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Made my first brined Thai chili sauce. I had basic foundation and scaling questions.

Hey guys! I made my first hot sauce! It's call River of Blood. It's brined (salt, sugar, water, vinegar for one year) Thai chili's, garlic, and fresh blood oranges. I made a test batch and it was really delicious with a nice consistency. The first time around I roasted the garlic in canola oil separately and cooked the peppers, oranges, and brine and a little more vinegar. I broight them mixture to boiling and then let them simmer for 20 minutes before hitting them with the vita mix. I slowly added in some of the garlic oil and strained. I was really pleased with the consistency.

Tonight I went for the glory again and tried to replicate it for second test batch to start scaling the sauce. I used the same brine method but for two weeks. I bought bottles a food scale and star San to sanitize everything. I'm trying to do it right! Aiming to make 24 bottles for Co workers. So I decided to cook the peppers to boiling and simmer with just the broth. I left out roasting the garlic and oil due to learning about botulism. I'm super new to this. The test bottle is only 5oz and realized even after weighing everything I didn't have enough liquid. The whole damn thing burned. I really should have kept my eye on it.

So I tried again and I didn't use enough brine and I ran out of the brine from the Mason jar of peppers, so I added more vinegar and water. It turned out I had too much liquid and I added too much salt this time. I also didn't cook the blood oranges this time but added them at the end. The consistency is like spicy chili water and it tastes so bland in comparison to my first baby. A real let down!!

So I got three several part questions:
1. Is it necessary to cook the brined peppers before blending and then add blood orange and blend again or should I just cook it all together and then blend? Is there a difference in cooking brined peppers and garlic versus raw?

2. If there is vinegar in the brine and I am shooting for a 3-6 (My friend that works a brewery is testing the ph) month shelf life without fermentation is it overkill or even necessary to add additional vinegar to the mixture before bottling?

3. Would using carrots give me the thicker consistency I'm looking for without altering the flavor too much?

The one on the right is the first attempt and the one on the left is it's watery boring cousin.

Any and all feedback is so appreciated!!
 

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You are right, don't use oil ... you can have very bad stuff.

1) Personally, I blend everything before cooking.
2) Depends on the PH you target. I would say adding more vinegar will make it safer but if you are below 4.5PH it should be OK.
3) Carrots won't arm but keep an eye on the PH level as carrot might increase it by a bit. To achieve thicker consistency, you can either use gum or let it reduce while simmering it.
 
So it turned out pretty great. The third test bottle was better than the original. Time to get the PH tested and do the big cook. I was aiming for a darker red color consistent with color of blood. Does anyone have experience with using beet root powder? Does it alter flavor significantly?
 
I find that if i cook it down before blending im able to make more sauce but open to hear reasoning on the other side.
 
Haven't really found sound reasoning either way yet
 
Your sauce sounds delicious!!
 
Thanks for the compliment! With the hot fill hold method it is my understanding that only the bottles need to be sanitized (i use star san) and not the caps themselves. Am I understanding this correctly?
 
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