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

Where did I go wrong?

Greetings Sauce Gurus!
I think I may've fubared this batch with water as I've never used it before? My last batch was so thick it would barely pour out of the bottle so I thought I'd try adding water to thin it out but now all the bottles got this major separation as seen in the below pic. It still tastes good but I've tossed it as there was only about 10 bottles.
badsauce.jpg


Ingredients and cooking method:
25 Nagas
25 Scorpions
4 Squeezed Limes
4 Pineapple slices
2 Cups Organic Vinegar
2 Cups of Distilled water
3 tbl spoon of Kosher Salt
1 tbl sppon of black pepper
1 1 clove of garlic
3 shots of Grain alcohol

I simmered everything on the stove for 10 minutes to soften it up, then I blended it all until it was thinner then a crack whore runway model, then I cooked it up and boiled it for about 15 minutes then bottled. The next day I was horrified to the point that I swore to give up trying to make sauce and almost cut my wrists with a plastic spork:P

Where did I go wrong? Was it in fact the water?
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
I've never used water. To me it's a no-no. BUT since you did you need an emulsifier. Xanthan gum, etc. Comes in handy with any sauce that will separate, water or not.
 
Once it's cooked it's generally a done deal and too late. No need for xanthum gum, carrots do the job better with no separation. The key is to have enough liquid initially to simmer it down to just the runny side of where you want the thickness to be. Then simply pull it off the heat and bottle it up.

Salute', TB.
 
Water + alcohol = big no no, specially when you boil them together. Like THP, I won't use it at all. You're better off omitting the water, simmering the sauce down and adding a little more vinegar if it needs thinning.
 
Carrots can thicken a sauce and keep it from separating?

Couldn't you have used a fat separator to remove most if not all of the water and saved the sauce? Lot of peppers to just toss.
 
thehotpepper.com said:
I've never used water. To me it's a no-no. BUT since you did you need an emulsifier. Xanthan gum, etc. Comes in handy with any sauce that will separate, water or not.

Never use water! I use a pinch of corn starch sometimes if it's too thin and needs to be pulled together. But ONLY A PINCH! And maybe only 1/2 a shot of the grain alcohol. You just need the flavor so save the other 2 1/2 shots for yourself.

Also, open a bottle, take a thin straw and with your finger on the top, stick the straw all the way to the bottom of the bottle. Release finger for a second just to capture what's on the bottom. Taste it to find out exactly what's sinking to the bottom.
 
Thank you very much everyone! H2O = No! :)

Might I ask of one more question, why is alcohol bad?

I'm not a chemist and never looked into cooking with it, I just got the idea one time experimenting and have then always added some grain alcohol to my sauces in hopes that it's help kill any bacteria, make it last longer, and add a little kick. But hearing it's a bad thing concerns me so I'll stop and save the booze for my belly.
 
Sorry dude - I didn't mean alcohol's bad (like Mr Mackey), what I meant was that putting alcohol and water together ain't a good idea coz they don't mix. Pour a small amount of any spirit into a glass of water and you'll see for yourself. Alcohol is an oily compound - water ain't. That's why your sauce is seperating.
 
Badger said:
Sorry dude - I didn't mean alcohol's bad (like Mr Mackey), what I meant was that putting alcohol and water together ain't a good idea coz they don't mix. Pour a small amount of any spirit into a glass of water and you'll see for yourself. Alcohol is an oily compound - water ain't. That's why your sauce is seperating.

:?: :?: :?:

Distilleries mix their product with water everyday. Most whiskey is aged at a higher alcohol content (80% alcohol) and then diluted with water prior to bottling to around 40% to 45% alcohol. Oil and water don't mix, but the same can't be said for alcohol and water.
 
Pay no attention to these purveyors of misinformation. Water in hot sauce a no no? What is vinegar....hmmmm...label on my apple cider vin says...."diluted water to 5% solution".

Scarpetti and THP....FAIL!

The carrots add natural starch for thickening.


Salute', TB.
 
Silver_Surfer said:
:?: :?: :?:

Distilleries mix their product with water everyday. Most whiskey is aged at a higher alcohol content (80% alcohol) and then diluted with water prior to bottling to around 40% to 45% alcohol. Oil and water don't mix, but the same can't be said for alcohol and water.

Yeah, you're right SS - Distilleries do dilute their final product, but they don't then mix it in with even more water, vinegar and vegetable proteins and boil it. But i only wrote half of what I meant to in my post - so it did look totally wrong. What I meant to add was that if PF had left out the 2 cups of water the sauce would have been fine. There's already enough water in the vinegar.
 
Well, if you do add too much water it can always be cooked down to reduce it. Hardly a problem that can't be corrected with reduction or thickening agents. Just don't bottle until its ready and if unsure pour a sample into a glass and let it sit awhile. Remember, most sauces are labeled with "shake well before using" anyway. ;)
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
texas blues said:
Pay no attention to these purveyors of misinformation. Water in hot sauce a no no? What is vinegar....hmmmm...label on my apple cider vin says...."diluted water to 5% solution".

Scarpetti and THP....FAIL!

The carrots add natural starch for thickening.


Salute', TB.
Water as an ingredient, not the water that's in ingredients fool.

To each their own when making sauce. But it's not a fail. It's a preference.

None of my sauces have needed added water.
 
I don't think the separation is totally a problem with the water.....

and yeah water and alcohol should mix well enough but the problem as I see it isn't with the water so much.....It's with the alcohol itself.

Forgetting about the water for a minute.....(as most of the natural and juicy ingredients i.e. tomatoes, are full of water anyway), the alcohol won't mix with the sauce in general.....Every sauce I've every been given that has had alcohol in it is ALWAYS separated......

It's not a alcohol/water problem.....It's a alcohol/sauce problem.

Just my 2 cents.......

And as THP stated.....Xanthan gum is the best thing to have when making sauce cause it's natural and does the some if not better job than a carrot and it doesn't really have a flavour. Carrot can add a flavour you might not want....
 
texas blues said:
Moy...what happened to the "muppet"?

THP took the next step in picture evolution and added a pic of 2 naked guys spooning on the beach....:lol: He was asked ever so nicely to remove it about 2 minutes afetr it made it's appearance.....:D and he choose not to replace it with anything....
 
I have to chime in here because I might be the only person seeing the obvious. All of your alcohol evaporated very soon into the boil. So, the alcohol was never a problem.

However, the assessment of your problem is pretty easy. To give you an idea of what I do, I use 2 pounds of peppers when I make my hot sauce. Then I like to use around 1 cup of lime juice (from the store and/or freshly squeezed) and 1 cup of vinegar (max). I would imagine that you had around two pounds of peppers, but you doubled your liquid compared to my recipe. The separation was due to having too much liquid. I would imagine that you might have had to approximately double your simmering time.

Next time, try using about 2 pounds of peppers and about a pint of acidic liquid, and boil until you have an appreciable amount of viscosity. I like your use of pineapple, and I think that helps the consistency of hot sauce. I'd be careful with that much salt; three tablespoons is quite a lot! I always use one teaspoon of salt in my sauces.
 
Top