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Other than Brewing => All Things Food => Topic started by: majorvices on October 26, 2014, 12:40:20 PM

Title: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: majorvices on October 26, 2014, 12:40:20 PM
There was a post last year about making your own fermented hot sauce and I fell in love with the idea first, then the hot sauce second. I think I have perfected the method and wanted to share with ya'll.

I've experimented with a few different pepper and pepper blends. When my garden peppers ran out I went with a blend of store bought jalepenos and habeneros. I've used red and yellow cayenne, some hot long red peppers my dad gave me (not sure what type they are), habenero, jalepenos and a few other varieties. I have never been disappointed though some were better than others.

The key is to smoke the peppers on a "coolish" smoker. I basically start up the smoker with about 1/2 the amount of coals as usual and cover with soaked hickory chunks and fill the water pan with cold water. vent the smoker well and leave the peppers on for as long as you can, even over night. If some of the peppers become black, that's ok. It will make for a prettier sauce and enhances the flavor. The peppers should smell nice and smoky and some may be a little softer, and a few may be burnt but don't get the heat so hot that the peppers all become cooked.

After peppers are smoked, cut the stems add them to blender with a little salt water. the amount of salt and water will be up to you and the consistency and the amount of peppers. I just go by ear, probably about 2-3 tsp salt per cup of water per quart of peppers. Sometimes I will de-vein and de-seed if I want a milder sauce. You can add garlic or other spices as well.

After blended pour into jar and add a tsp or two of a good yogurt culture. You will see obvious signs of fermentation in 2 or 3 days. Make sure your "fermentor" is at least twice the volume of the pepper amount because during fermentation peppers sauce will nearly double in volume. It will get nice and bubbly and start to smell tart and smoky. I like to stir daily during fermentation as it seems like this inhibits mold and helps with fermentation. Make sure you have a rubber spatula to scrape spoon or you will lose a lot of sauce. Don't tighten lid or jar may explode. I just leave my lid on loosely.

Fermentation will last 7-14 days and the peppers sauce will gradually fall back down to its original volume. using the yogurt culture I never get mold, but if you do just scrape it off.

You can then add the pepper sauce back into the blender and add an equal amount of  a nice red wine vinegar (or whatever you want) and blend until consistency is smooth. Refrigerate and enjoy.

This makes the best hot sauce I have ever tasted by far and you can use whatever hot peppers you want. I really enjoy having two or three different sauces going at any time. You won't ever want to go back to store bought hot sauce ever again.
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 26, 2014, 01:57:48 PM
I'll be switching to this method. I made a few of the fermented hot sauces posted about last year and they were great, except for the ones that went moldy when I was busy and didn't check every day. Thanks for the info !
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: reverseapachemaster on October 26, 2014, 02:52:10 PM
I smoke peppers out of my garden the same way to make a salsa that is more of a chili paste than a real salsa. I definitely agree about cold smoking. I've let the smoker get too hot with the peppers on there and they develop too harsh of a smoke flavor.
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: BrewBama on October 26, 2014, 08:58:13 PM
That sounds like fun. I may have to try this. Is it more like Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce?
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 26, 2014, 09:31:55 PM
That sounds like fun. I may have to try this. Is it more like Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce?

It has more of the pungency of Tabasco, as opposed to a regular hot sauce. Tabasco gets its pungency from the pepper/salt mash being sealed in oak barrels to ferment for a couple of years before they actually make the sauce from it. Except this sauce definitely has its own character as well, more so if you make your own smoked peppers. Awesome stuff.
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: klickitat jim on October 26, 2014, 09:33:06 PM
If you dont have yogurt culture could you just toss in a small hand full of malt to get the lactic going?
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: majorvices on October 26, 2014, 09:56:03 PM

If you dont have yogurt culture could you just toss in a small hand full of malt to get the lactic going?

I recon. But not sure what other flavors you will get. I'm really impressed by the yogurt culture. It's basically like a dried yeast. Just open and sprinkle. I bought mine on line.
Title: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: majorvices on October 26, 2014, 09:58:01 PM
That sounds like fun. I may have to try this. Is it more like Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce?

It's like nothing you can buy in the store.  It's like... Total Awesomeness.
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 26, 2014, 10:14:08 PM

If you dont have yogurt culture could you just toss in a small hand full of malt to get the lactic going?

