Hot weather got the hot peppers fermenting a little too fast
The heat made the peppers ferment too quickly in the first few weeks, so we need to slow it
Author’s Note: Every year since 2001, I’ve made a slow fermented hot sauce from a Cayenne/Thai-cross hot pepper we grow here. The hot sauce takes around six months to finish and, like wine and other fermented foods, each vintage is a little different from the other. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad, so I write these notes to track the progress and hope I learn how to produce more good than bad.
The brutal heatwave the first week of September got all the way into the dark corner of the garage where Batch 22 of my annual hot sauce was fermenting. The result of the additional heat was a lot more vigorous fermentation than I wanted this early in the process (a risk when you start early).
As a result, even though I have a lot of fresh hot peppers waiting in the garden, I reduced the size of this week’s fresh pepper addition to 12 ounces from the usual 16.
Plenty of peppers to pick, but we only need 12 ounces this week
Hopefully a little less sugar in their diet and cooler weather will help the little lacto-critters settle down to a more tolerable fermentation pace. We want slow-made hot sauce that’s spicy, complex hot sauce, not something that smells and tastes like a bucket of dirty feet.
Batch 22 Timeline