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fermenting Adding citrus: before or after the ferment?

I have been making fermented sauces since last fall, and I have a really solid recipe. Been testing it out with family and friends and pretty good reviews all around, but I still feel like it's missing something. I'll admit my target flavour is something akin to Marie Sharpe's Orange Habanero, but I'm not there yet (and I use more than habaneros).

My base recipe in a 1 quart ferment has the juice and pulp of one orange (or grapefruit) going in with the peppers for the duration of the ferment (I do 3-4 weeks usually), but I have opted to add the citrus after the ferment this time and wanted to know:
  • is this going to screw up my recipe entirely?
  • If I add the citrus when I blend up the fermented pepper mix, will doing the boiling process for bottling mean that the recipe is still shelf stable/safe as long as my pH is right?
  • any suggestions on whether it should be juice, pulp, both or also maybe some zest?
Cheers!
 
Hello chef Sauce, citrus have wonderful possibility. Zest up from the beginning is my drift; because citrus flavors within the rind COULD BE the supposed secret spice. Start slow and easy with that type of spice! SIMCE usually it's strained; the pulps will probably help end product. Wondering what's the pH of orange juice it tastes perfect... Before/after raw/cooked water/sauce
 

Downriver

Extreme Member
I have opted to add the citrus after the ferment this time and wanted to know:
  • is this going to screw up my recipe entirely?
  • If I add the citrus when I blend up the fermented pepper mix, will doing the boiling process for bottling mean that the recipe is still shelf stable/safe as long as my pH is right?
  • any suggestions on whether it should be juice, pulp, both or also maybe some zest?

My opinions:

1 - no

2 - yes, as long as you follow proper bottling procedures (documented elsewhere on this site) and the pH is low enough.

3 - any would be fine. I think Marie's, at least, uses pulp. Careful with the zest. It could impart bitterness. A little goes a long way.

As a side note, I think Marie's is a cooked sauce, not fermented. Fermenting oranges takes you to a different place flavor-wise. The classic taste of orange is greatly diminished, if not lost entirely.

jmo -- Good luck with it and have fun.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Side note: When you see a fermented sauce it does not necessarily mean all the ingredients are fermented. It may just be the peppers and they may in fact be buying their fermented mash from a supplier and making sauce from it (adding ingredients).

In commercial production mash is a way to make a consistent sauce and a way to scale instead of relying on crops and seasons. And not all mash is fermented. The term refers to the mashed peppers and sometimes it is fermented, sometimes not. So mash on a label could mean either.

However the above answers your questions. I hope this info also helps.
 
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