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Lemon Drop hot sauce-Help Newbie

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, I am looking for some help venturing into the world of homemade hot sauce. I have a ton a peppers on my Lemon Drop plant, enough that I think I could get a decent batch of hot sauce but definitely not enough to bother canning. My choices are dried and crushed or hot sauce, and since I love how these taste I think they would make a fantastic hot sauce.

 

I have looked online and found a few recipes, but none that are fermented. I am hoping for something closer to what I consider a true hot sauce and not just pureed pepper mash. I also have concern about the ph if I do a simpler sauce to can. Fermenting should last much longer and be safer. I am hoping for a basic starting recipe or at least some pointers on where to start and definitely some information on the fermenting.

 

Any information at all would be a huge help.

post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihocky2 View Post
 

Hi everyone, I am looking for some help venturing into the world of homemade hot sauce. I have a ton a peppers on my Lemon Drop plant, enough that I think I could get a decent batch of hot sauce but definitely not enough to bother canning. My choices are dried and crushed or hot sauce, and since I love how these taste I think they would make a fantastic hot sauce.

 

I have looked online and found a few recipes, but none that are fermented. I am hoping for something closer to what I consider a true hot sauce and not just pureed pepper mash. I also have concern about the ph if I do a simpler sauce to can. Fermenting should last much longer and be safer. I am hoping for a basic starting recipe or at least some pointers on where to start and definitely some information on the fermenting.

 

Any information at all would be a huge help

Here ya go.....lots of other info on here as well for fermented goodies 

http://www.wildfermentation.com/fermented-hot-pepper-sauce/

post #3 of 18

Some good info.

 

Lemon Pepper Sauce should be good. Do you have any seeds you would part with ; I would like to grow some . I like a tasty Chile , that' s why I opt for Serannos .

 

Thanks and as always . . .

 

 

 

 

P.S.: please attach your location to your 'Profile' , thanks , Stan :biggrin:

post #4 of 18

I ferment sliced jalapenos in a 3.5% brine (make enough to cover the slices, you don't get much moisture from the peppers) in a quart jar for 2-3 weeks, then strain off and reserve the brine.  Puree the pepper slices until smooth, then you can add back some brine or vinegar to get the consistency you want.  I usually ferment some sliced onion and garlic along with the peppers to give some added flavor.  If you don't add back all of the brine, save the rest.  It makes a killer "NC" style sauce for pulled pork just the way it is.  Also, if you use the jalapenos like I do you can use it for the heat in guacamole and it does not discolor the avocado with red hot sauce and also seems to slow down oxidation so the green color lasts longer.  You are correct about the keeping abilities of fermented products.  I regularly keep them a year or longer under refrigeration with no problem.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all of the information so far. I have started gaining more information now, but have also started raising more questions.

 

Is there any reason to start the mash fermenting in an open air container vs putting it in an airlock right off the bat, I have seen both methods suggested?

 

I have seen some suggest adding a bacteria starter and others just add salt to the mash, is one better than the other or is it just preference?

 

What would be the minimum amount of salt to add, and would you layer it or just mix it in. I have seen up to 6% suggested, but no minimum. I would rather start with less salt and add to flavor later on than start with too much for my taste.

 

Is there any reason to boil the sauce after it is done? I have seen some say to boil it for safety and others say it is not needed. Also, how do you sterilize bottles with that small of an opening?

post #6 of 18

Boil it for safety? Fermentation done properly is quite safe.  Boiling will kill all of the bacteria you just worked hard to get and that will help to preserve the sauce.  I have kept my fermented jalapeno sauce refrigerated for a year with no problems.  You really don't need a starter, the required bacteria are already on the peppers.  The salt just gives them an advantage over other bacteria until they can become dominate in the mix.  The chart I have says 3.5% to 5% brine for peppers, I use 3.5%, but I don't puree the peppers until after they have fermented.

 

As for fermenting, you want the peppers (or mash if you go that way) to be under the brine for proper fermentation.  If you use a mash, an airlock might be a good idea since it may be hard to keep mash under the brine and an airlock will exclude oxygen from the vessel after fermentation starts.  I use slices and have no problem keeping them under the brine.  As long as you keep the fermentables under the brine, the brine itself acts as an airlock.  I use quart jars for peppers, make a "weight" from a ziplock bag with some brine in it to force the peppers below the brine surface, then screw on the top loosely to hold it all in place, which I suppose acts as an airlock as well.  Don't screw the top on tightly or you be cleaning up an exploded jar at some point.  

 

For the bottles, sanitizing them will be enough (hot water and soap with a good rinse) you don't need to sterilize them as long as you leave the sauce unboiled, the living hot sauce will suppress any undesirables that may sneak in.  Of course if you boil, you should sterilize since there will be no bacteria left to stabilize the mix.  If you want to sterilize your bottles I suppose you could fill them with water and then submerge them in a pot of water and bring them to a boil.

post #7 of 18

I ferment all mine, plus after fermentation all the solids are extracted,dehydrated and processed in a coffee mill, added back to the product, refrigerated, aged a few weeks, tweaked and sampled, simmered then tweaked some more for final product. Then bottled hot and I make my hot sauces shelf stable.

 

Currently working on a Chipotle Hot Sauce and a Pomegranate' Hot Sauce, the PHS has been fermenting 6 weeks, just waiting for the pomegranate's to come in.

 

Pineapple Habanero Hot Sauce (best to date)

 

Fire in the Hole Hot Sauce

post #8 of 18

Here's my Hottest to date, 3 drops on a plate of spaghetti is enough heat.

 

Sorry could not find the original post.

 

SQWIBS  "Lemon-Lime" Hot Sauce

Started November 6th, 2011.

Before you start, Read my SQWIBS Fire In The Hole Hot Sauce.

 
8090195677_8788f6ff0d_o.jpg




Many will read this and say, "that's too much work for hot sauce", but quite the contrary it's easy and not much work at all.
The process takes a long time but you don't do the work, the peppers do the work.


 

  • Ingredients.
8090196189_18850215b5_z.jpg



 

  • Zest lemons and limes, I use a potato peeler instead of a zester.
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  • Run everything through a food processor, except seeds and rinds.
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8090202188_4353b64f7a_z.jpg
 
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  • 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt or Sea salt and 1/4 cup of vinegar.
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  • I did not like the crock method, there was too much mold growing on top so I switched to a large jar.
8090204200_4e859d93e4_z.jpg


 

  • A one gallon Ziploc bag filled with water is then placed inside the jar. Some folks will make a 6% brine with distilled water and non-iodized salt to use in the bag in case it were to leak or rupture.
8090201471_833b6b3ee3_z.jpg
 
  • The jar is then covered with a rag and secured with a rubber band.
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  • Stored in an area out of the light.
8090203239_8d3e909704_z.jpg


 

  • January 20, 2012 time to strain and dehydrate the mash. Remove the Ziploc bag carefully and skim the top of any unwanted mold that may have formed. If you miss some Don't worry, it will be fine.
8090203801_99e67d82f2_z.jpg
 
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8090205253_3470d60939_z.jpg

 

8090209882_2b66c7a704_z.jpg

 

8090208141_2d29c85ea8_z.jpg
 
8090207357_0e078ebb94_z.jpg

 

 
  • Mash ready to be dehydrated, the better you strained the mash, the quicker dehydration will be. The mash was a little wetter than usual but I wasn't too worried about dehydration time.
8090208727_2b43ca105a_z.jpg

 

8090212420_9510eb40f5_z.jpg

 

8090210481_a6e32a5b33_z.jpg

 

  • Added some onion powder and garlic salt.
8090214790_f15e559644_z.jpg


 

  • Well after a few hours of the dehydrator running, I was banished to the workshop, the smell was bothering everyone and my two daughters had a school dance the next day and everyone was meeting at our house for pictures.... my timing sucks.
8090212129_b9def8e0b9_z.jpg


 

  • January 22nd, 2012. Time to grind the dehydrated mash. Taste tested the hot sauce by itself and it is very good as is, then tested on some eggs and scrapple... wow it's pretty hot . At this point you can just use the hot sauce as is and use the dehydrated mash as a spice. I decided to add it back to the sauce to give it a thicker viscosity.
8090216422_dd6643691b_z.jpg

 

 

  • First Ring of dehydrated mash.
8090217666_d3274666c6_z.jpg

 

8090215099_2d044dc996_z.jpg
 
8090216389_9587f33ff0_z.jpg

 
  • At this point my nose was running and I was coughing like crazy.
8090198744_18157c156b_z.jpg
 
8090220134_9fd3abbdac_z.jpg


 
  • Ground mash is then added, place the lid tightly on the jar, cover with a towel and shake like crazy.
8090223116_a173c9ca9c_z.jpg
 
8090217491_90722f1b7b_z.jpg
 
8090221306_e1a091b394_z.jpg

 
  • 2nd ring of dehydrated mash.
8090223125_054ac18c3a_z.jpg

 

8090227340_624d375142_z.jpg
 
8090229052_76a97da996_z.jpg


 

  • 2nd ring of dehydrated mash is ground to a powder.
8090226189_820dc5d1fb_z.jpg

 

 

  • I added the rest of the ground mash, placed the lid tightly on the jar, covered with a towel and shook like crazy.
  • After I added the second ring of mash I washed my hands real good and walked into the family room. My daughters had a few friends stay over after the dance and they were all sitting there playing Wii... coughing. I could hear them say, "why are we all coughing", needless to say they had to vacate the family room. It was actually pretty funny.
8090226795_65f49d3969_z.jpg


 

  • This will rest another week in the refrigerator then be taste tested, tweaked if needed, bottled and then finally labeled.
8090230702_17b3f33215_z.jpg
post #9 of 18

SQWIB - What do you find to be the advantage of drying and grinding the mash before adding it back to the brine vs just pureeing the whole batch in the first place?

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihocky2 View Post
 

Thanks for all of the information so far. I have started gaining more information now, but have also started raising more questions.

 

Is there any reason to start the mash fermenting in an open air container vs putting it in an airlock right off the bat, I have seen both methods suggested?

 

I have seen some suggest adding a bacteria starter and others just add salt to the mash, is one better than the other or is it just preference?

 

What would be the minimum amount of salt to add, and would you layer it or just mix it in. I have seen up to 6% suggested, but no minimum. I would rather start with less salt and add to flavor later on than start with too much for my taste.

 

Is there any reason to boil the sauce after it is done? I have seen some say to boil it for safety and others say it is not needed. Also, how do you sterilize bottles with that small of an opening?

 

The reason some do this is it helps with Lacto fermentation due to "wild yeast" in the air, I used to use the watery stuff off the top of the yogurt to start fermentation but now just toss everything in and pop on an airlock.

It also helps to add something with a little bit of sugar content, I have used sweet pepper, onion, carrots, pineapples, mangos, Raspberries, tomatoes... you get the picture.

Ill try to post a pic of my latest batch I am working on.

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by coast2coast View Post
 

SQWIB - What do you find to be the advantage of drying and grinding the mash before adding it back to the brine vs just pureeing the whole batch in the first place?

 

You can control the viscosity as well as the flavor, when I'm making a hot sauce I am looking for flavor, heat is next in line.

You can liquify the crap out of the peppers and will never get the same result as drying then processing to a powder, I find that it stays suspended and dont settle as much and without the aid of other ingredients.

I sometimes use the powder to make spices as well.

 

 

  • The fire in the hole is just liquid and not as good as my Pineapple Habanero, but is fine for heat, with decent flavor
     

 

  • Pineapple Habanero is a Thicker sauce.

 

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by coast2coast View Post
 

Boil it for safety? Fermentation done properly is quite safe.  Boiling will kill all of the bacteria you just worked hard to get and that will help to preserve the sauce.  I have kept my fermented jalapeno sauce refrigerated for a year with no problems.  You really don't need a starter, the required bacteria are already on the peppers.  The salt just gives them an advantage over other bacteria until they can become dominate in the mix.  The chart I have says 3.5% to 5% brine for peppers, I use 3.5%, but I don't puree the peppers until after they have fermented.

 

As for fermenting, you want the peppers (or mash if you go that way) to be under the brine for proper fermentation.  If you use a mash, an airlock might be a good idea since it may be hard to keep mash under the brine and an airlock will exclude oxygen from the vessel after fermentation starts.  I use slices and have no problem keeping them under the brine.  As long as you keep the fermentables under the brine, the brine itself acts as an airlock.  I use quart jars for peppers, make a "weight" from a ziplock bag with some brine in it to force the peppers below the brine surface, then screw on the top loosely to hold it all in place, which I suppose acts as an airlock as well.  Don't screw the top on tightly or you be cleaning up an exploded jar at some point.  

 

For the bottles, sanitizing them will be enough (hot water and soap with a good rinse) you don't need to sterilize them as long as you leave the sauce unboiled, the living hot sauce will suppress any undesirables that may sneak in.  Of course if you boil, you should sterilize since there will be no bacteria left to stabilize the mix.  If you want to sterilize your bottles I suppose you could fill them with water and then submerge them in a pot of water and bring them to a boil.

 

x2

 

 

I do however bring everything to a boil for some time before bottling to stop the fermentation

post #13 of 18

I prefer not to stop fermentation, of course refrigeration slows it considerably.  I prefer to let the natural fermentation proceed and usually I am pleased with the results.  For instance, I fermented some asparagus in April and it was OK.  It's been in the fridge since then and I sampled some today - it was fantastic!  I currently have in the fridge all fermented: kimchi, sauerkraut, lemons, asparagus, garlic, jalapeno hot sauce, kefir, and salsa.  The salsa was good after three days, after 3 weeks more in the fridge it was heaven.

post #14 of 18
If you are bottling fermented foods and not stopping fermentation with heat to kills the bugs and stop fermentation you are risking bottle bombs. Refrigeration will generally slow it down but there are some bacteria that can ferment near freezing. For one bottle you are constantly using it isn't really an issue. For a large batch you plan to last a year or more it can be.

Most peppersauce bottles are not rated to handle positve pressure, they are designed for negative pressure (think canning and the vacuum seal). For long term storage I woild look at getting some flip top beer bottles.
post #15 of 18

I use mostly quart canning jars with lids loosely applied for storage, so any pressure can bleed off.  My hot sauce, kefir, and lemons are in a flip top types of containers that have rubber gaskets,  No problems with any of them yet.

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

Wow, thanks a lot for the information so far guys. If anyone else has more, please keep it coming.

 

I saw a mention in one of the posts to distilled water. Is there a threat that the chlorine in tap water could kill the bacteria and cause problems with fermentation? I can either use distilled water or go to a friends and get some well water if I need to.

 

For my first try it will probably be only one bottle. So far from what I have learned here and several sites I have been reading I have put this together as my plan of attack. I have a few more points I am questioning, but I think it is a good start so far.

 

1) Chop peppers in a food processor to a medium coarseness and add 4% kosher salt.

2) Place in canning jar and add water to cover by 1/2"

3) This is one step I am still not sure about. I am debating just using a ziplock of brine to cover the mix or using an air lock. This is probably a dumb question, but the idea of the airlock is to keep oxygen out to prevent mold, what about the oxygen that is already in the jar? Does that get pushed out fast enough by the CO2 from fermenting to prevent the mold?

4) Allow at least 6 weeks in a dark area to ferment. My kitchen does not get much sunlight, so it is only when we are in that there is light, is that okay or am I better in a cabinet?

5) Test acidity level with litmus paper and add vinegar as needed. I know 4.6 is the minimum for hot bath canning. What is the minimum for fermented products to be safe without boiling?

6) Clean bottles, strain the sauce and mash solids as desired and bottle.

7) Enjoy.

post #17 of 18

Do not use chlorinated water or iodized salt for your ferment. 

post #18 of 18

Better yet do not use water at all, if you have some peppers that are a bit on the meaty side, the salt extracts enough liquid to make a brine.

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