

Question. And these will come up almost as randomly as thunderstorms in the spring. 

 

Of those who are now producing sauces what percentage use ferment vs. pH? And why?

 

Out sourcing hot pepper stock will have to be considered. What kind of volume of peppers are you currently receiving to output 1000 bottles of sauce? This would be assuming the sauce is a pure pepper puree with very limited additional ingredients.

 

Any one using co packers? pros and cons.


Rev 22:17..............CHILI-CON / CHILE-CON is IMMINENT

 


#5 salsalady

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 05:29 PM

I had hoped you would pop in at some point. Almost counted on it. Thx SL

 

Of Course!  wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to hijack a thread~  :lol:

 

I'll try to keep on task.  For your first questions, for me-

0% fermented, all vinegar/acidified sauces (I have made some fermented sauces, but not on a commercial scale)

 

Doing the math-  1000 bottles x 5 ounces each = 5000 ounces of sauce

5000 ounces (figuring 85% peppers and 15% other)= 4250 ounces of pepper (/16 oz)= 265 pounds of peppers

 

add in about 10% for stems and waste= about 300 pounds of peppers

 

the logistics of handling and processing 300 pounds of peppers and then fermenting them is big.

 

Using a 5 gallon BigMouthBubbler with about 4 gallons of product would give you about 500 ouncesw per bubbler.  so you would need (10) 5 gallon bubblers in a controlled, heated, inspected processing space for (2 weekw? 2 months? 2 years?).  Just gives you an idea of the area and quantities involved. 

 

On the other hand, I can whip up a 10 gallon batch of sauce in a few hours and have them on the shelf the same day.  Kinda hard to compare when talking about the actual sauces and their flavors, etc.  Just talking from a production standpoint.

 

I'll be back in a bit...gotta help my brother load more stuff out of the parential's house~

 


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#6 CAPCOM

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 06:53 PM

 

Of Course!  wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to hijack a thread~  :lol:

 

I'll try to keep on task.  For your first questions, for me-

0% fermented, all vinegar/acidified sauces (I have made some fermented sauces, but not on a commercial scale)

 

Doing the math-  1000 bottles x 5 ounces each = 5000 ounces of sauce

5000 ounces (figuring 85% peppers and 15% other)= 4250 ounces of pepper (/16 oz)= 265 pounds of peppers

 

add in about 10% for stems and waste= about 300 pounds of peppers

 

the logistics of handling and processing 300 pounds of peppers and then fermenting them is big.

 

Using a 5 gallon BigMouthBubbler with about 4 gallons of product would give you about 500 ouncesw per bubbler.  so you would need (10) 5 gallon bubblers in a controlled, heated, inspected processing space for (2 weekw? 2 months? 2 years?).  Just gives you an idea of the area and quantities involved. 

 

On the other hand, I can whip up a 10 gallon batch of sauce in a few hours and have them on the shelf the same day.  Kinda hard to compare when talking about the actual sauces and their flavors, etc.  Just talking from a production standpoint.

 

I'll be back in a bit...gotta help my brother load more stuff out of the parential's house~

 

Love the numbers and the presentation. right to the point and then some.


Rev 22:17..............CHILI-CON / CHILE-CON is IMMINENT

 


#7 salsalady

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 08:02 PM

as far as the business side of things? 

 

Hopefully you have read the 'so you wanna start a food biz' thread (linked for others~ ;) ).  That answers a lot of the basic business questions.  Beyond that, the biggest thing I tell people is-

 

don't expect to throw some sauce on a website and get rich.  It don't work that way!  Ya gotta pound the pavement, or more precisely huddle under the EZ-UP, every week, get that customer base that will bleed over into the stores, who will then start to carry your products.  It's hard to get people to pay $7 a bottle for something they haven't tasted.  In-Person is the way to build your customer base.  And I would also suggest at least 6 months of FM type venues so you can directly hear what customers are saying about your sauces.

