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

recipe Experiment in sauces

HellfireFarm

Business Member
Just for fun - I wanted to try out a variety of peppers with different heat levels in wing sauces. Franks-style.

Found a recipe online. I don't know how close it approximates Franks but it's about the same ingredient-wise. Did a jalapeno run that tastes a good bit different, not sure if it's the peppers or the recipe. Either way it tastes ok so I'm keeping the base.

* 10 oz. peppers
* 1/2 cup rice vinegar
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 tsp salt

Blend it all and ferment for 7 days, blend again finer, then strain.

Pretty simple at least.

So here we have them after step 1 (caps are on loosely)

sauces.jpg


Wings next week! Sauces served as dips, try them progressively up the scale.
 
This is a great simple sauce. Very similar to my sauce fermentation process. At 7 days you’ll kill maybe 5% of the heat, but you’ll gain that “tang” - I bet you’ll be pleased with the results.

I look forward to the next batch when you get chef-y and experimental. 😝
 
Last edited:
Cool stuff! Should be interesting to see how the different peppers impact the heat profile and taste.

Are you targeting basic Frank's or Frank's wing sauce?
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
Not likely to get much more experimental with superhots and I stay pretty boring with my regulars (tomatillo green, tomato red, and pure pepper sauces, all pretty basic). Not really a sauce maker here.

@CaneDog that was my idea. I've tried sauces and peppers but never all together in one sitting to get a good taste comparison.
Target is classic Frank's Red Hot. I make "wing sauce" just by adding equal part butter & mixing.

I might see if I can find enough red cayennes to do a straight Frank's analog to compare flavor. But my fiesta blend is pretty popular at the market so I tend not to have many...
 
I love tomato reds! that’s my generic go-to for any/every pepper. everyone I know who works with super-hots though, gets wild with the ingredient list. Some great wins and some terrible failures but it’s fun to watch/taste.
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
Tasting was last night. I made 8 wings, one for Franks as the baseline, then one for each of mine, progressing from mild to hot.

Results​

Jalapeno​

For some reason this one came out a lot thinner than the others. It left me wondering if I did it right - there was almost no heat and barely any flavor. All I really noticed was a slight bitterness. Given that I already don't care much for Jalapenos, I doubt I'll ever make more.

Cayenne​

This one was quite a bit thicker and really stuck to the chicken. The flavor was pretty close to Frank's - a little sweeter, but that's probably because I used the Fiesta cayennes so there was a mix of red, yellow, and orange, instead of straight reds. Heat was close to Frank's too, maybe a little lower. It's easier to just buy Frank's but it's good to know I can make something really close.

Tepin​

The thickest of all of them. The flavor was a little odd with some fairly strong bitter notes; it's difficult to describe exactly what I tasted. It was definitely not fruity or bright in any way, and not very sweet. The heat was a pretty big step from the cayenne, building from back to front. Given the flavor I won't be making this again.

Habanero​

A little thicker than the cayenne, nowhere near the Tepin. The flavor was (unsurprisingly) very fruity and sweet. Hotter than the Tepin but much less aggressive, building slowly and allowing a good time to take in the flavor. Will definitely be making more of this.

Ghost​

Just like the Habanero in texture. Flavor was more bitter, not too fruity. A flavor I can only describe as a "not-the-heat-capsaicin" flavor seemed to overwhelm most of any other flavors. Heat was much more aggressive than the Habanero and much hotter. After a hard hit up front, it continued to build up for a couple minutes. I might use this as a base for something really hot, but not as-is, the flavor just doesn't work.

Yellow Reaper​

So far the Chinenses all have a similar texture. They also all fermented the best as well. This one still had the bitter/"nthc" flavor but not as strongly as the Ghost, and overall was somewhat sweeter. The biggest surprise was that it wasn't as hot as I expected (probably because the step up to Ghost was a much larger step that this one). Similar conclusion as with the Ghost - maybe I'll use it as a base but not as-is. But I really liked the bright yellow color, so that's a reason to play with it some more!

Carolina Reaper​

Same thickness and texture as the last three. Like the other supers, a fairly strong bitter/"nthc" flavor. The heat didn't hit as hard up-front as I expected, but I got a really good throat burn that then spread forward until my whole mouth was on fire. The heat continued to build after I was done for a good 5 minutes. Nothing special about this so I probably won't make any more of it.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Fermenting longer will likely take care of the raw/bitter type flavors you experienced.
 
I just cracked open two vacuum bags of fermented reapers and scorpions. One was from Sept. 1 and the other was from Sept. 23. Same peppers and salt mix. Gave the brine a little taste before I blended them up. The Sept. 1 bag was more bright and almost citrus-y.
 
Last edited:
Fermenting longer will likely take care of the raw/bitter type flavors you experienced.
With respect to the fermenting, where you’re trying to get the bacteria in action, I wonder if the vinegar inhibited it from the lower pH? Instead, maybe grind the peppers and salt them and let them ferment.

I have yet to try fermenting as I just read about it last weekend, but I’m going to try it soon. I have read that is what makes the taste. Otherwise, while good, it’s a little raw tasting.

I would also suspect that (water bath) canning them for preservation would ruin an opportunity for it to ferment after fact.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Yeah if the original recipe in this post had vinegar it literally never fermented. The acid would prevent it. You'd have to age the peppers first, THEN add vinegar.
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
I was wondering about that, but in this case just followed the recipe exactly as provided. Next time I'll try leaving out the vinegar at first.

But interestingly, as reported, the cayenne mix turned out almost exactly like Frank's, and all the chinenses produced gas, so there was at least some fermentation going on.

Sounds like another experiment.
 
You can add minor amounts of vinegar to ferments to adjust pH a bit lower to start. Lacto bacteria can remain active to below 3.6pH but they slow down a ton. You can also use lactic acid from a brew shop if you want to avoid vinegar altogether during the ferment. Like a tsp per pint of 80% at most.

My tap water is over 8pH so i buy steam distilled with a pH of 6 or less. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to a quart. Add 1-2 tablespoons of homemade unpasteurized kraut juice. You will have billions of live bacteria to start.
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
My tap water is over 8pH so i buy steam distilled with a pH of 6 or less. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to a quart. Add 1-2 tablespoons of homemade unpasteurized kraut juice. You will have billions of live bacteria to start.
I should probably test my water...

I would expect distilled water to be pH of 7?
 
Top