It has come to my attention that my Central American "Culebra Negra" peppers are not at all happy about the cold weather. It's the end of November so we've had a couple of near-freezing nights with 34° to 37°F lows right before dawn, but nothing that I would consider a hard frost. The Hidden Lake Hot Cayenne/Thai hybrids are still flowering and fruiting quite a bit, but the Culebra Negras are a different story. Seems these poor plants, with their [keep reading...]
Batch 20 of my 6 month fermented hot sauce begins with 5oz of Hidden Lake Hot, a Cayenne/Thai cross, and 7oz of Culebra Negra, a Central American pepper I got from a friend.
The candidates for this year's 20th anniversary batch of slow fermented hot sauce include a super-sized batch of my Thai/Cayenne cross and a Honduran pepper called "culebra negra" (black snake).
Fermented hot sauce is more complex and flavorful than a standard hot peppers and vinegar sauce. Better yet, it's not hard to make your own. Here's how.
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 [keep reading...]
That's it. Oak is in the brew and the last of the peppers are picked and added for Batch 19 of the Hidden Lake hot sauce. 12 weeks of fresh fermentation. Now for 12 weeks of aging. See you in spring peppers. Merry Christmas everyone else!
The summer ended with the rain in November. Then came the frost. Then came the rain again. These are officially the last peppers of Hidden Lake Hot Batch 19. At least they were easy to pick.
Another addition of 4 ounces or so of fresh peppers and a pinch of salt. Heavy rain last week knocked most of the remaining peppers off the plants, so we're coming to the end of fresh pepper additions for this year (yeah, I know, I write that every week -- but this time it's probably true). I'm going to let this ferment one more week then add oak and send the batch to age until March.
It's week seven of my hot sauce fermentation. I added another 4 ounces or so of fresh peppers, salt and more water and gave it a good stir. The fermentation is now giving off a tangy smell that's both spicy and funky. I figure I'll only have room for one more addition of fresh peppers before I add small amount of toasted oak and set it aside to age through the winter. The liquid is getting a little murky from [keep reading...]
Added another 4 ounces of fresh peppers and 1 tsp of pickling salt. Peppers are really starting to ferment and become mushy now. Jar is almost full too. Soon it will be time to add the oak and let it reset over the winter.