 

About the sauces...whatever heat level most people here say they like...cut it in half!  or MORE!  Most sauce makers say their milder sauces sell more than the hotter ones.  You've probably heard me say this before, but after almost 25 years of making and selling salsa, it's still the same ratios-

25%Mild=0 heat (yep, that's right, not a single jalapeno in sight)

50% Medium = 3-4/10

25% Hot = 6-7/10

2% scorcher = 8+/10

 

If you want to make the hottest sauce EVER and only sell a few (2% of the market) go for it~ there's a lot of competition~

If you wanna sell sauces and make money$$, make a mild-medium sauce (75% of the market)

 

Fermentation is becoming a really big thing in the sauce world.  It's been around forever, but finally people are realizing that RoosterSauce tastes different and that is because of the fermentation.  I've seen a show (Maybe on HowThat'sMade?) of a place in Cali that does small batch fermentation, in the show they were making a habanero batch. 

 

It is totally do-able, the logistics just have to be sorted out.  Mainly, you will need a space with all the prep sinks, wash sinks, table spaces, cooking apparatus, choppers, etc....and a place that can store the buckets while fermenting. 

 

Most people weekend-warrior for a while and I think that is the BEST way to get the feet wet without totally jumping into the deep end. 

 

If you have specific questions about something unique you are considering or thinking about, fire away!

SL

 

Oh, and co-packers- lots use them, lots don't.  You just have to figure out what works for your product.  If you are looking at fermented sauces, personally, I wouldn't rely on a co-packer to babysit the batches, and plus, you will will be paying storage fees for the buckets to sit in their processing plant, where they may not like the smell......:shrug:  I dunno, I just feel like I would never rest easy unless I had control of the batches, where I could stop in and check on them daily/weekly, keep an eye on things, wiggle the pulp down under the joos...

 

 


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PepperPeopleRock! 

#8 salsalady

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 08:20 PM

tools of the trade-

high powered cooker and thick bottom SS stock pots (2 gallon, 5 gallon, and 10 gallon to start)  I bought a Bayou Cooker 200,000BTU and use it with a large portable propane tank.  Do NOT scrimp on the SS stock pots!  Lots are available at sales and on eBay. The thick bottom is essential.  Also the SS part. No Aluminum!!!

 

large chopper/processor- I use a continuous feed Robo-Coupe which can slice, dice, shred.  Lots of old Ditto-Dean or robo-coupe units available for a couple hundred.

 

Food Blender- BLENDTEC FTW!!!!!!  a refurbished BlendTec kicks the brand new Ninja's grainy patooty

 

 An assortment of hotel pans, buckets, bowls, hand tools, etc....

Perforated hotel pans to use as a colander instead of those round things

pH meter

digital thermometer (thermaPen)

 

Something to help with the bottling.  Handy Fillers are out there, but also things like brewing kettles that have spouts already on them.  You can add a silicon hose/tubing to the spout (might have to reduce it a little) then use a squeeze clamp to fill the jars with the hose/tubing.

 


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PepperPeopleRock! 

#9 CAPCOM

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 10:28 PM

tools of the trade-

high powered cooker and thick bottom SS stock pots (2 gallon, 5 gallon, and 10 gallon to start)  I bought a Bayou Cooker 200,000BTU and use it with a large portable propane tank.  Do NOT scrimp on the SS stock pots!  Lots are available at sales and on eBay. The thick bottom is essential.  Also the SS part. No Aluminum!!!

 

large chopper/processor- I use a continuous feed Robo-Coupe which can slice, dice, shred.  Lots of old Ditto-Dean or robo-coupe units available for a couple hundred.

 

Food Blender- BLENDTEC FTW!!!!!!  a refurbished BlendTec kicks the brand new Ninja's grainy patooty

 

 An assortment of hotel pans, buckets, bowls, hand tools, etc....

Perforated hotel pans to use as a colander instead of those round things

pH meter

digital thermometer (thermaPen)

 

Something to help with the bottling.  Handy Fillers are out there, but also things like brewing kettles that have spouts already on them.  You can add a silicon hose/tubing to the spout (might have to reduce it a little) then use a squeeze clamp to fill the jars with the hose/tubing.

 

Totally awesome feedback. 

 

Yeah, I plan the weekend warrior attack first. I am working on a vehicle for exposure at this time as well, will go hand in hand.

