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My 1st ferment is turning cloudy ?!


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#1 Maverick27

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 02:39 AM

Ok - i've followed all the steps diligently to do a proper fermentation eg brine solution composition, clean containers, washed peppers, airtight containers..etc,etc...yet my 1st ferment which is into the 3rd day & noticed that clear brine is starting to turn cloudy ?!

 

I hope it's no cause for alarm & a sign of chemical reaction btwn peppers & brine ?  :rolleyes:



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#2 MikeUSMC

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 09:06 AM

Got pics or a recipe handy? That might help

:cheers:
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#3 Pharthan

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 10:51 PM

I'd be most interested in how much salt you used, what you based it on, etc.

Also fresh v. dried peppers and how much you blended/chopped the ferment.


Edited by Pharthan, 15 January 2019 - 10:52 PM.


#4 Masher

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 11:01 PM

I have had several ferments turn cloudy in the beginning then eventually go clear.


Keep an eye on it, as long as it doesn't stink offensively or grow true mold I think your going to have a good ferment.

A few of the other good fermenters should chime in.

Good luck.

#5 Maverick27

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 12:19 AM

Thanks everyone for the update.

 

Pic below of the fermentation:

 

IMG_20190116_070732867_HDR.jpg

 

There's no sign of any mould, but the peppers seem to have float upwards ?!  :rolleyes:

 

I  used 1 Table Spoon of Pure Himalayan Rock Salt for every 2 cups of distilled water, as instructed from recipe below:

 

https://www.instruct...nted-Hot-Sauce/

 

One more qtn:  should I allow the fermentation for 2 weeks or 1 week ?


Edited by Maverick27, 16 January 2019 - 12:22 AM.


#6 Pharthan

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 06:48 AM

Thanks everyone for the update.

 

Pic below of the fermentation:

 

attachicon.gif IMG_20190116_070732867_HDR.jpg

 

There's no sign of any mould, but the peppers seem to have float upwards ?!  :rolleyes:

 

I  used 1 Table Spoon of Pure Himalayan Rock Salt for every 2 cups of distilled water, as instructed from recipe below:

 

https://www.instruct...nted-Hot-Sauce/

 

One more qtn:  should I allow the fermentation for 2 weeks or 1 week ?

 

You will typically want to use anywhere from 2%-8% brine by weight. Most seem to prefer about 4% of the weight of the peppers or water. I tend to go with a 4% by weight of peppers and water.

Your peppers are likely floating because there is CO2 forming in them from fermentation, or simply because that is just what some peppers do.
Mold may not form for a while yet, but that depends on if you used enough salt. 1 Tablespoon per 2 Cups water should be enough, I think.

 

As for fermentation: The standard length of time is at least 3 months, but I have gotten away with only 2 months. You may not even have fermentation action in the first two weeks. It isn't like pickling. 

If you used vinegar, you may have killed all fermentation action entirely. Adding vinegar can flat out kill the lactobacillius that you want.


Edited by Pharthan, 16 January 2019 - 06:51 AM.


#7 Maverick27

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 09:36 AM

 

You will typically want to use anywhere from 2%-8% brine by weight. Most seem to prefer about 4% of the weight of the peppers or water. I tend to go with a 4% by weight of peppers and water.

Your peppers are likely floating because there is CO2 forming in them from fermentation, or simply because that is just what some peppers do.
Mold may not form for a while yet, but that depends on if you used enough salt. 1 Tablespoon per 2 Cups water should be enough, I think.

 

As for fermentation: The standard length of time is at least 3 months, but I have gotten away with only 2 months. You may not even have fermentation action in the first two weeks. It isn't like pickling. 

If you used vinegar, you may have killed all fermentation action entirely. Adding vinegar can flat out kill the lactobacillius that you want.

 

Thanks for the tip.   Can't wait to taste my 1st Habanero Hot Sauce.   :)



#8 Maverick27

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 11:08 AM

@Phartan - the peppers have moved on further up the jar today.

Should I open the lid to allow the CO2 to escape ?