I recon. But not sure what other flavors you will get. I'm really impressed by the yogurt culture. It's basically like a dried yeast. Just open and sprinkle. I bought mine on line.

Already ordered some. I'm psyched. I'll be sure to swirl it more this time too. Three batches came out awesome, one I scooped a little mold off of one that was fine. But another one went way moldy and I dumped it.  Was feeling skeered.
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: majorvices on October 26, 2014, 10:16:38 PM
Looking forward to hearing how yours turns out, Jon!
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: majorvices on October 27, 2014, 12:11:21 AM
Here's a photo of the sauce in mid fermentation. This is after it has doubled in size, make sure you have a large enough jar. I never got this active fermentation without the added culture,

(http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n137/majorvices/F4FD3B9A-AE2C-4553-93D9-8D944D201826.jpg)
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 27, 2014, 12:24:37 AM
Wow, I never had one that doubled during fermentation. That's definitely the culture then. Mine maybe got a third bigger at most, then went down. I better get a bigger Mason jar !
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: pete b on October 27, 2014, 12:41:39 AM
This sounds awesome. We made a fermented "siracha" a couple years ago but it was fermented without a starter, like kim chi. Smoking the peppers sounds incredible. I wonder what a better culture would be, I have two options handy: a homemade yogurt I made from raw goat's milk, or freeze dried kefir starter. And Jim, you say you have no starter, but plain yogurt is starter, that's how yogurt gets made usually.
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: ultravista on October 27, 2014, 01:48:04 AM
Could you use a beer yeast? Smoked pepper hot sauce fermented with a Belgian yeast strain :)
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: bboy9000 on October 27, 2014, 04:17:53 AM
I'm really interested in this.  Seems so easy.  I can't get yogurt culture at LHBS.  I can get kefir cultures and cheese cultures.  Does anyone know how these would perform?
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: erockrph on October 27, 2014, 04:24:11 AM
I'm really interested in this.  Seems so easy.  I can't get yogurt culture at LHBS.  I can get kefir cultures and cheese cultures.  Does anyone know how these would perform?
Something like Creme Fraiche or Chevre culture would probably give you close enough results. I have a few packets of Chevre culture in the freezer and I'm thinking of giving this a try myself.
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: majorvices on October 27, 2014, 12:30:44 PM
Could you use a beer yeast? Smoked pepper hot sauce fermented with a Belgian yeast strain :)

It would be interesting to try a beer or wine yeast and see how much activity you would get. But you probably won't get the tartness.
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: pete b on October 27, 2014, 01:22:52 PM
Could you use a beer yeast? Smoked pepper hot sauce fermented with a Belgian yeast strain :)

It would be interesting to try a beer or wine yeast and see how much activity you would get. But you probably won't get the tartness.
I doubt a beer yeast would fare well in that environment as its used to lots of sugar and very little competition by other microbes. I wonder if brett would do something if combined with lacto microbes. that would be a funky sauce indeed.
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: morticaixavier on October 27, 2014, 02:40:10 PM
yogurt starter is often available in co-ops, health food stores, and many grocery stores as well. it should be pretty easy to find.
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 27, 2014, 02:47:04 PM
yogurt starter is often available in co-ops, health food stores, and many grocery stores as well. it should be pretty easy to find.

Amazon as well. This is the stuff I ordered  :

http://www.amazon.com/Euro-Cuisine-Yogurt-Starter/dp/B000EONEU0
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: theoman on November 03, 2014, 08:37:22 AM
Timely post! Just this past weekend I finished my first hot sauce. I don't remember who it was that posted it, but I followed the basic instructions from that thread. It's a simple hot sauce without any smoke, fermented naturally for 4 weeks with a bit of vinegar added at the end. It's pretty yummy, but I might experiment a bit more with the next one. Maybe add a bit of whey from some yogurt for the yogurt cultures. Maybe roast some of the peppers.
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: majorvices on November 03, 2014, 03:23:27 PM
FWIW I'd add the yeast culture, not any cultured yogurt. The idea of adding milk to your hot sauce is gross.
Title: Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
Post by: theoman on November 03, 2014, 03:27:20 PM
I'd just add just a bit the whey which will contain the cultures, not the yogurt itself. Yeah, yuck.