I agree on the SHU ratings for most popular sauces. Many times I will opt for a lesser heat sauce to get right to the taste, especially if the food doesn't compliment it well.

As far as co packers, I just thought I would ask. I work on horizontal fill packaging machines and we sell to a lot of co packers. Never really liked a lot of the environments the machine were housed in.

I would probably look into a hi bar pump and hand fill to save expenses.


Rev 22:17..............CHILI-CON / CHILE-CON is IMMINENT

 


#10 SmokenFire

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 05:21 PM

My current thoughts:

 

I run about 20% ferments and 80% cooked.  Almost all the ferments are small batch "test batches" because I can only make limited quantities at a time.    

 

Agreed on the pound the pavement - you have to quite literally breathe this into life - and can't do that without farmer's markets, testing tables at local groceries, etc.

 

Agreed on the ratios of what people want.  I'll have 5-6 sauces at any given market and there's always one guy (or sometimes girl) who comes at me with "you can't make it too hot for me!" at which point I'll pull out whatever 'hold my beer' sauce I brought that afternoon.  Maybe about half the time they buy it, the other half they slink away to find milk.

 

Co Packing is a decision I've held off making for a few years mostly because I work too damn much and also I'm a control freak and want my hands on every aspect of the sauces.  When I generate beyond what I'm able to make then it will make sense to spend the extra money to do so as I fear taking that step too soon means pallets of unsold hot sauce in my garage.

 

Agreed on good equipment.  Nice thick bottomed pots means you won't scorch batches, good blenders will yield better more homogenized sauces, etc etc. 

 

Have an idea for your company name/logo and how the website will work.  Have your recipes down pat, preferably in grams should you want to co pack. 

 

But BEFORE all that make some hot sauce and send it around for feedback - have friends & family you know and trust to give you honest opinions taste and see what they think.  Spend a few days/weeks/months perfecting each recipe (start with 3 or 4) and refine until each is consistent in taste and texture.  During that process take notes and see if you're having fun.  Any work gets old, even work that you love doing.  If you don't love getting up and cutting up hot peppers then sauce isn't your best bet. 

 

 

 

 


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
 
 

#11 salsalady

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 09:05 PM

(Hmm somehting funky going on nwith the quotes?  Not able to post AFTER the quote?  NM, it's probably just me...)

 

ANyway-  +++ to SnF. 

 

To the quote :BOLD: below, I would add to get your sauce in front of people who aren't your friends and family.  F&F often will not be totally honest about feedback.   Anonymous strangers will. :cough:NWchilefest:cough:  

 

Do you know how Lucky Dog got feedback when he first started?

 

 


But BEFORE all that make some hot sauce and send it around for feedback - have friends & family you know and trust to give you honest opinions taste and see what they think.  Spend a few days/weeks/months perfecting each recipe (start with 3 or 4) and refine until each is consistent in taste and texture.  During that process take notes and see if you're having fun.  Any work gets old, even work that you love doing.  If you don't love getting up and cutting up hot peppers then sauce isn't your best bet. 

 

 

 


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PepperPeopleRock! 

#12 WarrantMan

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 10:41 PM

 

 

Agreed on the ratios of what people want.  I'll have 5-6 sauces at any given market and there's always one guy (or sometimes girl) who comes at me with "you can't make it too hot for me!" at which point I'll pull out whatever 'hold my beer' sauce I brought that afternoon.  Maybe about half the time they buy it, the other half they slink away to find milk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good points all. I too am still learning and benefit here.

 

Smokenfire,

 

Maybe a venture in folly, but I will soon have a sauce as you describe for "those" type folks. During sales events, I have encountered those folks, who offer that my sauces "aren't hot enough" for them... I don't really know if it is some odd display of machismo or what. But, to answer the call, I've developed a sauce that I myself cannot eat, just too damn hot for me (very Ghost/Reaper heavy.) Started with a traditional Cayenne type base and flooded it with intense heat on the back end. It tastes great but too hot (in my opinion.) But here again "my" satisfaction is excused for sales purpose.

 

I noticed you said the buy/walk away rate was about 50/50. Having said that, has it been successful business wise? All my current sauces I made "for me." What I like. But in this instance it is "not" what I like but purely business. So when those folks come calling I will have something to offer. The ball is rolling, some many weeks out yet, but I would appreciate your thoughts...

