If you have the impression that I am obsessed with peppers, especially the hot varieties, you would be correct. Peppers in the garden are at their peak and must be enjoyed now or somehow preserved to enjoy later when not in season. Over the years I have flash frozen them, pickled and canned them and dehydrated them. I have also preserved peppers by making hot sauce. It is a good way to deal with a lot of peppers all at once.
My favorite method of making hot sauce is by lacto-fermentation. I started a batch of red peppers fermenting on July 30th and mentioned the procedure in this post. I had said that I would leave it to ferment for a few weeks, but here it’s been just two weeks and my curiosity has gotten the better of me. I have had good results in the past with two week ferments so why not?
It is just a matter of squeezing the liquid from the fermented mash, blending in a pinch or two of xanthan gum to keep the sauce from separating then filling the bottles.
Most commercial hot sauces are made with vinegar. I like them all, but I much prefer a fermented hot sauce for its distinctive, superb flavor. But since more ripe peppers had accumulated in the fridge and needed to be used I decided to go with a quicker vinegar based hot sauce this time. The methods for both types of hot sauce are pretty much the same, the differences being the use of vinegar versus salt and the fermentation time.
I loaded up the blender with roughly chopped assorted red chili peppers and blended them to a pulp using raw apple cider vinegar to facilitate blending. There were even a few homegrown Tabasco peppers in the mix. Mine were picked a bit prematurely. The pepper pickers for Tabasco brand Tabasco sauce carry a red painted wand (baton rouge) into the field with them for reference to the proper shade of red.
The vinegary liquid was then drained and squeezed from the ground up peppers.
I added kosher salt, a little sugar and xanthan gum before bottling.