Habanero Fermentation

rusbishopJanuary 16, 2012

I am a new pepper fermentor and I'm looking for guidance throughout my first fermentation. I'm interested in the chemistry of vegetable ratios during pepper fermentations. Any feedback as to what has worked for anyone else in the past is what is desired in this forum, as well as guidance on what to do with the mash once the fermentation has ended.


1lb. green and orange habaneros (with seeds)

1/4lb. serrano peppers (with seeds)

1/4.lb banana peppers (without seeds)

1 garlic head

1/2 cup carrots

I used a 2% salt ratio in the brine and the vegetables are held under the brine with glass beads in nylon bagging. One package of Caldwell's vegetable starter was added as well. All contents are in a 1 quart jar with a air lock. I wish I could post a picture.

Please share your insight.



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You can post pictures, you just have to have the patience to use the search function provided on the bottom of the page.

Here is a link that might be useful: Forum Search

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 9:07AM
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rdback(Z6 VA)

Hello Russ,

Well it's been a week. I've never used Caldwell's before. Any activity yet? How long are you going to ferment?

By the way, I don't think you need to use the beads/bag/submersion thing if you're using an airlock. Just remember not to open your container until you're ready to process.

Good luck with it - keep us posted.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 3:49PM
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Thanks for the replies guys!

Rick, Cladwell's worked great. It was bubbling like crazy the first night. Two of the things i'm going to change in the future will be to add less of the starter and perhaps experiment without the submersion beads. The beads were compacting the mash and trapping air in which I had trouble releasing. The only thing I could do was bang the jar around. Also, today is the day it finished. Hopefully if I use less of the starter I'll get a longer ferment and compare the products.

From here I think I'm just going to check the Ph and see what I'm dealing with. I'm going to add equal parts lime and vinegar till it drops below 4.0, then I'll add my dried spice blend and steep for a week. Hopefully this will be awesome. Do you have any knowledge withe ph levels and dry storage restrictions?

I also found a local farmer this week who is going to supply red habaneros consistently so I'm pretty excited. I'll keep you posted on batch two and the completion on batch one. Thanks for showing interest!


    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 5:02PM
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rdback(Z6 VA)

"Do you have any knowledge withe ph levels and dry storage restrictions?"

Anything under 4.6 is considered safe, but most folks shoot for under 4.0. Personally, I shoot for 3.5, give or take .2.

"I'll keep you posted on batch two and the completion on batch one."

Well, it's been 3 weeks buddy, where's our update? *smile*


    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 1:53PM
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Well guys sorry to keep you waiting. I originally fermented my orange habies with thee ingredients listed above and I did not like the way it turned out. So, I decided to run with an all red habie batch and include nothing else in the fermentation unlike my previous attempt. After one month of letting the red's bubble like crazy, I pulled them out and became creative with a couple recipes. My ferment included 2 1/2lbs. so each recipe has just over a 1/2lb of deliciously fruity fermented red habies.

1) garlic roasted, mango, salt, ginger, sugar, onion, vinegar----Result=AMAZING!!!! The fruitiness of the fermented peppers along with the mango complemented each other well and my bottles are being stolen by coworkers.

2) roasted garlic, papaya, onion, lime, thyme, basil, nutmeg, mustard, tumeric, cider vinegar, vinegar----Result=BLAND. The taste was a little bland and wanted it to become more fruity so i later added some pineapple juice and orange juice and it became better. I really want to revisit this one in the future so I can master my caribbean sauce.

3) roasted garlic, lime, vinegar, onion, spice mix----Result=PURE FLAME!!!! Although it's really hot, the fruitiness of the ferment seems to long for a complimentary flavor. I might revisit with an apple addition.

4) roasted garlic, onion, lime, cinnamon, cider vinegar, ginger----Result=LIQUID GINGERBREAD HOUSE!!! I've wanted to release a holiday version of my hot sauce and this was the first attempt at it. It has gone over well with some people but the pairing is difficult. Brown sugar will be introduced in the next batch. Might also consider changing the whole concept toward a hot cranberry sauce so it can have more uses i.e. turkey, ham, stuffing...

Well that's it for now. My next red habie order is in and once fermented I'll let you know how my follow-ups go. Thank you all for your time and patience, I look forward to chatting again soon.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 5:54PM
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Cool! Thanks for the follow-up!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 7:15PM
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