 

Thanks,

 

Reggie

 

 

(my apologies to the original poster here, no intent to hi-jack your thread, many folks here learn from the questions of others.) 


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#13 salsalady

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 11:53 PM

Reggie, I don't think this is a hijack, but it is not my thread.  Great input from a 'newbie' sauce business person.  Please don't take "offense' to that. (get it? nudgenudge) 

-sigh- OK bad puns over- back on topic~ 

 

The times, they are a'changing... but for the most part, there are very few people who can actually eat that 8/10 sauce!  Most macho-dudes/dudettes really can only handle about a 6/10 sauce because everyone else is eating 1-4/10, so when someone eats a 6, everyone else is ..like..."dude...you are so bada$$...you can, like..totally drink tabasco and stuff!!! DUDE! We should video that schtuff and put it on MeTube!!!"

 

I Think-( let me know if I am wrong SnF) that SnF is saying the same thing.  There are the macho's... but really only 50% of the machos can really handle the seriously hot schtuff that we here on THP talk about. and share and work with. 

 

Luckily, there are places ...like here on THP and some FB forums...where seriously hardcore chileheads hang out. While most of said serious chileheads buy their sauces...the relative numbers are so small for the local sauce maker that they just cant rely on that niche of a market to show up at the local FM on a weekly basis and buy XXXHot sauces on a weekly basis (it don't happen, sweetheart...)  to support an income based on the XXXHot market. 

 

The money is in the mellow~

 

and when those (dumbasses) come up to the table and say "Nothing's ever hot enough" or "Hit me with your hottest sauce"...just smile and hand them a taster spoon.....

and chock it up to ......another one bites the dust....... :metal:

 

 

The rest of the time, sell the sheeit out of that mild/medium hot sauce....all the way to the bank~

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by salsalady, 30 July 2018 - 11:56 PM.

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#14 Voodoo 6

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 12:21 AM

You hit the nail on the head SL, when someone asks for a hot sauce. give them HOT sauce. Give them the hottest sauce you can make. That is the definition of HOT sauce. you fulfilled your obligation of a hot sauce product.


Edited by Voodoo 6, 31 July 2018 - 12:10 PM.


#15 salsalady

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 12:30 AM

I was amazed when attending national hot sauce festivals in 2011 and 2012 how many people coming by the booth had not idea what capsaicin is, or what makes chiles hot....and even the number of people at those hot sauce events who stated."I don't really like hot stuff" 

 

My first thought was...well then why the heck did you come to a HOT SAUCE event?!?!???  Most were coming with one person in the group that was the actual chilehead, and there were 1-6 other people along for the ride at the event. 

 

SL


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#16 Voodoo 6

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 12:40 AM

it's like going to a fireworks show where they only have sparklers... This is THP!!!


Edited by Voodoo 6, 31 July 2018 - 12:11 PM.


#17 SmokenFire

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 04:33 PM

 

I noticed you said the buy/walk away rate was about 50/50. Having said that, has it been successful business wise?

 

The hotter sauces have paid for themselves and are nice to have on the shelf for those occasions when people ask for them, but the sauces on the higher end of the scale are not big sellers.  They don't have to be though, as probably 80% of my sales are mild/medium sauces.  


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
 
 

#18 WarrantMan

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 08:06 PM

Thanks again to ALL!   Indeed there is much wisdom to be found here. Certainly I appreciate it....   :cheers:


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#19 CAPCOM

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 09:26 PM

Finally got a chance to read through all this info. I am stretched rather this right now so if you post a reply, I will get around to reading and or commenting on it. Just maybe not instantly.

I will be looking into the specifics listed very soon, Thanx.

 

And don't let this thread die! Great info so far and  am sure there is more out there.


Rev 22:17..............CHILI-CON / CHILE-CON is IMMINENT

 


#20 CAPCOM

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 06:00 PM

Finally received a quote for a fill system that I am familiar with.  OUCH!!

 

Don't see that happening soon. At least not new.


Rev 22:17..............CHILI-CON / CHILE-CON is IMMINENT

 





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