Jump to content



Member Since 02 Dec 2013
Offline Last Active Today, 03:20 AM

#1518957 Fermenting Peppers 101

Posted by jhc on Yesterday, 01:08 AM

I've always heard complete darkness is optimal. If it comes down to you not having enough space in a cabinet or something, leave it on the counter and throw a dish towel or T-shirt over it, maybe?

I know a single anecdote might not be really useful, but just in case, I will point out I've been doing my ferment on top of the fridge in a good amount of light 18ish hours out of the day and as far as I can tell, it's fermenting fine. 


YMMV, IMHO, etc....

#1517953 Warrant Man Pepper Co.- Aggravated Assault Sauce Review

Posted by jhc on 14 January 2018 - 05:01 AM

Found another great use for this tonight - ingredient in an Eastern North Carolina style BBQ sauce. Now I know this hot sauce has tomato in it and tomato is verboten in Eastern Carolina sauce, but the amount is so small that no one will notice if you don't tell them. Mix 3 parts ACV to 1 part apple juice, then add Aggravated Assault to your desired level of heat.


Of course once you have an Eastern North Carolina sauce it's easy to use that as the base for a Western NC sauce (add ketchup but keep sauce thin and vinegar forward) or South Carolina (add yellow mustard and a little Worchestershire but still keep thin and vinegar forward)


Hell, Warrantman's Reaper Gold BBQ Sauce might be a cool idea and easy to create given your current sauce recipes.

#1517949 habanero mash question

Posted by jhc on 14 January 2018 - 04:43 AM

Seems how the ferment was the only two days old and all these post Ive read in n adding cultures. I added two capsules of my probiotic. Ultimate floral 50 billion. Thing I should add a dash of the local farmers market raw honey when I get home from work

I googled your probiotic. IIRC Mike adds about 3-4 billion cfu* lactobacillus to his ferments. I added 6 billion cfu to mine that is going fine. You added 40 billion cfu plus another 60 billion cfu bifidobacterium which as far as I can tell, make lactic acid too. So I think you have enough!  :dance:



*cfu = colony forming units, basically means live bacteria

#1517678 jhc's wacky first ferment thread

Posted by jhc on 12 January 2018 - 08:24 PM

Thanks for the kind words everyone. Not much left to do now but wait. 

#1517559 jhc's wacky first ferment thread

Posted by jhc on 12 January 2018 - 05:28 AM



So after two days I was seeing a bunch of tiny bubbles but they were so small and the mash so thick I was worried that they would have a hard time making it to the surface to drive the oxygen out. My other concern is that the mixture with the probiotics, sugar, and carrots wasn't really mixed that well with the rest of the mash. So I figured... right now the air above the headspace probably still has oxygen in it so little harm in opening the lid. I added another Tbsp brown sugar and another capsule of probiotics (just in case), gave it a really quick mix with a spoon, sprinkled some salt on the top of the mash, and added about 1/2 cup pinot grigio so the mash was below the liquid (barely) and re-capped the jar. 


Don't know if that was needed or just more time but 2 days after that fermentation really kicked off in a vigorous way. Tons of large bubbles that are going to the surface with a little jiggle and the mash has risen in the brine. Should have used the weights I have but too late now.




The only other hiccup I've had so far is the growth of some tiny little fuzzball in the water in the airlock. Could not suck it out so I really quickly dumped the airlock water into the sink and replaced with vodka. Took two tries but now the fuzzball is gone and hopefully have a less hospitable liquid in there now. Luckily I've seen no hint of mold or kahm yeast in the mash itself.


Oh, the other thing I noticed is that when I removed the lid, even though it seemed like the fermentation had barely started, there was a definite fermented smell. Was bad like putrid or anything but also... not real pleasant. I have no problem with the aroma or taste of something like Huy Fong sambal (which I assume is fermented) so I'm hoping the final product will be a little more appealing than that one odor.




#1517313 habanero mash question

Posted by jhc on 11 January 2018 - 12:55 AM

Will any probiotic capsules be helpful. Like the 50 billion count one I take everyday

No. Some probiotics are 100% yeast like S. Boulardii. You're looking for Lactobacillus bacteria. If your probiotic contains Lactobacillus but also a bunch of different bacteria it might work but I have no idea if it's either safe or effective to use that.

