fermenting Fermenting in Kilner Sterilock Jars

Hi All, I have just started my first three ferments:- + or - 100 Peach Bhut Jolokia, Big Black Mama, Mixed Reds (Big Red Mama, Arrowhead, Red Bhutlah, Reaper, Rennie, Barrackpore, Bhuts etc)
All have bout 8 large cloves of Garlic, 1 tsp brown sugar, some Ginger and submerged in 2.5% brine. The colours look fantastic!
I have used food processor to make mashes of the peppers, Garlic and Ginger, then put into sterilised Kilner jars with the sugar, filled up with the brine and put lid on. 
Since filling with the brine the mash has risen and is not totally covered by the brine. Is this a problem?
(Having done some research I believe that using the Sterilock caps there is / will be no oxygen in the jar thus making the environment non conducive for the bad bacteria.) Again please advise.
I further believe that using this method and types of jars I do not need to do anything to the ferment i.e. Stirring it removing Mold etc. as in the closed environment the Mold should not develop on the surface.
Is this correct?
We are in Spain and temperature is about 24+ during daytime and drops to 14-18 of night, the jars are not in direct sunlight and are stored outside.
I intend to leave the ferments until mid December time prior to putting one of them into bottles and leaving the other two to carry on fermenting.
When decanting into bottles I will blend the mash and brine in food processor until all is smooth, add a little vinegar at the end and refrigerate. (I also may strain the liquid, as yet undecided about this.)
This is my first ferment so any advice greatly appreciated.
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MikeUSMC

Extreme Member
Softlad said:
Since filling with the brine the mash has risen and is not totally covered by the brine. Is this a problem?
No, no problem. Totally normal. The mash will constantly rise and fall during the process. However, this early into the fermentation process, you might want to put your jars into a bowl of some sort to catch any potential overflow (and avoid having to clean up a mess), just in case.

Softlad said:
(Having done some research I believe that using the Sterilock caps there is / will be no oxygen in the jar thus making the environment non conducive for the bad bacteria.) Again please advise.
That is correct

Softlad said:
I further believe that using this method and types of jars I do not need to do anything to the ferment i.e. Stirring it removing Mold etc. as in the closed environment the Mold should not develop on the surface. Is this correct?
Correct. You should not open the jars once they've been sealed. The oxygen inside the jars will be pushed out through the airlocks in the lid. Rather than opening the jars to stir them, you can gently twist/"ratchet" the jars back and forth quickly to free up any air bubbles in the mash to get them to rise to the top.


Your mashes look and sound fantastic! Best of luck on your first ferments. Any more questions, feel free to ask!
 
Hi Mike & Karoo, Thanks for confirmation and the advice, very much appreciated.
Will periodically post updates as to this and the dried peppers. (I have so many this year I am running out of space to store them!) Purchased a dehydrator so now have more dried superhots than I can shake a stick at. (Owing to lack of space I have started selling this years excess plants as I went a little OTT this year!) Freezer is full as well from last year and this!!!
May even start selling some of the dried ones as we will never use the amount that we have.
Once again thanks. 
 
 

salsalady

Business Member
I noticed you have the bottles outside, which may be a bit cold for optimum fermentation, especially as it gets into December.  Ferments like to be cozy warm.  It helps them keep active.  The daytime temp of 24c/75f is good, but the colder night temps will slow things down a lot.  And every day, the jars will need to get warm before the fermentation process gets really active.  Chillis will ferment at colder temps, it just takes longer.  If you can find a nice consistently warm spot inside, at least to get them started, that would be best.
 
Good Luck and Have Fun!
salsalady
 
 
PS- Welcome to THP!
.  
 
Hi Salsalady, Thanks for reply.
Yes you are correct they are outside, temp is fairly consistent at the moment however I understand what you are saying re the year advancing. Problem with finding consistently warm spot is we don't have heating throughout the house! So no joy there! Not a problem for us to wait a little while longer for the ferment to finish, I believe that 6-8 weeks should be ok for one to be ready, the rest can ferment longer.
Re the ferment, appears to be going ok at the moment, they are starting to overflow and spill out! (Do you replace the lost brine or just leave alone?)
Re Welcome, Thanks for that, (Have been here since 2015:)))))
Once again many thanks for all help and advice.
 

salsalady

Business Member
Don't try and replace the brine, leave it be.  The chillis will "shrink" and sink down into the brine.
 
