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fermenting Another First Masher Here

Good afternoon Pepper's. 
 
I made my firsts batches before I found this forum. I just found a couple recipes online and picked one to try. Thankfully I found this site because I like to be able to talk to the experienced and follow the beginners like myself and see their successes and failures to learn by. I've been reading a lot of the forum the past few days and it's full of good info. Anyway...
 
I'm growing jalapeno, tabasco and Cheyenne peppers. I'm mostly looking to make sliced jalapenos and "Louisiana" style hot sauce. I don't have any peppers ready so I bought some jalapenos to do a winter test run to get my feet wet. 
 
Wanted to run by y'all what I did and get your thoughts. 
 
Batch one. Is Jalapeno mash. I blended a bunch of jalapenos and added 7.5% by weight of sea salt. That's all I did and put it in a quart mason jar and put on an Airlock top and put it in the pantry. Today is day 10. I'm not seeing it rise like I've seen in some pics of peoples mash. But other than that I think it looks ok. No kahm or mold or anything. 
 
Batch two. Is a Lacto. I put sliced jalapenos in quart mason jar and mixed a brine of 1 quart of warm distilled water and three tablespoons of sea salt. Dissolved and let cool. Poured the brine of the peppers and placed a glass weight on top and spooned off any floating seeds. Placed an Airlock on it and put in the pantry. 10 days in today.So far no issues at all. Everything looks good. Not sure to know when they're ready? 
 
Any major thoughts or concerns y'all see? Any major changes I should make? I have a few more jars and Airlocks so I can easily start another batch for some test runs. 
 
Thanks! 
 
Your on the right track SoHot, some sugar in the beginning helps too. The trick is to get the good stuff growing fast so the bad stuff doesn't. I've been lucky and have yet to loose a batch ,At least not to mold or yeast. I have plenty of flavor profile fails.
 
In the new arbol chili mash I started I blended up some onion and garlic and mixed it in the mash. I added I separated capsule of Culturelle Probiotic. The box says it has 20 billion CFU's of Lactobacillus GG and 200mg of Inulin (Chicory Root Extract) - I meant to search the Inulin on here last week but forgot until just now lol. Is that bad? If not is 1 capsule of the 20 bil good enough for a quart of pepper mash?
 
SoHot said:
adding some stuff like cabbage or bell pepper for the good lacto to eat.
 
First I've heard using Natural Spring water over Distilled. I'll will do that with my next brine. 
 

 
 

It's not that the lacto like to eat the cabbage or pepper better, it's that cabbage (and possibly bell pepper, that one is new to me) have naturally occurring bacteria starters on and in them that sometimes chili peppers or other veg may not have and lack in abundance.  
 
In terms of what the lacto are eating it's all carbs/sugar, whether that be in cabbage or peppers or any other fruit/veg. 
 
re: water "There are two reasons for this. The first being distilled water has had all of the excess or "free" oxygen removed from it. The second reason is that distilled water has no minerals either. Both of these conditions are direct results of the distilling process and both conditions have inhibiting effects on a fermentation."
 

salsalady

Business Member
I've had a couple 4-gallon BigMouthBubblers set up to go with different chiles, and not wanting to let 4 gallons tank, I thinly wedged some green cabbages, and layered on the top of the chopped chiles stuff in the jugs.  Especially with the jug that just had green jalapenos, and a little bit of onions and garlic (like....<5% overall) there was not a lot of natural sugars in that blend to kick start the ferment without the natural fermenting action of the cabbage wedges.  It fermented successfully to a very low finished pH of about 2.8!  YOWZAAA!  That is one TART fermented sauce!
 
I've done other ferments with ripe peppers with cabbage wedges that resulted in a lot 'sweeter' finished sauces with still low pH's in the 3.2 range. 
 
One ferment I took to a making hot sauce class had cabbage wedges on the top.  People took the wedges home to eat like a spicy kimchi something.  Makes sense, they were in an active ferment just like sauerkraut or kimchee, tasted really good, tasted spicy...:)
 
 
 
patrad said:
 
It's not that the lacto like to eat the cabbage or pepper better, it's that cabbage (and possibly bell pepper, that one is new to me) have naturally occurring bacteria starters on and in them that sometimes chili peppers or other veg may not have and lack in abundance.  
 
In terms of what the lacto are eating it's all carbs/sugar, whether that be in cabbage or peppers or any other fruit/veg. 
 
re: water "There are two reasons for this. The first being distilled water has had all of the excess or "free" oxygen removed from it. The second reason is that distilled water has no minerals either. Both of these conditions are direct results of the distilling process and both conditions have inhibiting effects on a fermentation."
 
Good info, Thanks!
 
