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A Simple Guide to Fermenting Chili Peppers for Delicious Hot Sauce

A Simple Guide to Fermenting Chili Peppers for Delicious Hot Sauce

Hot sauce fermentation

Welcome to the beginner's guide to fermenting chili peppers for delicious hot sauce! If you are a hot sauce lover and want to explore the world of hot sauces, you're in the right place. Fermenting chili peppers is a fantastic way to elevate the flavor of your hot sauce and add a unique tangy kick. Whether you prefer a mild sauce or a fiery one, this guide will walk you through the process step by step.

Fermenting chili peppers

Fermenting chili peppers is a simple and rewarding process that allows the peppers to develop complex flavors over time. The fermentation process enhances the natural sweetness and introduces a delightful tanginess to the final hot sauce. Additionally, it helps to preserve the peppers for a longer duration.

Before we jump into the fermentation process, let's gather the ingredients and equipment you'll need:

  • Fresh chili peppers of your choice
  • Water (optional)
  • Non-iodised salt
  • Glass jars or fermentation crocks
  • A fermentation weight or smaller glass jar to act as a weight (optional)
  • A cutting board and a knife
  • Blender
  • Gloves (mandatory, trust us, we learned the hard way)

Step 1: Choosing the chili peppers

The first step in fermenting chili peppers is selecting the right peppers for your hot sauce. You can choose a single type of chili pepper or mix different varieties to create a unique flavor profile. Some popular choices for hot sauce include jalapenos & habaneros. We use Cayenne peppers for Freaky Sauces Lingon & Blueberry and Freaky Sauces Saffron & Rose

Step 2: Preparing the chili peppers

Once you have your chili peppers ready, it's time to prepare them for fermentation:

  • Remove the stems. It's a good idea to wear gloves during this step to protect your hands from the spicy oils.
  • Weigh the peppers without their stalks.
  • Wash the chili peppers thoroughly under running water.

Step 3: Salt fermentation method

If you prefer a simpler method of fermenting chili peppers, you can opt for the salt fermentation method. Here's how:

  • Place the prepared peppers in a blender.
  • Add 3% of salt to the chili peppers by weight. This means if you have 100 grams of chili peppers, add 3 grams of salt.
  • Blend it up until a spicy mash has formed.
  • Get a clean and sanitized jar, for recipe development, we use this one from IKEA
  • Place the jar in a cool and dark location, away from direct sunlight. Don't forget to write date of fermentation on the jar.
  • Allow the chili peppers to ferment for at least 2 weeks. The longer you ferment, the more complex the flavors will be. Have patience.

Step 4: Salt brine fermentation method (optional)

The salt brine fermentation method is another popular way to ferment chili peppers. Here's how it's done:

  • Dissolve 3% of salt in water. For example, if you have 1 liter of water, you'll need 30 grams of salt.
  • Place the prepared chili peppers in a glass jar or fermentation crock.
  • Pour the salt brine solution over the chili peppers, ensuring they are fully submerged.
  • Use a clean fermentation weight or a smaller glass jar filled with water to keep the chili peppers submerged in the brine.
  • Store the jar in a cool and dark place, away from direct sunlight. Don't forget to write date of fermentation on the jar.
  • Allow the chili peppers to ferment for 2 weeks, or longer if desired.

Step 5: Monitoring the fermentation process

During the fermentation process, it's important to monitor the chili peppers regularly. Check for any signs of mold, unusual smells, or discoloration. If you notice any of these signs, discard the batch and start again.

It's normal to see bubbles and a slightly sour smell during fermentation. This indicates that the beneficial bacteria are actively working. If you notice a layer of white or grayish film on top, commonly known as the "kahm yeast," simply skim it off without worrying.

Step 6: Blending and storing the hot sauce

Once the chili peppers have fermented to your desired taste, it's time to transform them into a delicious hot sauce:

  • Carefully strain the fermented chili peppers, reserving the liquid (if you went for the salt brine method).
  • Transfer the fermented chili peppers to a blender or food processor. Add small amounts of the reserved liquid or water/vinegar as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Taste the hot sauce and adjust the flavors by adding salt, vinegar, citrus juice, or sweeteners if desired.
  • Store the hot sauce in sterilized glass bottles or jars. It can be kept in the refrigerator for several months.

Remember, the beauty of homemade hot sauce lies in the endless possibilities of flavor combinations. Don't be afraid to get creative and let your taste buds guide you! Feel free to compare with our Hot Sauces and good luck!