Fermented Hot Sauce with a Difference!

Fermented Hot Sauce

Fermented Hot Sauce with a Difference!
Recipe type: Hot Sauce
Cuisine: Louisiana
Serves: 8lt
Today’s episode is very exciting. We’re going to make a Tabasco style hot sauce with a difference. The idea for this came from a small Portuguese restaurant down the road from me. They produce a famous hot sauce with a secret ingredient that just rounds off the flavour beautifully. Anyway, not long ago the old lady that owned the restaurant and produced the sauce retired, and decided it was OK to share the secret ingredient with me. I was quite surprised at how simple it was…. Alcohol.
  • 1200g Tabasco peppers
  • 1200g White sugar
  • 6lt Water
  • 6g Distiller's yeast
  • 6g Yeast activator
  • 6g Yeast nutrient
  • 6g Diammonium phosphate
  • 130g Himalayan rock salt
  • 100g White sugar
  • 1200ml White vinegar
  • 2.5ml Xanthum gum
  • 60ml Bottles for bottling
  1. This recipe will make just under 8 litres of Tabasco-style sauce.
  2. Trim the stalks from a load of Tabasco chillis, and measure out 1200g of the chillis. You can also use birds-eye, serrano, or any other hot chilli peppers. It is important to weigh the peppers after trimming the stalks, otherwise your quantities will be incorrect.
  3. Transfer the peppers to your food processor along with 1 litre of water and process these until quite fine. If your processor is on the smaller side, this may have to be done in batches.
  4. Transfer the machined peppers to a large non-reactive pot and add 1200g of white sugar and another 5 litres of water.
  5. Place the pot over medium heat and heat the mixture up to 70c or 158f. This will pasteurize the mixture and dissolve the sugar.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat, put the lid on and allow this to cool to 35c or 95f before continuing.
  7. As the mixture starts getting closer to 35c, start to prepare your fermentation ingredients. These include 6g of distiller’s yeast, 6g of yeast nutrient, 6g of yeast activator and 6g of diammonium phosphate.
  8. Measure out 200ml of warm water at 35c or 95f. Add the yeast and the yeast activator. Stir this briefly and put it aside for 15 minutes.
  9. Pour the chilli mixture from the pot into a large fermentation vessel. This can be anything from a large food-grade bucket to a purpose-built fermenter. You will notice how I have poured everything but the very last bit of mixture into the pot. All the pepper seeds sink to the bottom of the mixture during the pasteurization process, and these will be left in the pot.
  10. Add the yeast nutrient and diammonium phosphate to the fermentation vessel and stir these in.
  11. Pour in the activated yeast solution and stir this in.
  12. Place the lid on your fermentation vessel. If you are using a food grade bucket for the fermentation, make sure your fermentation bubbler is in place and filled.
  13. After 24 hours, all the solids will have risen to the top of the liquid. The yeast is giving off massive amounts of CO2 and this latches on to the solids and makes them float to the top. CO2 also collects below this carpet of solids causing fascinating bulges in the carpet of solids. Use a sterilized spoon to stir the solids back into the liquid. This will release most of the trapped CO2 and prevent this carpet from causing any fungal growth along the top of the vessel.
  14. This process will be repeated every day for 6-7 days until the fermentation slows down, and most of the solids remain at the bottom of the fermentation vessel.
