Looking for a good hot pepper vinegar/fermented sauce

2ajsmamaAugust 30, 2011

Someone mentioned a fermented sauce made from pepper mash in Joy of Pickling but I can't find it.

Ball Complete, Joy, and Small Batch all have "chili sauces" but those are sweet and tomato-ey or fruity. Though I might try some tomato- or fruit-based sauces with the Hinkelhatz peppers. I'm looking for something similar to Frank's Red Hot or Tabasco type sauce.


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Granted this isn't fermented, but I'm waiting for 4-1/2 lbs of hot peppers to try this sriracha sauce. No tomatoes - just peppers, garlic, vinegar with a little salt and sugar.

Here is a link that might be useful: sriaracha

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 10:18AM
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Thanks pixie lou. Safe to can all those peppers and garlic with only 3C vinegar? I guess since you're straining out the solids? But I'd like confirmation.

For those who don't want to follow the link:

4 1/2 lbs red ripe hot peppers
25 cloves garlic
8 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 cups white vinegar

Peppers, stemmed defrosted and rinsed go in the pot.

Rest of the ingredients are added, and pot is brought to a simmer until the peppers are soft, about 25 minutes in this case.

Peppers are pureed in batches, then forced through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds and skins. The liquid is then added back to the pot, I simmered it for another ten minutes.

link says to BWB "about 20 minutes".

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 10:46AM
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This one looks safer to me - almost as much vinegar, and lots fewer peppers/garlic cloves. The author based it on the Singapore Chili Sauce in Ball Complete.

I have a friend ask me last night what to do with a lot of hot peppers and garlic (she didn't want tomato-based sauce, even though I have tons of tomatoes I could give her). Doesn't have to be canned, but since I really don't know how many peppers (or how much refrigerator space) she has, it might be good to be able to.

Any comments on this second recipe?

Here it is for those who don't want to follow the link (given for source):

Homemade Sriracha

Adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and Food52
Yields 10 4-oz jars


Feel free to use whichever chiles you want. Refer to the Theory of Chile-tivity � the bigger the chiles used, the less spicy the sauce will be.


1 pound various chile peppers (your preference depending on heat desired), coursely chopped
8 garlic cloves, smashed
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups white distilled vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar

The night before you plan to can the sriracha, add the peppers, garlic, and salt to a large bowl. Cover with the vinegar. Let stand overnight or at least 8 hours.

The next day, prepare canner, jars, and lids. Add the entire mixture to a medium saucepan. Add the sugar to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Blend in a food processor or blender until mixture is smooth.

Pour into jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Process for 10 minutes at a rolling boil (adjusting for altitude), turn off heat, and let stand in canner for an additional 5 minutes. Remove and let cool before storing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sriracha sauce based on Ball Complete Singapore

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 7:11AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Fermented hot pepper mash is just what the name implies - fully fermented hot peppers (garlic is optional) that after fermenting is finished are mashed (pureed) and diluted to consistency and flavor desired with straight vinegar.

It stores in the fridge indefinitely. Canning it would be the same as canning any other fully fermented vegetable ie: kraut. The shelf safety comes from the fermentation process and the straight undiluted vinegar so the processing is just to create a vacuum seal on the jar.

Bottom line - it isn't a "sauce" but a flavored vinegar.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 11:51AM
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Thanks Dave - when I started the thread last year I was looking for fermented sauce, maybe I should have started a new thread but this one came up when I was searching for "sriracha". My friend lives in an apartment (with cats!) I don't know if she has a good place to ferment.

What is your opinion of these 2 recipes (esp. the last one)? Is either safe for canning since they're straight vinegar (I'm a bit worried it's not enough vinegar in the one pixie lou posted)?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 12:05PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

As with all straight vinegar recipes there is no pH issues. The issue with both is density and the processing time required for adequate heat penetration. It is a guess.

If the mix was 1/2 solids and 1/2 liquids like with soups then a relatively short processing time is needed. The thicker it gets the more time required. Guess work.

