• If you have a question about commercial production or the hot sauce business, please post in The Food Biz.

Caught the Lactobacilli bug. (banana for scale)

Just started my first ferment. Well 4 of them.
 
From left to right.
First Jar (Lemon Mint Basil): Yellow Congo Giant 7 Pod, Green Jalapenos, Green Fatalii, Mint, Basil, Chopped Lemon, Lemon Grass, Ginger, Garlic, Brown Sugar, White Sugar, Brine, Whey.
Second Jar (Asian Pear n Ginger): Yellow Congo Giant 7 Pod, Green Jalapenos, Green Fatalii, Asian Pear, Parsnip, Cilantro, Lemon Grass, Ginger, Garlic, Brown Sugar, White Sugar, brine, Whey.
Third Jar (Green Fatalii Sriracha): Green Jalapenos, Green Fatalii, Garlic, White Sugar, Brown Sugar, Brine, Whey
Fourth Jar (Congo Sriracha): Red Fresno, Green Jalapenos, Garlic, White Sugar, Brown Sugar, Brine, Whey
 
Going to ferment for a couple weeks, add vinegar/lime juice, cook it, blend it, strain it, mix in some xantham gum if needed, then cook and bottle them.
 
mfLclly.jpg
 
oldsalty said:
Looks great Yantz am getting ready to try my first fermentation you got me drooling good luck keep posting love the blends
 
Yeah, It smells incredible right now. I just walked by and caught a smell. I would definitely recommend trying it, even with store bought peppers to test different ideas. I started out by looking at tons of recipes people have posted and broke it down into average common elements, then drew up a list of various ingredients for each element. Then started writing out different flavor combinations. Then last minute decided to ferment it and use a mash's with those flavor combos. I haven't been very happy in the past with super fresh cooked hot sauces. I think this will give the funk that I'm looking for.
 
DaQatz said:
Someone visits imgur.
I was just testing the waters to see anyone here would make the connection ;)
 
Anyways I do have some questions if anyone wants to take a stab. I see a lot of people who ferment who add vinegar and cook it so they can have shelf stable hot sauce. I was curious myself if the vinegar or the cook were exactly necessary. Or I could just heat it up enough to do a safe hot fill which i think should be fine? Or would that ruin the flavor and/or benefits. I was also planning to look into how the pro-biotic benefits could survive stomach acid, or if they even need to be alive to be beneficial. I don't want to ruin something after doing all this work.
 
"Shelf Stable" Many ferments go for several years. The ferment itself IS shelf stable. Though maybe not by commercial definition. It's when you start to use them POST ferment that you need to add vinegar to preserve the new ingredients. The cook just stops the lacto, needed... no but if you do not it will continue to change in flavor and texture. Remember bacteria in the ferment protect the sauce already, but only while they are alive. So hot bottling may kill them. Though the lactic acid will remain.
 
Really it's a clash of the way ways of preserving vs the new. The new was is to sterilize EVERYTHING. This prevents a lot of issues in the long run. The old was is simply to keep it "edible" sterile or not. If it's for home use the old way appears to give better flavor, and even a few health benefits. But you have to be able to "get over" the modern sensablity of the concept of sterile. Which oddly in some fields seems to be ignored... I mean compare hot sauces to (Real)soy sauces, and sauerkraut. Hell real Soy sauce is litterally a let it mold, and set in the sun for a few years kinda recipe.
 
The shelf stability of your hot sauce is essentially based on 2 things:
 
1. The Ph of the sauce being low enough.
2. Proper bottling techniques.
 
These 2 bounce off of each other to a degree. Here's a couple of examples.
 
a. 1. Ph 4.0 2. bottling technique Pressure Canned in Mason Jars
 
b. 1. Ph 3.6 2. bottling technique Mason Jars in Water Bath
 
c. 1. Ph 3.4 2. bottling technique Hot Packed in 5 oz Woozies
 
All three of these are acceptable and safe way to have a shelf stable sauce. 
 
Now, fermenting a couple of weeks as you mentioned is going to eat up a bunch of the sugars in your sauce however, there are a lot of sugars in your mashs. When I have a mash that is high in sugars I usually let them ferment a minimum of 90 days and I never let a ferment go for less than 45 days. When I check the Ph at the end of the ferment they consistently come out at 3.4. To add more acid to it would make for a really sour sauce that most would not want to eat.
 
So, lets put this together in a useful way. The very first thing I always talk about with sauce creation is the flavor profile of the sauce. If your flavor profile is calling for lemon/lime juice or vinegar flavors, then you are correct to stop the ferment short of it taking the Ph down so low. You have room them to add the additional acid with out creating a sour mess. You might also consider adding just the zest of a lemon or lime for the flavor addition to the ferment and letting it run it's full course too. But, if your just adding them because it said somewhere else that you needed to in order to have a shelf stable sauced then no, allow the mash to ferment longer and you don't have to add them.
 
