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Member Since 02 Dec 2013
Offline Last Active Jul 02 2018 05:37 AM

#1545778 Figuring out flavors

Posted by jhc on 16 April 2018 - 12:36 AM

One of the best antidotes to bitterness is salt. Just FYI....

#1545775 Figuring out flavors

Posted by jhc on 16 April 2018 - 12:08 AM

Only a week for Sriracha? Huh... would have guessed longer. How did you find that out SL?

#1545475 is a shelf stable no-vinegar sauce possible?

Posted by jhc on 15 April 2018 - 01:28 AM

^^^emanphoto you can use a pure lactobacillus starter in the form of a Culturelle probiotic capsule/packet that will be vegan-friendly. Don't know the availability of those in Thailand but I'd imagine Amazon ships most everywhere. Or use the juice from a raw sauerkraut or kimchi ferment. Or a previous hot sauce ferment. The only starter I can see giving you a problem from a vegan point of view is yogurt whey. The bacteria in all these cases is almost always Lactobacillus species. Plus or minus a few other types of lactic acid producing bacteria. Not yeast.

#1544858 Hot Sauce Color

Posted by jhc on 12 April 2018 - 04:21 PM

Leave out the onion, garlic, and tomatillos and it will be more red I'd guess. Obviously it would change the flavor....

#1544713 How about some hot BBQ sauce?

Posted by jhc on 12 April 2018 - 04:05 AM


Much appreciated!

You're welcome :)


IMO figuring out your signature BBQ sauce is much easier than doing a hot sauce because you can taste it over and over without your tongue getting shredded from the capsaicin. 

#1544712 Fermenting Peppers 101

Posted by jhc on 12 April 2018 - 03:37 AM

Hello. I am new to fermenting pepper sauce, but have fermented other veggies. I have a sauce going noe with habaneros,ginger ,garlic,onion ,carrots,and lime juice. It is on its 10th day and making lots of bubbles. This is really just to try to approximate a sauce I once bought that had a hint of lime in it that was wonderful. Should I wait much longer to try it before adding lime zest a little at a time to get measurements right?

Is the sauce you're looking to replicate fermented? If so I can only guess that the company that makes it would ferment it to completion which I think would take a month minimum (though it all depends on what's in there). And then there's aging which can take weeks to years....


If it's not fermented and/or aged, I don't see why you couldn't stop the ferment now and add the lime zest. Of course that would beg the question of why you fermented in the first place :)


Just don't open the container, add lime zest, then try and continue fermentation. People do that but people also drive drunk and without seatbelts. OK the consequences aren't nearly as bad but it will increase your risk of of contaminating the ferment and there's no reason to do it.

#1544342 How about some hot BBQ sauce?

Posted by jhc on 10 April 2018 - 02:47 PM

It's basically a substituted version of this: https://amazingribs....bq-sauce-recipe

Instead of chili powder and vinegar I added hot sauce. Also substituted fruit preserve for brown sugar, a little goes a long way. No oil in my version. The original recipe is good but too sweet, even for a sweet sauce. If trying that one, I'd add the brown sugar last and little by little, to taste.

#1543337 Smoked pepper weight vs Fresh pepper weight ?

Posted by jhc on 07 April 2018 - 03:24 PM

If you are to be consistent, you need to weigh the peppers at the time of jarring and everything else including the water that will be your brine and base the salt off of that. The weight of the peppers pre-smoking is irrelevant.

#1540744 Hot boiled peanuts

Posted by jhc on 28 March 2018 - 12:49 AM


All my life, I've known these small ones you can eat shell and all as "poppers"  Just assumed everyone who ate boiled peanuts knew this. Guess it may be a regional thing.

"Poppers" in San Francisco meant something else in the 80's  :shocked:



#1540740 Crispy Hot Wings

Posted by jhc on 28 March 2018 - 12:24 AM

So peanut oil is the way to go for frying?

It's got a high smoke point which is a good thing.


I'm neither a fried chicken guru nor a good photographer, but these guys were done in peanut oil



#1540474 Top of fermentation turning dark

Posted by jhc on 26 March 2018 - 07:09 PM

One thing that will probably help in the future is less headspace. Like maybe 1/3 of what you have there - less air to displace so less oxidation and less risk of oxygen-needing baddies.