Or will it ruin the ferment ?

#9 Maverick27

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 11:16 AM

Or should I leave it as is & allow the fermentation to take it's natural course ?

#10 Masher

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 04:49 PM

Open the lid and burp daily or twice daily.

In 2 to 3 weeks most of ingredients will sink.

Here's my Red Rocoto ferment 3% brine currently approaching 120 days and a Pineaplle Rocoto as well.


Both started cloudy exactly like your pic.

You can also take a wooden spoon or stainless potato masher and push down and gently smash the contents under the brine. This will release more good juju from your ingredients and give the ferment a boost.


15476752219465362092912692751698.jpg

Edited by Masher, 16 January 2019 - 04:52 PM.


#11 Pharthan

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 06:34 PM

@Phartan - the peppers have moved on further up the jar today.

Should I open the lid to allow the CO2 to escape ?

Or will it ruin the ferment ?

 

When fermenting, you'll notice that the CO2 will build and cause the lid to bulge.  You will need to "burp" it daily. Your goal is the loosen the cap just enough that you can hear the CO2 rush out, then you want to close the lid tight again, minimizing air introduction into the ferment. The absolute best thing you can do when starting a ferment is to buy airlocks that will allow pressure out but won't allow air back in. At this point, you're better off manually burping them occasionally. At the height of the actual fermentation, they may need to be burped twice daily. This ought to last about a week after it starts. Overall, you do want to let it sit about 3 months. It may take at least a month before it even starts to ferment. I've done just over half a dozen ferment batches now, and my first couple started needing to be burped on the second full day, and those were by far my worst batches, so speed is certainly not key.
One of my best batches didn't start fermenting until a month in. 

If you used vinegar, I have no real experience with adding vinegar to ferments and my advice is probably going to be way off. Most recipes and reviews I've read said that it's an easy way to kill the good bacteria entirely, and shouldn't be used, so I'm a bit surprised the guy who posted that recipe said that you should use it - he said he did it to lower the pH, but the fermentation process will do that as well.


Edited by Pharthan, 16 January 2019 - 06:35 PM.


#12 Walchit

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 09:32 PM

I tried to look up the ideal ph to start a ferment. Couldnt really find anything.

#13 Maverick27

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 11:34 AM

What are the telltale signs to show fermentation has started ?

#14 Pharthan

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 06:33 PM

What are the telltale signs to show fermentation has started ?

 

If you don't have an airlock, anything that indicates a pressure-buildup (bulging lid), if the lid is one that can do so. If you don't have something like this, every day or two "burp" the jar by cracking the lid open slightly until there is enough space for air (CO2) to get out if it needs to - this means you don't take the lid off. Just loosen it. All you want to do is let CO2 out, and not let new air in. New air is your enemy.

With whole peppers you may see CO2 bubbles form around the peppers. On mashes this is easier to see, as the bubbles become trapped until they're large enough to force their way to the surface.


Edited by Pharthan, 17 January 2019 - 06:35 PM.


#15 MikeUSMC

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 07:23 AM

Lots of great advice given up there, Maverick. Welcome aboard! The first time you ferment a batch of peppers can be a bit daunting, but stick with it. You'll be hooked in no time ;)

Eventually, you *should* see tiny CO2 bubbles forming inside the jar (although there is a possibility that you won't). Either way, don't fret. Every other day or so, grasp the jar, in between your two palms, and gently 'ratchet' the jar, back and forth. That'll free up some of the bubbles that may be stuck, and they should rise to the top. Think of one of those Chinese drum toys:

IMG_8048.JPG

Once the bubbles rise to the top (and pop), that's when I'd "burp" the jar. Keep at it, man! You're gonna be very happy with your end result!

:cheers:
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#16 hoibot

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 10:37 PM

all looks perfectly kosher to me. I would do as others suggested for future ferments and get some fermenting lids (i like the ones with the silicone value in them - easy to use and don't have to fiddle with an actual airlock). 

