The other day I realized there was still a batch of Datil pepper mash fermenting and had been for over two months. It was time to do something with it. I had no idea what I would find when I opened the canister. It could very well have been a putrid smelling rotten ugly mass, but no, it looked, smelled and tasted just right.
I have no photos of the process of straining the liquid from the mash because it was a messy event. When I attempted to pour the mash out of the canister into a cheesecloth lined strainer the contents came out all at once and splattered all over the kitchen. I was more concerned with cleaning up the disaster than with documentation! Faye was taking a shower at the time and I managed to have it all cleaned up by the time she came out. Didn’t have to explain anything! I guess she knows now!
Fortunately most of the good stuff stayed in the strainer and I was able to extract more than a quart of the fermented hot sauce liquid.
My intention was to add a little xanthan gum to thicken the sauce and leave the probiotic bacteria intact but I added a bit too much and it became too thick to pour. There was little choice but to add apple cider vinegar to get the right consistency. The resulting 1 1/2 quarts went into the refrigerator until I could obtain suitable containers for bottling.
Mickey’s® wide mouth screw cap bottles work great reused for canning. I have had 100% success the several times I have used them in the past. I would be stretching the truth if I said that I buy the product strictly for the reusable bottles or for the cool little puzzles under the caps or that I choke down the beer only so it doesn’t go to waste. It is actually a very fine beer.
I did the canning process outside under the falling leaves with the Coleman® camp stove set up on top of the barbecue because the heavy weight of repeated canning on the ceramic top stove resulted in it cracking awhile ago (https://pleasantpeasantcuisine.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/new-glass-stovetop/). Replacing the stovetop was simple enough but the price was rather hefty. Wouldn’t want that to happen again.
The bottles and lids were sterilized in the hot water bath and the hot sauce was heated in the microwave. These went in the boiling water bath canner for about 40 minutes. Ended up with with three bottles of great tasting hot sauce which are now on a pantry shelf instead of occupying valuable space in the refrigerator.