 
 
I just saw your low post count, threw out a 'Howdy', didn't check to see how long you'd been here.  :lol:
SL
 
Hi All, Update:- Not a lot seems to be going on at the moment, mash has fallen from top of jar and just seems to be sitting there. Can not see bubbles rising. I shake jars occasionally to shift any air bubbles within the mash. 
It does not appear that all of it is submerged in brine.
No mold on top at all.
Liquid is slightly cloudy although not that dissimilar to when first added to jars.
Again smell is not unpleasant just unusual (Garlicky & very Hot!!)
Is fermenting temperature dependant? As with jars outside they are not in constant warm or cool temperature.
 
 

SmokenFire

Staff Member
Moderator
Business Member
Softlad said:
Is fermenting temperature dependant? As with jars outside they are not in constant warm or cool temperature.
 
 
Fermentation happens best in consistent warm temps - 75 to 85 or so Fahrenheit in my experience.  If temps are colder than that then fermentation takes longer.
 
Quick thought! What type of water did you use for your brine? I use non-chlorinated water which is also absent of any fluoride. In my fermentation experience, Ive found this to be ultra important!
 
Hi Guys update, I still have two jars fermenting (the Black batch and the Red batch), 4 years now! Both smell good and look good, little cloudy but as I said, they look correct.
Just need some suggestions as to what to do with them now.
All help greatly appreciated.
 
The same jars you started in 2017 are still going now 4 years later? Holy Cow. I don't think I've ever fermented anything more than a few months before refrigeration. I bet they'll be super acidic/sour.
 

Siv

Extreme Member
Funnily enough I just made a sauce last night with a 2-year ferment. I find that the liquid tends to have a lot more of the funky taste than the solids so I tend to strain most of it out and then blend the peppers and season to taste. Depending on the amount of salt you used, you may need to add some.

I just blended mine with pineapple juice and bottled in a very large bottle to see if the fermentation would restart from the sugars in the pineapple juice. pH of the ferment was 3.5 and only got to 3.7 after adding more than double the volume of pineapple juice.

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The same jars you started in 2017 are still going now 4 years later? Holy Cow. I don't think I've ever fermented anything more than a few months before refrigeration. I bet they'll be super acidic/sour.
I fermented Olives for 7+ years and they came out fine. I doubt that these will be rancid as they smell ok. I also doubt that you could taste much as they are so HOT.
 
Funnily enough I just made a sauce last night with a 2-year ferment. I find that the liquid tends to have a lot more of the funky taste than the solids so I tend to strain most of it out and then blend the peppers and season to taste. Depending on the amount of salt you used, you may need to add some.

I just blended mine with pineapple juice and bottled in a very large bottle to see if the fermentation would restart from the sugars in the pineapple juice. pH of the ferment was 3.5 and only got to 3.7 after adding more than double the volume of pineapple juice.

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Hi Siv, They look great! Love the colour.
Could you define "funky taste"
Also I am looking to process these two jars, any good recipes about or advice on what to do with them?
 

Siv

Extreme Member
Hi Siv, They look great! Love the colour.
Could you define "funky taste"
Also I am looking to process these two jars, any good recipes about or advice on what to do with them?

I had carrots in with the scorpion peppers which have given me this nice orange colour. I just burped the bottle and it's fermenting again so I'm deciding now if going to add an airlock or cook it.

The funky taste is that fermented flavour - it can be very strong on some fermented foods (e.g. stinky tofu). A lot depends on how low and slow your ferment was - since I'm in a little warmer climes, I struggle to keep the ferments slow. But I find that the majority of the strong flavour is in the liquid and not the solids so straining some out tempers it a bit.

Sauce making is all a big experiment. I always thought that fermented peppers go best with savory flavours so added onions, carrots, garlic, herbs etc to make a sauce. Last year I made a sauce with fermented ghost pepper and mango and it wasn't that great when I first made it. After a few months, it turned into something special! And this was one I cooked so was sure there would be no more fermentation.

So my suggesting to you is to try and experiment. Your ferments are gonna be pretty stable now so just open one up, take out half a cup and put the rest in the fridge. With that half cup, taste as is and then add things that you may think will complement the flavour. Note that anything that has carbohydrates in it (pretty much any vegetable) will cause the fermentation to restart. You can cook it to stop this. My lazy sauce making takes a ferment and blends with fruit juice and then add salt/sugar as needed, cook and bottle.

I personally think a good sauce is a balance of salt, sweet, acid and heat. The best way to balance this is by taste. The challenge with an uncooked ferment is that any sweet you add (unless something like erythritol) will restart the ferment and the sweetness with disappear so cooking is the only solution. I have also taken to using erythritol to add sweetness but too much and it gets bitter and you have an after taste. Best to add little by little, taste and adjust.

Good luck!!
 
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