 

for me, the fermentation time has always depended on the ingredients. if I'm adding something additional to the mix with higher sugar content - like fruits, carrots, sweet potato, etc., my ferments usually take off within a week and are usually at the right pH level within 2 or 3 weeks. not to say you shouldn't age it further, but I almost routinely go for a month before processing the sauce. i always end up with 10-12 bottles (using a 1/2 gallon mason jar to ferment in) and there ends up being plenty of aging time in the bottles after processing. YMMV of course, but that's what has worked for me!

 

keep at it, it's a blast! looking forward to hearing how your sauces end up.



#17 Maverick27

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 12:30 AM

all looks perfectly kosher to me. I would do as others suggested for future ferments and get some fermenting lids (i like the ones with the silicone value in them - easy to use and don't have to fiddle with an actual airlock). 

 

for me, the fermentation time has always depended on the ingredients. if I'm adding something additional to the mix with higher sugar content - like fruits, carrots, sweet potato, etc., my ferments usually take off within a week and are usually at the right pH level within 2 or 3 weeks. not to say you shouldn't age it further, but I almost routinely go for a month before processing the sauce. i always end up with 10-12 bottles (using a 1/2 gallon mason jar to ferment in) and there ends up being plenty of aging time in the bottles after processing. YMMV of course, but that's what has worked for me!

 

keep at it, it's a blast! looking forward to hearing how your sauces end up.

 

Thanks for the feedback.

 

I'll do another batch using Sweet Potato.

 

Meanwhile, i transferred a little of the ferment & blended it up.  Put it a Jam Jar & put 2 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar.  After 2 days, mould started to form on the top ?!   Why did that happen ?  :eh:

 

Am I missing a step in processing the sauce ?

 

IMG_20190123_171055987_HDR.jpg

 

IMG_20190123_171007276_HDR.jpg

 

IMG_20190123_171019688_HDR.jpg

 

Finally, kindly enlighten me on pH level ?  What's a safe level ?  Should I test with litmus paper or somethin' ?

 

The big batch is fermenting quite nicely.  I allow it to burp from time to time & no sign of any mould. :halo:



#18 Masher

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 09:44 AM

That's khalm yeast...its fine.

Do a search..the topic come up pretty often.

#19 Pharthan

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 09:52 AM

 

Thanks for the feedback.

 

I'll do another batch using Sweet Potato.

 

Meanwhile, i transferred a little of the ferment & blended it up.  Put it a Jam Jar & put 2 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar.  After 2 days, mould started to form on the top ?!   Why did that happen ?  :eh:

 

Am I missing a step in processing the sauce ?

 

attachicon.gif IMG_20190123_171055987_HDR.jpg

 

attachicon.gif IMG_20190123_171007276_HDR.jpg

 

attachicon.gif IMG_20190123_171019688_HDR.jpg

 

Finally, kindly enlighten me on pH level ?  What's a safe level ?  Should I test with litmus paper or somethin' ?

 

The big batch is fermenting quite nicely.  I allow it to burp from time to time & no sign of any mould. :halo:

 

As stated, that's kahm yeast. It's harmless, though it can affect the flavor. Don't worry about it too much, though you do want to get rid of it with a sterilized spoon, generally, to protect the flavor.

As for cloudiness, I did recently read something online that suggested it may be due to using salt other than pickling salt.



#20 Maverick27

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 02:28 AM

That's khalm yeast...its fine.

Do a search..the topic come up pretty often.

 

So that's the Scientific name for 'Mould' ?!  :confused:
 
Harmless it might be, maybe on blue cheese it looks kinda' fine.....on my sauce it looks ominous !!   :!:
 
I don't want to see that when I bottle up the Sauce & put in on the Supermarket Shelves !!! 
 
Did i put too little Vinegar or should've boiled the sauce to prevent the Khalm Yeast for forming ?
 
As i understand, something needs to done to stop the fermentation before human consumption ?
 
Pls help  :rolleyes:

Edited by Maverick27, 25 January 2019 - 02:34 AM.





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