If you're going to use probiotics, I think it's worth it to find one that is 100% Lactobacillus. Of course there are many alternatives to probiotics as a starter.

#1517259 Snowbound experiment

Posted by jhc on 10 January 2018 - 08:18 PM

Call it "Portabella Umami Bomb" 

#1517198 habanero mash question

Posted by jhc on 10 January 2018 - 01:45 PM

 I've use some (VERY EXPENSIVE caldwells starter powder ..I think it was $20 for 2 packets), 









That's nuts. The Culturelle capsules (1 is plenty for a ferment) cost 50 cents each ($15 for a box of 30)

#1517053 habanero mash question

Posted by jhc on 09 January 2018 - 08:45 PM

I'm doing my first ferment using Culturelle probiotics to kick start it and it seems to have worked like a charm. The bacteria is Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG

#1516692 Scotch Eggs

Posted by jhc on 08 January 2018 - 12:20 AM


Soft boil the eggs for 4 -6 minutes and put directly into an ice bath to stop the cooking.

Thanks. So the smoking process doesn't cook the egg any further? Or just a little?

#1516580 Stopping the fermentation

Posted by jhc on 07 January 2018 - 03:08 PM


No.  Temporarily; perhaps, but no.  Boil it for at least 15 minutes then keep it in the fridge after bottling and don't be in such a rush next time.


To borrow from a meme, "One does not simply 'stop' a fermentation".  The only foolproof civilian method of killing a ferment in 'food safe' manner is to let it eat all of the available sugars and avoid introducing any more.  A fermentation will also temporarily stop or slow once the environment reaches a level of alcohol toxicity or PH that the strain absolutely cannot survive, but it will kick right back off again if those levels drop to a tolerable level.  Yeast is decidedly hard to kill.  Spores of many strains can easily survive boiling temperatures, which is why true 'sterilization' requires pressure heating to 250F or greater.  (The same spores can remain dormant and viable for up to 2 years, ready to kick off at the slightest hint of survivable conditions.)


That said, a temperature of 140F+ for 15 minutes will kill a lot of the active yeast in your ferment, assuming you were not using hardy brewing yeast like a champagne yeast.  If the yeast is at a food safe PH level, it is typically at the far edge of a happy yeast range.  Keeping it refrigerated will keep things slow, which should mostly prevent a fermentation from starting back up; but as any long time winecrafter will tell you, it is very difficult to fully kill a fermentation.  I've had incredibly sturdy 750ml bomber bottles shatter before when a plain old ale yeast that should only have gone to 9% alcohol decided to have a mega yeast party after one year of sitting around doing nothing.


You could hit the mixture with enough potassium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate in combination to create a 'hostile working environment' that will kill the ferment, but there are two big problems with that.  First, many people are allergic to sulfites.  Second, potassium sorbate in high enough concentration will make your hot sauce taste like geraniums.

The context here is lactobacillus fermentation so I'm not sure comments about yeast, spores, alcohol etc. are relevant. 


If boiling didn't stop fermentation I think we'd see a lot more stories about exploding bottles of fermented hot sauce.

#1516253 Scotch Eggs

Posted by jhc on 06 January 2018 - 06:34 AM

First attempt at some scotch eggs on the WSM.







How do you smoke the outside and keep the egg somewhat runny on the inside? This is some kind of black magic I need to know!

#1516251 MikeUSMC's Whiskey Barrel Smoker

Posted by jhc on 06 January 2018 - 06:25 AM

Mike that is a badass smoker and looks like you're making awesome product there too

#1516216 Smoking peppers Recipes?

Posted by jhc on 05 January 2018 - 10:59 PM

Cherry is similar to apple in flavor to me but gives a super nice color. Aside from peppers, if you're doing poultry, it looks and taste top notch with cherry.

#1516215 D3 Pepper Products

Posted by jhc on 05 January 2018 - 10:56 PM

Just no Triple D or else you'll have Guy Fieri's lawyers breathing down your neck  :dance: