Jump to content


Bold Badger Sauces

Member Since 27 Jul 2014
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:18 PM

#1593131 Bold Badger 2018 grow log

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 12 November 2018 - 08:17 PM

Not much new to report.  One of the plum carboys did get a pretty bad case of yeast.  It took longer for those two to start bubbling than the rest, but once fermentation started in earnest the yeast kind of stopped in its tracks, presumably because of all the CO2.  I scooped off the top couple of inches of mash, sprinkled some salt on top, and put the lid back on.  I've since capped off all 8 carboys, and I've been shaking them every few days in the hopes of continually disturbing the surface and preventing yeast from getting a foothold.  So far so good, no more yeast on any of them.  I've also been burping them once or twice a day, they smell *delicious*.


I inadvertently did a little experiment with the yellow 7 pot carboys.  I screwed up and put 2x the garlic in the first one, so for the other two I used the normal amount of garlic in one and no garlic in the other.  The plan is to mix them all together when I cook them so it works out.  I noticed the one with 2x garlic took longer to start bubbling than the one with normal garlic, which took longer than the one with no garlic.  I've always heard that garlic inhibits fermentation, and from what I've seen it's totally true.  Once they got going they seemed to ferment as well as the others, the onset was just delayed.  It'll be interesting to see if there's any difference in the final ph among those 3.  I predict there won't be.





Plum and white 7 pot on top, two yellow 7 pots and superhot on bottom.





"Regular", plum, and another yellow 7 pot.





Finally got around to taking down the plants.





Here's the new label I've been working on.  It's basically the same as last year but I muted the background in the center a bit, changed the color of the banner, new font, darkened up the badger, etc.  I wanted to start from scratch and do something completely different, but sadly I was born without any creativity.  I'm also colorblind and don't really understand CMYK, so any design suggestions are appreciated, lol.




I think the seed pile is about as dry as it's going to get.  I'm going to put them in a closet with a bucket of damp-rid to suck out the last of the moisture, then into the leftover carboy.  It has an air-tight lid so they should stay pretty dry in there.  I'll probably be making another post shortly after thanksgiving about that.


#1590717 Bold Badger 2018 grow log

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 31 October 2018 - 06:20 AM

Last year I used them fresh, but this year I'll probably have to dry them or freeze them.  I'm debating which way would preserve the flavor the best.  I'm leaning toward freezing, in which case I'll vacuum seal them first.

#1590024 Bold Badger 2018 grow log

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 27 October 2018 - 09:45 PM

Finished up the eighth and last carboy last weekend.  It was a lot of work, although not having to load everything up and drive to the kitchen is definitely nice.  I always listen to audiobooks when I'm chopping peppers, this year I made it through Harry Potter books 3-5.  They were all great, goblet of fire being my favorite so far, but half blood prince is shaping up to be even better.




Upper left are the two plum, then a "regular," which will be either chipotle or curry.  On the bottom is a yellow 7 pot, the first that I've capped off.  I've been shaking it around to try and get the mash to sink.  I have a heater in there keeping the temp at about 65.





White 7 pot and superhot.





The other two yellow 7 pots.





The seed pile, still not totally dry.





Smoked peppers, I did 3 big batches on the smoker.  Wound up with 5 gallon-sized ziplocks full.





The curry trees.





Sadly the plants are now dead.  I'm going back to dig them up and clean up the ground sometime in the next week or so.





More dead plants.  I miss summer already.



#1588455 Various Degrees of Separation

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 20 October 2018 - 10:33 AM

Wow, never seen that before.  I guess those peppers are just really oily.

#1588428 Various Degrees of Separation

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 20 October 2018 - 07:59 AM

Looks kind of like you still have some fermentation activity going on in there.  I get separation in my bottles after a month or two, but it's always a layer of clear-ish liquid on top.  Maybe your water bath didn't properly kill off all the live bacteria.