  15. It can take anything from 10-14 days for the fermentation to be totally complete. The complete fermentation can be noted by the complete absence of bubbling or foaming, and on tasting the liquid, there is no sugar remaining in the liquid. This means that the yeast has completely consumed all the sugar in the solution, and fermentation has finished. There will also be a very noticeable alcoholic aroma to the liquid along with the strong pepper aroma.
  16. Pour the fermented solution through a fine sieve into a large non-reactive pot. Once again, I am leaving the last little bit in the vessel. This is mostly comprised of seeds that we missed on the first pouring, yeast cells and a little of the solids.
  17. Use a silicon spatula to stir the solid pulp around in the sieve. This allows the remaining liquid to escape through the sieve. It also helps to scrape the outside of the sieve down as well. Once the pulp has reached half of its original quantity, transfer the pulp to a tall jug.
  18. Use you stick blender to machine this to a very fine paste. You may have to do this in batches.
  19. Rinse the sieve, then return the paste to the sieve. Use a clean spatula to stir this around, once again forcing the fine particles and liquid to escape into the pot. Once this pulp has reduced to half, return the unfiltered pulp to the tall jug and process it again using your stick blender.
  20. Pour the reprocessed pulp into the pot and stir it into the pepper liquid.
  21. Add 130g of Himalayan rock salt. This is 2% of the total volume of the liquid at this stage of the process.
  22. Add 100g of sugar and stir this in. We are not trying to sweeten the liquid. 100g of sugar will barely be discernible in this quantity of liquid. It is added to temper and smooth the burn of the peppers.
  23. This is followed by 1.2 litres of white vinegar.
  24. Place the pot over medium heat and once again heat the liquid to a temperature of 70c or 158f. This time round the pasteurization is purely to kill any remaining yeast in the sauce. If you skip this step and proceed straight to the next step, your bottled product may burst once sealed, due to renewed fermentation.
  25. Transfer 550ml of the sauce to a tall jug. Add 2.5ml or a half teaspoon of Xanthan gum to the jug. Use your stick blender to beat this into the sauce. The sauce will thicken to a syrupy consistency that will coat the back of a spoon.
  26. The Xanthan gum effectively suspends all the microscopic solid particles in the liquid, ensuring that you will have no precipitation of solids in the sauce. Notice how the sauce has lightened in colour. This is an optical illusion caused by billions of microscopic bubbles in the sauce introduced during the blending process. After a few hours the bubbles will rise to the top of the liquid and the colour will return to its original deep red hue.
  27. Continue with the remaining sauce until all of it has been stabilized and thickened, then proceed to bottling and you are done.
  1. ) If your fermentation stops and there is still sugar present in the sauce, add another 6g of yeast to restart the fermentation.
  2. ) If mould starts to grow on the carpet of chilli solids, you probably skipped the pasteurization process, or your equipment was not sterile. Skim the mould off the top and continue as normal.
  3. )If fermentation fails persistently, you have not used all of the fermentation ingredients. You cannot successfully ferment the sauce without the yeast activator, nutrient and diammonium phosphate. The high sugar and acid levels in the sauce will kill the yeast without these additives.


