After 22 days, just over 3 weeks of fermentation, my 40 ripe jalapeños were ready to be pureed into sauce. If you read part 1 and part 2, you know that my fermentation did not kick off as quickly as I expected, and it stalled out after a week as well. In part 1 I mentioned that the recipe calls for one week of fermentation, but in part 2 I wrote that I had learned much more about fermenting and would try another batch later with a month or more of fermenting time.
Well, lessons learned. Still, the sauce had a promising smell, and I couldn’t wait anymore. I put the mash in the blender. The Vitamix pureed everything, seeds and all, so I dod not need to use the food mill and chose not to strain the sauce. Its got a slightly more textured finish than Sriracha, but its good.
After blending, I added 1 cup of distilled white vinegar according to the recipe, brought the batch to a boil in a stainless steel pot, and then reduced the heat to a simmer. The idea is to cook off moisture and thicken the sauce a bit. Once thickened, allow the sauce to cool. I stored my sauce in a couple of pint-sized mason jars, but will use some dedicated hot sauce bottles when I have time to funnel the sauce into them.
Taste? Delicious! Its more mild than Sriracha, not as hot, but still has that satisfying, lingering heat. Its got a garlic hint, but not as much as I like. I can barely pick up the flavors imparted by the Steen’s cane syrup, but its there, just a background hint every once in a while. The sauce is a bit less roasty and aged than Sriracha sauce, but delivers. I’ll be making more for sure, and will add a nit more garlic and will probably use a yogurt-derived whey to get the fermentation going.
My second batch – made with mild cherry peppers and a few Habaneros, will be left much longer, its still bubbling away on top of the fridge. I think this hot sauce making is going to be an enjoyable way to use and preserve the many peppers in the garden.