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fermenting Cooking fermented hot sauce?

New to fermenting and the forum so apologies for the newbie question. I have done several pepper ferments and processed to sauce so far. Ferments were chopped up peppers , brine of 1 1/4 t of sea salt per cup of water. I’m using airlock lids. I do have a nice PH tester so finished sauces have been adjusted as needed to achieve 3.5 PH. I have just been processing in my Vitamix to purée and add vinegar , salt, sweetener etc to taste. I have not been cooking prior to bottling. It was my understanding you did not need to cook fermented sauce especially with a nice low PH. Is this a problem?
Bringing the sauce to 150 degrees for a few minutes will halt the fermentation, or pasturize it. It is said to keep the sauce from blowing out once opened, and for hot packing/sterilizing the bottle. This is my novis understanding.


Extreme Member
... and add ... sweetener etc to taste. I have not been cooking prior to bottling .... Is this a problem?

Maybe. If the "sweetener" is a fermentable sugar, fermentation will continue. If you have bottled/jarred it, it quite possibly will explode - the classic "bottle bomb".
I actually use erythritol or monk fruit sweetener in low quantity. So far I’ve had no bottle explosions or even burps. I do think my high speed blender may be heating it enough to kill further fermentation but more sure. I distribute these to friends and family so don’t want to make anyone sick. Just really don’t want to cook these sauces in the house if I don’t need too.

The Hot Pepper

Blenders aren't sterile environments so anything coming out of a blender needs to be cooked/bottled appropriately if looking for shelf stability.
Thanks all. So what I have so far has remained in refrigerator. I assume you are saying despite the PH being 3.5 there could still be nasty bugs that could present issues? My next batch I will cook I guess then as I do want to ship some for Christmas gifts. When I originally started fermenting as a path instead of cooking it was to keep from burning my wife’s eyes out lol.