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fermenting Pepper mash questions

So I've done a few fermentations the past 2-3 months. I wanted to give a go at doing a mash fermentation. I had some ghost peppers and bunch of left over habanero.

Started them both on 7/20. Blended them up, weighed the mash weight, 3.5% salt, put them in regular ball jars and put them on the garage shelf that I've been leaving my fermentations on.

7 days had gone by and I decided to take a quick gander at them. They looked like nothing had happened to them. No liquid forming, no bubbles, nothing. So i decided to add a little bit of water to them. Sealed them back up and back on the shelf. 4 days later look at them again and mash and water had separated, but still no bubbles or anything. Decided to take a check of the pH level. The ghost mash had a 5.1 pH and the Habanero had a 4.8 pH. I would think the pH level would have dropped by being 11 days in. I read online adding a bit of sugar could kick start things off, so I add a bit of sugar to each, mixed them back up and put them back on the shelf. Went out to check on them again today. Kahm yeast on the top of the habanero, nothing on top of the ghost mash except it separated again but this time there was bunch of little tiny bubbles around the top rim of the mash. I wanted to see if the pH has dropped at all. Checked again and they both hadn't changed in pH at all. The habanero was still at 4.8, but the ghost mash was reading at 5.5pH this time (wth?!) I also started a pure jalapeno brine mash on the same day as these two others, that bad boy was active as heck within 2 days, opened that up today and brine pH was at 3.2.

My question is about if this is safe. Is the ghost mash and habanero mash fermentation bad? Does the pH not matter at this stage of the fermentation. The reason I'm so curious about this is, I'm sorry and apologize up front if this is stupid, the possibility of C. Bot. growing. Being that it only takes C. Bot 3-4 hours to start reproducing and the pH of these mashes look to have been stable and definitely above the 4.6pH threshold, does that make this dangerous. I understand the salt content creates a hostile environment for C. Bot to grow in. I know I'm probably just scared since I'm new at fermentation, but especially so since it's my first time doing mash. They've never had any retired LAB at the bottom of the jars like my brine fermentations have within a few days. They do smell good, the habanero much more then the ghost mash but then again ghost peppers really don't have much smell to begin with.

Can someone explain what the heck is going on, and if this is normal for a mash fermentation?

ghost-mash.jpg habanero-mash.jpg ghost-mash-2.png
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The co2 pushes the peppers up. Try using a lid with self burping (airlock) to let gas escape without having to open the jar and let in oxygen again… and try a mason jar ferment weight (or just a ziplock with water in it) to keep the mash down. You can buy supplies for a few bucks, or make them from various components - airlock, mason lid, drill, silico grommet - for a few pennies. There are tons of options out there, including Amazon.

I rarely mess with the fermentation any sooner than two weeks in. i’m not sure you need to worry so much about PH at this stage, but every time you let oxygen into that jar, you’re inviting some unwanted growth of bad bacteria on the peppers that aren’t covered by their own brine. The airlock will eventually push all the oxygen out and not let anything back in. The weight will help keep the peppers, salt, flavors all working together.

I hope this is helpful advice for dry salting a mash. I’ve noticed a lot of fermentation advice questions on this forum go unanswered. This one is more focused on recipes. Look around for other sources of advice. There are lots out there.