Now cooking the sauce, there are many that say that if you don't cook the sauce you have salsa not Hot Sauce, as the boss likes to say think of Spaghetti Sauce, You can blender the crud out of the mash and have a "Raw Sauce" but it won't be shelf stable and will need to be kept in the fridge but you will have the probiotic advantage of it. By cooking the sauce you soften all the bits and pieces in the the mash and will come out with a sauce that is smooth like a commercial sauce. Especially if you run it through a fine wire mesh strainer to remove seeds and other pieces that didn't break down. Yes it kills the LAB but the Ph will still be low and by bottling it appropriately you have a shelf stable sauce.
 
I hope this hasn't confused you, please ask questions if it did.
 
Cheers,
RM
 
Thanks guys, you have thoroughly answered my questions. I guess the only thing that I'm still uncertain about and I can probably search for a while on it, but does cooking the sauce for hot fill change the flavor any? Such an interesting subject. So I guess I'm going to led these ferment for a while, I'll see if I can last 90 days. I think I might stop at the local brew store and pick up some airlocks and figure out different containers to use. I've brewed things quite a bit and I feel weird with the current setup of these sauces compared to the sterile, sealed, containers used when home brewing.
 
Yantz said:
Thanks guys, you have thoroughly answered my questions. I guess the only thing that I'm still uncertain about and I can probably search for a while on it, but does cooking the sauce for hot fill change the flavor any? Such an interesting subject. So I guess I'm going to led these ferment for a while, I'll see if I can last 90 days. I think I might stop at the local brew store and pick up some airlocks and figure out different containers to use. I've brewed things quite a bit and I feel weird with the current setup of these sauces compared to the sterile, sealed, containers used when home brewing.
 
Cooking:  Cooking won't change the flavor profile near as much as any additions you might make.  Cooking WILL change the texture of the sauce - especially if you cook for long enough to thicken.  Normally my fermented sauces come out pretty thick so I don't cook them down much, just heat to stop fermentation and then to hot fill woozies.  Sauces using fresh peppers and vinegar are quite thin, so they get additional cook time to thicken a bit.
 
Air Locks:  I highly recommend them.  Though I feel we're a bit safer in mashes that use salt/starters/etc I still believe the best way to insure the results of your hard work (growing, making mash, etc) is to keep the ferment vessel as free of oxygen as possible.  I use airlocks to do this.  Many other eschew such a step and use jars that they 'burp' from time to time to release pent up CO2.  Still others go the cheesecloth route.  After having a couple batches go bad on me that way (cheesecloth one got mold, jarred batch overflowed and then got mold) I paid for the airlocks and haven't looked back since - or lost a batch.  I find this is personal preference though and have no judgment on how others do theirs.  Different strokes man ;)
 
Great start Yantz, and welcome to our kickass community! 
 
Thank you SmokenFire. You guys are great. I like it here haha. Anyways I got it all accomplished today. I found a local source of 2 quart jars, plastic wide mouth jar lids, 3/4 inch OD 7/16 inch ID grommets, and got some 3 piece airlocks. I sanitized everything using Star San (which is amazing btw) and then filled the airlocks with some of the Star Sans. I hope its all ready for the long 3 month wait. It all smells fantastic right now though. Can see small bubbles forming.
 
Took it outside for a moment to get a bright enough picture.
8YzPhZg.jpg
 
Unfortunately they don't make a 1 1/2 quart jar. These are 2 quart jars, 1 quart jars would fill to the brim and leave no room for expansion. Any ideas?
 
I decided to combine the red and green sauce cause they were both variations of a sriracha recipe. I also combined the two yellow sauces which were both variations of the same sauce as well. This freed up two jars. I'm going to try my hand at making sauerkraut and kimchi.
 
Yantz said:
I decided to combine the red and green sauce cause they were both variations of a sriracha recipe. I also combined the two yellow sauces which were both variations of the same sauce as well. This freed up two jars. I'm going to try my hand at making sauerkraut and kimchi.
 
Both current batches will blend well imo.  I've been using this recipe for sauerkraut with good results.  At ambient temps of 75 or so it ages in about 5 days and is even better at 8.  Didn't like it when left to go for much longer than 8 so I put in the fridge between 5-8 days old and the 2qt jar is gone in a couple weeks (if that long).  Kimchi is something I'm still working on, but the experiments have been novel thus far.    
 
Back
Top