How to Make Coffee Wine – Homemade Coffee Wine

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With festive season just upon us, today we’re going to make a batch of amazing coffee wine. This project started some time ago as an experiment, and the initial results were so pleasing that it warranted further investigation. In the preliminary experiment, I used a generic champagne yeast which produced a very drinkable wine comparable to a good sauvignon blanc.
In light of this, I contacted Anchor Yeast, a subsidiary of Lallimand Yeast in South Africa.
The specialists in the wine yeast division were very helpful in isolating 4 different wine yeasts in order that I could find the very best yeast for this purpose. At this point I would like to make this very clear… this is not a yeast competition, it is an exercise to find the best yeast for making coffee wine.
In addition, the reason I went with Anchor and Lallamand is purely based on their expertise, knowledge and reputation in this field. They were kind enough to supply with 4 sample batches of yeast and all of the relevant data sheets, however I was in no way financially rewarded for using their products. This is a purely scientific endeavour, and in no way meant as an advertisment for Anchor Yeast or Lallamand. In addition, I really wanted to use products that are available world-wide in order that you can give this a try yourself.
I started with the generic champagne yeast as my control batch.
This first of the Lallamand yeasts is the Vin 7. This is yeast developed specifically for the production of Sauvignon Blanc wines. At this stage of the project, I thought this would be my most promising prospect.
Next up is the Vin 13. This yeast has been developed for the production of both Sauvignon blanc and chardonnay.
Then there is NT 202, a yeast developed for the production of aged red wines like Shiraz.
And last but not least is the NT 50, a yeast developed for fruity red wines like Pinotage, that are short aged, and released fast to the market.
To make this project more manageable, I am making small batches of each variant usin 2 liter bottles and Pat Mack’s brew caps. These caps have a built-in pressure release valve in the lid, and for this exercise they are just much easier to use than fermentation bubblers.
The fact that wine in this instance will start off carbonated is immaterial as it will be degassed during the clarification process anyway.
The coffee of choice is a product made by Nescafe’ in South Africa, called Ricoffy. This a blend of pure coffee granule, chicory, dextrins and dextrose. The dextrins and dextrose are yeast friendly, and will ensure a good strong fermentation. This coffee blend is available world-wide through numerous international South African food product franchise outlets. I will leaves links to these in the description. Once again, I would like to stress that this is not and advertisement for Nestle’ or Ricoffy.
Each of 5 bottles receive 90g of Ricoffy granules and 200g of white sugar.
500ml of hot water is added along with a further 500ml of cold water.
Give each bottle a good shake to dissolve the coffee granules and sugar entirely.
Top each bottle up with a further 750ml of cold water, give them another shake, then measure the temperature.
If the temperature is higher than 30c, wait until it drops to 30c before pitching an eighth of a teaspoon of yeast into each bottle.
Place the brew caps or fermentation bubblers on the bottles and place these in a warm but shady place to ferment for 30 days.
The primary reason for this long fermentation is that I want the wines to be totally sugared out in order that we can taste the absolute essence of each variant in its driest form. After this, the wine can be back-sweetened to taste. In addition, in a controlled experiment of this nature, every variant must be treated in exactly the same way.
After the 30 days, each batch was tasted to ensure that all of the sugars had been consumed.
The wine was then poured off into clean sterilized bottles, taking care to leave the majority of yeast and sediment behind.
At this stage, if you opt to use brew caps, the wine will be very fizzy and the racking will require a good deal of patience. This will not be a problem if you use a fermentation bubbler.
The wines will still be almost totally opaque, due to microscopic coffee sediment and yeast in suspension.
To clear the wine, transfer the bottles to your refrigerator for a full 24 hours.
After this time, measure 160ml of water and add 5ml or a teaspoon of gelatin. Allow this stand for about 30 minutes until the gelatin has bloomed in the water.
Microwave the mixture in short bursts until it reaches 150f or 66c, and you’re ready to go.
Pour 30ml of the gelatin solution into each bottle and give it a gentle top-stir with a swizzle stick.
Return the bottles to your refrigerator to clear. The gelatin solution bonds the proteins and particulates in the wine making them heavy enough to precipitate to the bottom of the bottles.
This clearing process can take up to a week to complete.
After this time, pass each wine through a fine filter, or a ceramic filter if available, to keep the coagulated sediment behind.
The wine can be treated with sulphite in the form of Camden tablets to kill any remaining yeast, however I opted to simply bottle and refrigerate.
We live in the heart of the R62, the longest wine route in the world. As a result we have no shortage of wine officianados, and I took full advantage of this. I invited a whole bunch of them to a formal wine tasting, and these are the results.
The Vin 7 which seemed to be the most likely candidate turned out to be a bit thin and lacking in aroma and flavor, however it was still very drinkable.
The Vin 13 was a little more robust, with more coffee aromas coming through, along with a slight cranberry flavor.
The NT50 was again more robust with stronger coffee and berry flavors and aromas. It was very similar to the generic champagne yeast used as the control.
The tote favorite was with no dought, the NT202, which was far ahead of the other wines in aroma and flavor.
The clairty and appearance of all of the varieties was absolutely brilliant, and overall the tasting was met with much interest and enthusiasm.
At this stage I would like to thank Anchor Yeast and Lallamand for supplying the yeast variants and expertise.
Thats it for today folks, please like, subscribe and share this with your friends and family, and we’ll see you again real soon.

