Once in awhile, when I’m in Charlotte, I visit the Super G (global) Mart to see what exotic fruits and vegetables are available. The last time I was there I purchased some red Thai chilis. I decided to use them to make fermented red Thai chili hot sauce. I now wish I bought two or three trays because I needed to include some jalapeños to make up a large enough batch to be worthwhile. Red Thai chilis are very hot so adding jalapeños may tame the heat down a tiny bit. By mixing red and green chilis you end up with a brownish colored sauce instead of a nice red or green. Oh well.
Lactobacillus bacteria can tolerate a saline environment whereas undesirable bacteria cannot, so kosher salt is added to the mash in a ratio of 2% by weight to the amount of peppers. I had 3% on my mind and mistakenly added too much salt. I don’t usually add water to the mash, but this time I did to correct my mistake.
I used a tall narrow canister for the fermentation pot. To keep the mash solids submerged, I filled a Ziplock bag filled with water and placed it in the canister on top of the pepper mash.
I created a salt barrier to keep out undesirable bacteria by stretching a cloth over the top of the canister and putting a layer of kosher salt on top. This allows the mash to breathe.
I will leave this to ferment for at least a month and probably longer. My last batch of hot sauce I let ferment for 2 1/2 months.
When the fermentation is over I will strain the mash and add xanthan gum to the liquid to thicken it a bit. I will keep a bottle of the hot sauce in the refrigerator to use and the rest I will bottle and preserve by processing in a water bath canner.