I use the hot fill method.  I cook the sauce by bringing it to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about an hour, stir regularly, then blend with a stick blender while it's still simmering.  Then I turn up the heat and stir it a lot, checking the temp until it's above 180 consistently, I shoot for 200.  Then bottle it by using a funnel over the mouth of the bottle, and pouring the sauce in with a metal measuring cup, directly out of the pot of boiling sauce.  Then wipe any sauce off the rim of the bottle, put the cap on, and invert it.  Stir after every few bottles.  As I get closer to the bottom I turn down the heat so it doesn't start boiling too vigorously.  Wear gloves because you'll get boiling sauce on your hands no matter how hard you try to avoid it.  It also helps to put a big plastic bowl on the stove top, anything that gets covered with sauce goes in the bowl between bottles so you don't get sauce all over everything.  You don't want to turn on a burner a few days later with some surreptitious sauce on it, it's a great way to mace yourself.


The stick blender is awesome.  I used to have to cool it down enough to put in a regular blender, then put it back on the stove and heat it up again.  It doesn't work as well as a regular blender but I don't mind a few chunks.

#1588318 Bold Badger 2018 grow log

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 19 October 2018 - 09:20 AM

Cool, I'll post an update when they're all dry, which will probably be a little while, but I'll shoot for before Halloween.  I'll have the seeds from that last big picking to add to it when I chop them up this weekend.

#1588282 Idea for a bottling machine

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 18 October 2018 - 10:39 PM

To actually cook stuff I understand ventilation is important, and I think maybe you need a grease trap.  Although in my case I wouldn't be cooking with oils or fats or anything so that might not be an issue.  I have the sinks and everything, I posted pics in my grow log thread here:  http://thehotpepper....-2018-grow-log/


I have an under-sink grease trap that came with the sink, but I didn't plumb it in because they said I didn't need it for what I was doing, which is basically just rinsing the peppers and washing dishes.  I have room to add more space in my basement if it would be possible to actually bottle it there, the main reason I didn't even consider it is the lack of a bottling machine.  It's worth the price they charge at the commercial kitchen to use theirs because it makes it so easy.

#1588265 Idea for a bottling machine

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 18 October 2018 - 09:00 PM

I'm just doing the fermentation there, not the bottling.

#1588250 Idea for a bottling machine

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 18 October 2018 - 08:05 PM

I saw that but it specifically says it's for temps below 180.  A similar design would be perfect though.

#1588244 Bold Badger 2018 grow log

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 18 October 2018 - 07:35 PM

Turns out I did have enough superhots for a carboy.  Not quite as many white 7 pots as I'd hoped but I went ahead and made a batch out of them anyway, I have high hopes for that one.





White 7 pots on right.





Reapers and morugas.





A lot of ghosts in here.





a few reapers.





Smoking a load of peppers today.  I figure I'll do one more about this size, maybe more if I have a lot of leftover peppers.  I still have 4 empty carboys.  I'm planning two plum, one chipotle, and one curry.





Getting there.





I went to Nashville to see Ween on Tuesday, was an awesome show.  I got back on Wednesday and proceeded to pick like I'd never picked before because they were predicting frost last night.  I was totally stripping the plants, picking all the green peppers too.  This is most of what I picked, probably another 150 lbs.  Turns out no frost so I have a few more days to pick more of what's left, I just ran out of daylight.  I haven't really even started on the yellow fatalis yet.










Yellow 7 pot sauce is looking good..





White 7 pot and superhots.





The seed pile, bigger than ever.  There's a fan pointed at it, and I just stir them from time to time.  I think I'm going to do a little seed giveaway with these, like you pay only shipping for a cup of seeds.  They're all mixed together so what you wind up with will be a mystery.  Just in time for Halloween.  I mean like 80% of them will probably be yellow 7 pots, but there are also seeds from the volunteers, and who knows what's crossed with what.  It might be fun to grow them out and see what you get, like the pepper lottery, lol.



