The hot sauce has been quietly fermenting in a cool, dark area of the garage for several weeks now. It was before Christmas when I added the toasted oak staves and the last of the fresh peppers from the garden, so the bright red color is giving way to a duller brick red/orange.

The peppers, which I added whole, are beginning to dissolve and fall apart, leaving a layer of pepper seeds at the bottom of the jar. A little white mold has accumulated at the top of the jar and there’s a musty, tangy scent telling me that fermentation is still happening although at a slower rate.

I scraped off as much of the mold as I could then gave the mixture a thorough stir with a slotted spoon. After that I re-covered the container and returned it to its corner in the garage to rest again. Another 8 – 10 weeks and it’ll be ready to puree and get bottled.

You can track the progress of Batch 19 hot sauce from day one by clicking here.