Batch 22 is off to a good start. The 1 gallon fermenter is now topped off.
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 in the hope I produce more good than bad.
As hoped, the smaller addition of fresh peppers in entry #3 slowed Batch 22’s ferment enough that I didn’t have to worry about it erupting out of the jar (very messy and smelly) before it finished its first month.
4th pepper addition to Batch 22
I let the young hot sauce go for an extra week before adding an additional eight ounces of fresh peppers this past weekend. The one gallon jar I do the early fermenting in is now full, so I’m going to let this one run another week or so before I pitch it to the five gallon fermenter and start adding a full pound of fresh peppers to the mix every couple of weeks.
The peppers in the garden are still going strong, so I think I should be able to keep adding to the batch until November and fill the fermenter completely. At that point the weather should have cooled enough that I can add some toasted oak staves to the mix and move it off to a cool, dark corner to age and rest until February or March of next year.
Batch 22 Timeline