Peppers in the garden are done, so it’s time to do the last addition and split the batch
Batch 22 after the split – Jar #2 got a head of garlic added
In entry #5 on Batch 22, I noted that the hot peppers in the garden would probably peter out before the end of November, which they did.
The Hidden Lake Hot Peppers reaching the end of the line
The final pepper picking yielded a little more than 14 ounces
The low sun, a couple of cold snaps, and persistent dry winds have convinced the pepper plants that it’s time to call it a season and hunker down for the winter. As a result, I picked the rest of the usable hot peppers and brought them up to make a final addition of fresh peppers to the fermenting vessels.
This final addition was more than I could fit into a single 1 gallon jar, so I decided to split the batch between two jars and make some slight tweaks to see what it does for the flavor over the course of the winter’s fermenting cycle.
Splitting the fermenting peppers into two batches
To make sure both of the split batches were starting on equal footing, I divided the brine and currently fermenting peppers evenly between the two jars, then weighed and added equal amounts of the fresh peppers to each vessel (each ended up getting 15 ounces).
Before topping off the jars with fresh brine to submerge the peppers, I took a head of garlic, peeled it and added the peeled garlic cloves to jar number 2.
A bunch of garlic cloves to add to one of the split batches
After topping off the jars with brine, I inflated a balloon sterilized with vinegar inside each jar to ensure everything stayed fully submerged. Then I sent them back to their place in the garage where they’ll sit for a couple of weeks before I add the toasted oak pieces to both.
Batch 22 after the split, ready to ferment all winter
Once the oak is in, both batches will ride out the winter in a cool, dark section of the garage. Sometime in late February I’ll decide whether to stop the fermentation and bottle, or let it another few weeks and package it in March.
Batch 22 Timeline