The recipe you link to has made a lot of changes to the Ball recipe. It isn't just a matter of leaving out the raisins and ginger as she implies. She has also changed the proportions, increased the garlic, and reduced the sugar a ton.

Is it safe to make and store in the fridge or freeze? Sure. To can? Probably but can't say for sure. I'd just make the Ball recipe and leave out the raisins and ginger and then not worry about it.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 1:52PM
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I can't link to it now because my work computer doesn't allow me to access any websites that are not based in the US, but google "well preserved fermented pepper sauce". Joel and Dana in Canada have recently posted a fermented pepper hot sauce that they have been perfecting over a few seasons.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 3:14PM
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david52 Zone 6

I've posted several times in the past about fermenting hot peppers, and IMHO, the result is considerably better than the sauces made with vinegar.

I'm getting ready to ferment two batches, one with peppers that have turned red - these I've picked and frozen as they turn red - and one batch with green ones. I've grown several varieties of hot peppers - jalapenos, Chili Noir, several of my own inadvertent (eh-hem) 'hybrids' from saved seed.

What I'll do is follow the salt ratio for sauerkraut - 3 tablespoons for 5 lbs peppers. So weigh the peppers, drag the food processor outside and chop up them up, then put the result in a 3 gallon crock with the appropriate amount of salt along with some whey or kefir powder, then weigh it all down with plastic bags filled with water, set the crocks in a cool place, put them in a saucer so any spillage won't eat the floor, and then wait 3 - 5 weeks, checking occasionally.

That result will be run through a food mill to remove skins and seeds, and then I'll see what I've got. I may add vinegars to cut it, may add fruit juice, who knows.

That result can say in the fridge for months. I generally leave a quart or two in the fridge and can the rest. There is a fizzy complexity of flavor thats just hard to describe, but it leaves tobasco sauce in the dust.

Looking at the above-mentioned Canadian site, they have a completely different method, but I don't see why it wouldn't work out just fine for smaller batches of peppers.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 7:26PM
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"3 tablespoons for 5 lbs peppers"

Do you use canning or kosher salt? I have been trying to find a ratio of salt to water in weight instead of volume so I can use the same ratio for smaller batches. If I have only one pound of cabbage, I'm curious as to how many grams of salt to use... it would vary greatly based on grain size of salt.

or am I overthinking this?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 12:33PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

3 T of canning salt for 5 lbs of produce is a pretty standard recommendation. There are many great conversion tools available on the web. 5 T = 72-75 grams. So 0.665 T (3 div. by 5) per pound = approx. 9.50 gms).


    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:15PM
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I use the recipe for pepper mash in "the joy of pickling" but don't add garlic.
Works great!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 12:55PM
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david52 Zone 6

With the threat of a frost, we did all the hot peppers we had yesterday, roasting and freezing the larger, thicker ones on a charcoal fire, pulling off the stems and running the green ones through a food processor to chop them into fine pieces, added a couple of minced onions, salt, and a dash of Kefir starter, filling a 3 gal crock 2/3rds full, then thawing all the red peppers I'd picked over the season and de-stemming them, through the food processor, and into a second crock, again about 2 gallons of puree.

I was pleasantly surprised with the way the frozen peppers thawed and processed, the freeze/thaw broke down some of the cell walls so it was less 'frothy'.

We'll see the results in a month or so. The roasted ones are great!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 6:48PM
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david52 Zone 6

An update - Its been so unseasonably warm here, I put the fermenting crocks in my outside pantry, where its been 55-60F. Today I pulled the crock with the red peppers out, ran them through a food processor again, ran them through a food mill with the large openings and again with the smallest openings, removing all the skin and seeds. The yield was 6 quarts of fermented pepper juice.

Then added two quarts of purchased mango juice, a quart of home-made apple juice, a half cup of powdered ginger, a half cup of ancho chili, a cup of raw cider vinegar, and a pound of Penzey's sweet paprika as a thickener.

The total yield was 9 quarts and a pint jar, which I canned. Tastes just wonderful, and should mellow out nicely.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 5:27PM
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