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Fermenting Hot Sauce and Other Stuff

Fermenting Hot Sauce and Other Stuff

This month (October, 2023) there will be a discussion about fermenting hot sauce and other non-beer food and drink, led by Steve Smith.

London Amateur Brewers

October 09, 2023

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  1. • Stuff chilis in a jar • Cover with salty

    water • Pop a lid on Here’s a five-minute video, also in the References slide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrnrnwesW9Q In a nutshell…
  2. • Lactobacillus (lacto) is a bacteria (not yeast) • Converts

    sugar in food/liquid to lactic acid • Lowers the pH and has a clean, sour taste • Present in Berliner weisse, Gose, yogurt, sauerkraut, tepache, kimchi Lactobacillus
  3. • A lacto ferment is anaerobic, food must be submerged,

    use glass weights, fat slices of big onions, large cabbage leaf • Keep oxygen out at all costs, like cling film on a kettle sour • 3.5% brine with unchlorinated water, eg, Tesco Ashbeck. Salt stops other pathogens outcompeting the lacto. Include weight of the veg, or not… • Add any fresh fruit after fermentation is complete – fermenting the fruit will kill its flavour • Clean and sanitise everything! Main points
  4. • Clean all vegetables in water, chop into chunks. Smash

    garlics with the side of a kitchen knife to release flavour • No need to remove chilli seeds at this stage. It’s the white veins that contains the heat, not the seeds. • Can either sieve the seeds after ferment or blitz it all together with the seeds in a blender • Stuff it all tight with headspace and cover with brine • Ferment at room temperature out of direct sunlight Preparing the ferment 1
  5. • As with beer, put the lid/airlock on and leave

    it alone for 1 to 4 weeks – no lifting the lid • It will go cloudy during fermentation • It will clear again when finished and lacto has sunk to the bottom • See References slide for great info on how three different strains of lactobacillus take turns to ferment sauerkraut Preparing the ferment 2
  6. • If you oxygen gets in, kahm yeast (a wild

    yeast/bacteria combo, like a pellicle) may form – top pic. Scoop it out with sanitised spoon. It’s OK to leave and no need to dump the batch, though it may affect flavour. • See article in References slide • Fuzzy blue, black or green mold – bottom pic. BIN THE BATCH, it’s bad and potentially toxic, though not deadly Keep kahm and carry on…
  7. • Like sour beer, best practice is to keep lacto

    ferments away from beer. Use a separate equipment and/or room if possible • Ferment in a dedicated brew fridge, or cupboard • Starsan will kill bacteria and yeast • See References slide for Sui Generis video Cross contamination!
  8. • Strain the jar of fermented veg through a big

    sieve into a big saucepan – keep the brine aside • Blitz the peppers and veg together, adding some of the brine for a thinner consistency • Either strain the blend into a saucepan with a sieve and the back of a spoon, or a food mill (cheap). Or blitz it all up in a fancy blender (can be pricey) Post ferment processing
  9. • Pro: will help make the sauce shelf stable by

    stopping fermentation • Con: will kill off probiotics, the stuff that’s good for your gut, affects flavour • Kill bad bacteria with heat and acid • Stir sauce constantly in a saucepan at 63°C for 30 minutes, or 72°C for 15 seconds to kill pathogens such as E coli and botulism • Recommend pH < 4.0 – lower it with cider vinegar for added flavour • See pasteurisation guide in References slide Pasteurise for food safety
  10. • Bottle hot, around 80°C, if possible • Invert the

    bottle for a few minutes to pasteurise the inside of the lid • Leave bottles to cool before labeling • Pasteurised, sauce will last for months (though refrigerate after opening) • Keep unpasteurised sauce in fridge to avoid bottle bombs from refermentation, and eat with a month Bottling and shelf life
  11. • Keep the mash/strained pulp aside • Dry it out

    in slowly the oven, a bit like drying fresh hops or kveik yeast • When completely dry, grind in a coffee grinder or pestle and mortar • Store in an airtight jar and use in place of chilli powder • Delicious, funky and warming, not as hot as the sauce Tasty by-product
  12. • 1 litre jar • 250g chilli peppers (red jalapeno,

    cayenne types) • 1 bell pepper for sugars, bulk and colour • 1 head garlic • 3.5% brine – unchlorinated water to cover • Should get you 3x 150ml finished sauce, about 450ml Recipe: SriRacha
  13. • 2 litre jar • 20 scotch bonnet peppers •

    2 heads of garlic • 2 bell peppers and/or carrots • 3.5% brine – unchlorinated water • Large tin mango pulp – mix in post ferment when pasteurising • Should get you 4x 150ml finished sauce, about 600ml Recipe: Scotch bonnet and mango
  14. References and links REFERENCES The whole process in five minutes

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrnrnwesW9Q How starsan kills bacteria and yeast – Sui Generis Brewing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JC9n50RdVo Keep kahm, ferment on – the yeast and bacteria in a pellicle https://escarpmentlabs.com/blogs/resources/fermented-hot-sauce-k eep-kahm-ferment-on How to pasteurize a hot Sauce https://hotsaucehell.com/2023/07/11/how-to-pasteurize-a-hot-sauce Bonus sauerkraut article – great info on how three strains of lactobacillus take turns to ferment https://www.makesauerkraut.com/how-long-to-ferment-sauerkraut HOTLINKS… ATX hot sauce – lots of good videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn2ym9M8Dugquq1WE4SHSIw Chillichump – good starter article, also see his YouTube channel https://chillichump.com/fermented-hot-sauce-recipe-guide Fermented Hot Sauce Society Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2186993828252093 SHOP Buy chillis https://onestopchillishop.co.uk Buy bottles, lids and things https://www.sen5es.co.uk/sauce-bottles