I believe it was Salsalady that mentions in the 101 that you can add bell peppers. It's a good starter and doesn't change the flavor. It might be the Bells are higher in sugar/carbs and give the lactos something to eat on to start. I need to go back and read again. I need to start writing this down in charts and rows instead of trying to remember.  :rofl: 
 
salsalady said:
I've had a couple 4-gallon BigMouthBubblers set up to go with different chiles, and not wanting to let 4 gallons tank, I thinly wedged some green cabbages, and layered on the top of the chopped chiles stuff in the jugs.  Especially with the jug that just had green jalapenos, and a little bit of onions and garlic (like....<5% overall) there was not a lot of natural sugars in that blend to kick start the ferment without the natural fermenting action of the cabbage wedges.  It fermented successfully to a very low finished pH of about 2.8!  YOWZAAA!  That is one TART fermented sauce!
 
I've done other ferments with ripe peppers with cabbage wedges that resulted in a lot 'sweeter' finished sauces with still low pH's in the 3.2 range. 
 
One ferment I took to a making hot sauce class had cabbage wedges on the top.  People took the wedges home to eat like a spicy kimchi something.  Makes sense, they were in an active ferment just like sauerkraut or kimchee, tasted really good, tasted spicy... :)
 
 
You've been a big help. Love you. Thanks! 
 
salsalady said:
I've had a couple 4-gallon BigMouthBubblers set up to go with different chiles, and not wanting to let 4 gallons tank, I thinly wedged some green cabbages, and layered on the top of the chopped chiles stuff in the jugs.  Especially with the jug that just had green jalapenos, and a little bit of onions and garlic (like....<5% overall) there was not a lot of natural sugars in that blend to kick start the ferment without the natural fermenting action of the cabbage wedges.  It fermented successfully to a very low finished pH of about 2.8!  YOWZAAA!  That is one TART fermented sauce!
 
I've done other ferments with ripe peppers with cabbage wedges that resulted in a lot 'sweeter' finished sauces with still low pH's in the 3.2 range. 
 
One ferment I took to a making hot sauce class had cabbage wedges on the top.  People took the wedges home to eat like a spicy kimchi something.  Makes sense, they were in an active ferment just like sauerkraut or kimchee, tasted really good, tasted spicy... :)
 
 
Have you seen the more recent posts in MikeUSMC's ferment thread? Two ferments ruined by mold and it's obvious the mold started on the cabbage leaves themselves. Do you make sure your cabbage is below the brine level when you use them?
 
I grind it all up add 3% salt brine, probotic powder, put in 5 gallon food grade buckets with areators and oak spirals, put a heavy 11.5 inch plate on top and check it in six months. I have been doing it this way for years and no problems. I then check the PH after opening and boil to kill the ferment add a little acid and check ph again after a week. Heat up to 200 and bottle.
 

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That's awesome. 
 
I dumped the 2 jalapeno mashes and started a fresh one Sunday. Did Jalapenos, some onion and garlic. Blended it all together and add 4% salt and a probiotic. I realized last night I forgot to put a glass weight on top of the mash. But I am not going to open it now to put one on. Just going to roll with it and see how it goes. 
 
SoHot said:
In the new arbol chili mash I started I blended up some onion and garlic and mixed it in the mash. I added I separated capsule of Culturelle Probiotic. The box says it has 20 billion CFU's of Lactobacillus GG and 200mg of Inulin (Chicory Root Extract) - I meant to search the Inulin on here last week but forgot until just now lol. Is that bad? If not is 1 capsule of the 20 bil good enough for a quart of pepper mash?
 
Inulin is a prebiotic, it helps the lactobacillus grow better. No problem at all. 20 bil is plenty, Mike has posted he typically uses 3-4 bil and that works just fine.
 
So I started my 2nd try on Sunday. As I mentioned I forgot to add the weight. Checked it tonight and all the liquid is at the bottom. So I kinda freaked out and broke the #1 rule and opened it (even though I said I wouldn't) and put on the weight and pushed it down as fast as I could. On the pic below the red line is all liquid. This is after I pushed it down too. But there is now some liquid at the top. This blending in some onion and garlic and adding a probiotic has produced a lot more liquid than my first try. 
 
 
 

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I think you'll be fine this time around, SoHot. Opening the jar this early into the process shouldn't be the end of the world. There's a good chance the lactobacillus aren't kicking in "high gear" yet. They'll be cranking any day now, and you should see lots of activity (air bubbles) popping up. Once you first see those bubbles, THAT'S your cue not to open the jar any more ;)

I just lost my first (ever) batch to mold a couple weeks ago. I feel your pain, haha. Good on ya for not giving up and giving it another go!
:cheers:
 
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