#1540318 How about some hot BBQ sauce?

Posted by jhc on 26 March 2018 - 02:48 AM



Left to right:


1. Carolina Gold - SC style mustard sauce. About 50% of that is my first, mostly unsuccessful, attempt at an aji amarillo hot sauce. By itself it had good heat but not so great flavor. But added to mustard, a little ketchup, Worchestershire, onion, garlic, and chopped Peppadews, it becomes a really tasty BBQ sauce for pork with a sneaky, building heat. The Peppadews obviously add little to no heat but the red bits reinforce the visual image of spice and will help me remember what this is compared to my usual less spicy SC style sauce.


2. Tropical Habanero/Manzano - Another "hot sauce gone wrong" salvage. I made a really tasty sauce, detailed in this thread, but it ended up waaay too thick and pulpy. It just wasn't going to work. So I emptied about half my woozies into a pot, added ketchup, mustard, 10z of "Gina Tropical Fruit Juice" from the Asian market (contains mango, papaya, guyabano, pineapple, and calamansi juices) and a couple other secret ingredients and voila! A new flavor is born. This one is mostly hot sauce so it's pretty hot but also pretty sweet and really flavorful with tropical fruit. Might be nice (sparingly) on pulled pork but I'm really thinking wings as the first test food.


3. Eastern NC BBQ sauce - Kept it pretty traditional with this one, mostly. Apple cider and distilled vinegar, water, salt, black pepper, a little apple juice, a little molasses, a little garlic and onion powder. For the heat, instead of cayenne/red pepper flakes I added my Ghost/Fresno "Sorta Sriracha" hot sauce which is basically peppers, garlic, brown sugar, water, and vinegar. NO tomato in this one, any red color is from peppers. Heat is just a little more than what I consider to be standard for this style.


4. "JC's Masterpice"  - KC style sauce. This is the most complex of all of them. Ketchup, molasses, mustard, Worchestershire, salt, black pepper, onion, garlic, vinegar, apricot preserves, lemon juice, tamarind. For the heat I added my "Mexi-racha" hot sauce made from red jalapenos, guajillos, red onion, a LOT of smoked garlic, brown sugar, salt, and Carolina Reaper-infused vinegar. Like the previous sauce, you will taste a little heat in the spoon but added sparingly on ribs, for instance, it won't probably come off as really hot. Really delicious is what I'm hoping for.

#1538986 Swahili inspired paste

Posted by jhc on 19 March 2018 - 11:39 PM

Sounds great - pretty reminiscent of harissa which is a Northern African pepper paste/sauce/condiment

#1538750 jhc's wacky first ferment thread

Posted by jhc on 18 March 2018 - 09:35 PM

After my first oak aged ferment I was hooked.  
My local distiller hooked me up with some fresh used staves and the rest was science. 
I make some vinegars (and wines) too and I have found that Pinot Grigio comes out really tart everytime.  I like that kind of thing so its fine but depending on what youre looking to accomplish you might try a Riesling or something sweeter. 

Thanks, this time around I did a more standard salt water brine.

As for the oak, I'm hopeful. Tried BLiS Blast and found the oak to be a little too much (and the chocolate notes from the Founders stout didn't work for me at all).

#1538689 jhc's wacky first ferment thread

Posted by jhc on 18 March 2018 - 05:42 PM

So about 10 weeks later the fermentation seemed to be winding down so I opened it up and tried it. First impression: sour! Not sure why, pH was 3.5 but it seemed much more sour than other sauces I've made at that pH. Heat was good though. Tried adding more salt and some brown sugar which improved the balance somewhat but still seemed too sour. Decided I wasn't going to definitively fix it right now. I wanted to try oak aging so I hot filled the mash into a couple quart jars with about half an ounce of French oak cubes in each jar. Since these will age probably 8 months more, didn't want to go heavy on the oak.

Started a new ferment with Chipotles, guajillos, and fresnos. Along with some carrots and garlic and a little brown sugar in the brine. This will have lower heat I'm assuming but some nice smoky flavors. Thinking of oak aging this too after fermentation and combining with the first mash before finishing it into a sauce,