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What about some Oak Aged Hot Sauce?

Anyone ever make barrel-aged hot sauce? I've read many times on here about how people like to let sauce age(usually after fermentation) to develope and mellow flavors.

And we all know about that Tabasco stuff that's apparently fermented for years in oak barrels. But I don't know how that adds anything to the flavor once it's diluted with all of that vinegar.

Anyway...I've got some toasted French oak cubes that I got a few years ago when I was still homebrewing. (Though I actually intended to torch them and infuse in oil to finish off sous-vide steaks at a restaurant I was working at.) You can buy all different types of cubes, spirals, and barrels(though these are pretty pricey).

So, I just have a small pack of these sitting around, and I think it'd be a great idea to let them sit in some sauce for a year or so. It'll have to be later this season though, as I'm about to pull out the rest of my frozen pods to dehydrate and powder.

Does anybody have any ideas on what kind of sauce this would work well with?
Maybe a certain type, or color pepper?
A fruity, or savory sauce?
Definitely fermented.
But should the oak go in during the beginning of fermentation, or after the fermentation is mostly finished, just to age?
Room temp, or in the fridge?
Should the sauce be cooked afterward, or kept raw?

Sorry if that's a lot all at once(though there are plenty of variables I've probably left out). But I like to brainstorm...so I'm just starting the conversation. I'd love to hear any of your ideas if this interests you! So maybe by the time I've got some fresh pods and am ready to make some sauce, I'll have a better idea of what I want to do.
 
Here's where I think I bought the oak cubes.
http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-ingredients/flavorings/oak-products
Now that makes me want to dig around that site and see what other strange things I could use with hot sauce.

I've now searched the forums and read a handful of posts on this subject, but there aren't a lot of opinions on the end results. Maybe it's not as great of an idea as I thought. But screw it, I'm gonna experiment with it anyway!

Thinking about soaking the oak cubes in bourbon before aging.
What about some dark rum with a Scotch Bonnet ferment? Seems fitting!
 
AldenMiller said:
I have completed one ferment with toasted oak cubes in it. I would describe the taste as a strong tabasco since I used all super hots.  I have one going right now (ready in December) that has toasted oak spirals in it.  I would say go for it!
 
-Alden
I am definitely going for it, with the first round of ripe pods I get this season!

I'm assuming your sauces are fermented...do you put in the oak right from the get go, or add them in after primary fermentation is done? (I guess I'm thinking about it like brewing beer, but this is a totally different thing.)

And for how long do you let your sauces go?
 
I was about to suggest geen Sandia aged in wine barrels, but y'alls ideas are much better.
 
Jubnat said:
 
Nice!  Bourbon, beer, and maple syrup...now how about a batch aged in the fish sauce barrels?  That would be interesting.
 
Would it ferment correctly in the used fish sauce barrels? I don't really know much about the chemistry here.
 

MikeUSMC

Extreme Member
AldenMiller said:
I have one going right now (ready in December) that has toasted oak spirals in it.  I would say go for it!
Is that that huge Chocolate "jug of death" that you're talking about? I remember seeing that thread a while back :)
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Most of the barrel flavor is spirits comes from charred barrels which seals them in essence, and brings the oils of the wood to the surface, and also lends a smoky flavor. Uncharred will not taste the same and may not affect at all. I think you can buy charred pieces from whisky barrels though. 
 
I have some used French oak staves from a Cab wine. They are untoasted. Just wondering if they might be able to be used in fermenting sauce. Good idea on toasting them[emoji16]. When should they be added to the sauce?


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I cooked off my ingredients into a simple, low PH sauce base.  I roasted my oak chips to my desired darkness then added them to the sauce and hot packed in a 1/2G jug and let it sit in a cool, dark corner of my basement for 6 months.  After the 6mo, I cracked it open, strained out the oak and finished off the sauce.  I think I used 4oz of American Oak toasted to medium, but it came out quite heavy on the oak.  I'll likely only use 1oz per half gallon next time.
 
 
PtMD989 said:
So when did you add the oak?


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jblo said:
I cooked off my ingredients into a simple, low PH sauce base.  I roasted my oak chips to my desired darkness then added them to the sauce and hot packed in a 1/2G jug and let it sit in a cool, dark corner of my basement for 6 months.  After the 6mo, I cracked it open, strained out the oak and finished off the sauce.  I think I used 4oz of American Oak toasted to medium, but it came out quite heavy on the oak.  I'll likely only use 1oz per half gallon next time.
 
 
 
So was the sauce a fermented sauce or a fresh cooked sauce?


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