#1588160 Idea for a bottling machine

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 18 October 2018 - 01:55 PM

salsalady:  that's basically exactly what I was looking for, I didn't realize they had them like that with heated kettles.  Although $6k is a bit more than I'd like to spend.  Cost is the #1 factor for me, because I'm a bit of a cheap ass.  I can get one of those pressure canners for a few hundred dollars.  I'm currently not planning to cook anything in the certified kitchen I built, but it would be very nice to be totally self-sufficient.  I heard the commercial kitchen I've been using might be shutting down for good, which would leave me kind of screwed.  Although the longer the sauce ferments the tastier it will be so there's kind of an upside if I have to delay bottling it until I find another kitchen.


Walchit:  I was just thinking the pressure would push the sauce out faster, especially with thicker sauces.  You may be right that there would be some pressure in there even without a wobbler.  I could probably also just use a cheaper stainless stock pot and put something heavy on the lid to create a slight bit of pressure inside.

#1588119 Idea for a bottling machine

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 18 October 2018 - 07:33 AM

Most of the cheaper bottling machines I've found online look like this:




They have a big hopper and are gravity fed, which wouldn't really work with hot sauce because you have to keep it above 180 degrees at the moment you bottle it.  I assume if you poured boiling sauce into that hopper it would be too cool by the time you finished the last bottle.  The one at the commercial kitchen I use is very fancy, it uses compressed air and a crazy pump made with highly polished stainless steel lobes pushing the sauce through it.  It looks like a cam shaft or something.  It sucks the sauce right out of the giant kettle through a valve in the bottom, so the kettle keeps it up to temp.


So I had an idea, what if I took a large stainless steel pressure cooker, one of those 30+ quart All Americans, drilled a hole near the bottom and welded in spigot, then modified the wobbler so it would allow the pressure inside to only build to like half a psi.  Then I could cook the sauce in the pressure cooker without the lid, blend it, then when I want to bottle it put the lid on and allow a little pressure to build inside, then open the spigot and use the pressure inside to push the sauce out into the bottles?  Besides the obvious risk of spraying boiling hot sauce everywhere, does this sound like something that would work?

#1587468 Bold Badger 2018 grow log

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 14 October 2018 - 10:12 PM

Picked about another 120 lbs yesterday, only got through 1/3 of them today, got a late start.






Yellow 7 pots and scotch bonnets, living together in harmony.  These plants all produced ridiculously well.





Super wide shot.





Made chili with these today.






Chopping station #1 in action.






The seed pile continues to grow.






Carboys done so far.






The rest of the stuff I picked yesterday.  Buried in there are most of my reapers and morugas.  I'm keeping aside the white 7 pots and superhots to see if I'll have enough of either to do a whole carboy with them.  Everything else will go into the plum recipe, going to do 2 carboys of that one.  After aging a bit I've decided it was definitely the best of last year's test batches.  It's really funky with a bright fruity undertone, the plums aren't as up front as the berries in my berry sauce.  It's seriously tasty.







Caught this little guy guarding my peppers.  I think it's a rat snake.






#1586984 Bold Badger 2018 grow log

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 12 October 2018 - 11:49 PM

I gotta say having my own dedicated space is freaking awesome.  This will be yellow 7 pot sauce, same recipe as last year except I used jalapenos as the annuums instead of bell peppers, and I added more of them.  Also I'm removing most of the seeds this year, which should make the sauce less bitter.











Carboys started.






Anyone need any yellow 7 pot seeds?  Just let me know how many pounds you want, lol.





#1586702 Bold Badger 2018 grow log

Posted by Bold Badger Sauces on 11 October 2018 - 10:22 AM

Passed the inspection yesterday, immediately went and picked about 150 lbs of yellow 7 pots.  We have a cold front coming in so I'm probably going to be spending the next week doing nothing but picking and chopping peppers.  I figure this is about 1/4 of the total I'll wind up with this year.  They don't seem any worse for wear having stayed on the vine so long.