How to Make Naturally Fermented Sauerkraut – courtesy of Microcosm Publishing

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How to Make Naturally Fermented Sauerkraut - courtesy of Microcosm Publishing
Recipe type: Vegetable / Fermenting
Cuisine: German
A few episodes back I introduced a new book all about natural fermentation, called Basic Fermentation, published by Microcosm Publishing. Consequently they have sent me the final hard cover copy to replace my preliminary copy. It is full of excellent fermentation recipes, all very clearly explained and accompanied with good quality full color photography. You can check out their website by clicking the link in the description below. Today we're going to feature another recipe from this book when we make a batch of delicious home-fermented sauerkraut.
  • Cabbage
  • Kosher salt
  1. We will be using a new technique to do this, as well as the traditional method.
  2. For the new technique, you will need to own a ham press which will negate the need for pressing plates and weights.
  3. To start, strip away any dodgy leaves on your cabbage.
  4. This cabbage is about 1.2kg once stripped. I will use half of this for each method.
  5. Use a large knife to cut the cabbage into quarters.
  6. Use a cleaver to cut away the heart from each quarter.
  7. Cut each quarter into thin strips.
  8. I have transferred half of this to a large non-reactive bowl, and measured out 18g of kosher salt. This is 3% of the weight of the cabbage. This makes it really simple to calculate the salt requirement no matter what quantity of cabbage you start with.
  9. Pour the salt over the cabbage and mix this in.
  10. Pack the cabbage into the ham press a little at a time, pressing it down firmly after each addition. This is a 1.5 liter press, and 600g of cabbage fits perfectly, filling to an inch below the rim.
  11. Insert the pressure plate and secure the lid and you're done.
  12. For the traditional method, place the remaining cabbage in a large non-reactive bowl and add 3% salt to the cabbage. Mix the salt into the cabbage.
  13. Pack the cabbage into a tall cylindrical glass or ceramic container, pressing it down firmly after each addition.
  14. Now you will need something to press the cabbage. I am using a glass tumbler with closed end in contact with the cabbage.
  15. To press this down, I have a short langth of bamboo, but you could use anything from a pencil to a butter knife for this.
  16. Place the stick across the tumbler.
  17. Loop a long elastic band underneat the container and bring the ends up to the stick. The elastic will pull the stick downwards, applying pressure to the tumbler and the cabbage.
  18. Transfer the container and the ham press to a warm shady place to ferment.
  19. After 10 to 14 days, your sauerkraut will be ready to eat. This is when you will notice the vast difference between home-fermented kraut and the packaged or canned versions. This is bright in appearance, with loads of crunch and an amazingly vibrant pickle flavor.
  20. All you need to now is enjoy your masterpiece.
  21. Thanks for joining us today, please subscribe, like and share and we'll see you again tomorrow.


How to Make Cultured Buttermilk at Home – courtesy of Microcosm Publishing

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Microcosm Publishing, based in Portland Oregon sent me an advanced copy of a very interesting book due for launch. The book is called Wild Fermentation and covers a myriad of fermentation recipes from brine pickles to cider vinegar, kimchi and loads more. The final publication will be in hard cover with full color photography. You can check out the website by clicking the link below in the description.
One of the recipes in the book is how to make cultured buttermilk, and other than the overnight wait, it is really quick and super-easy.
All you need is a liter of full cream milk and a bottle of cultured buttermilk to use as the starter culture.
Pour a quarter cup of the cultured buttermilk into a large jug.
Pour in the milk and give this a good stir.
Put a lid on the jug or cover it with cling wrap and place this in a warm place to ferment overnight.
The following day you will have more than a liter of lovely thick, creamy buttermilk.
This will last for months covered in the refrigerator, and you can use this starter to make even more buttermilk as required.
Stay tuned for tomorrows episode when we use this buttermilk to make a batch of buttermilk rusks, South Africas traditional crispy, crunchy dunking biscuit.
Thanks for joining us today, please like, subscribe and share, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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