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Good Eats>Lacto-Fermentation
stearns 10:00 AM 09-18-2017
hmm, haven't been on facebook in a while but it might be worth logging in to get some ideas, I'm sure there are a ton of groups out there experimenting. When I bought some glass weights on amazon it came with a "free membership" to some sort of fermentation club/message board, gotta check that out as well
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AdamJoshua 10:12 AM 09-18-2017
Saw a woman doing this in the mall, some people were outraged, but cooking is cooking.
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stearns 02:00 PM 09-29-2017
Gave the jars a check today, the initial three show no signs of continued fermentation, I gave them a stir anyways and put them back to sit. The more recent hatch chili one still has a little bit of activity but it's getting to the end

A couple weeks ago I broke down the barrel I bought, and took a few staves to lightly sand and cut into 5-6" pieces. I put two of these in the jar fermenting the hot sauce, gonna let those sit for a few months to really let it mingle. Side note, when I was cutting the staves it smelled like delicious beer, it made me thirsty :-)

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stearns 09:35 AM 01-08-2018
Checked on these again yesterday, been almost 5 months and all fermentation is definitely completed, but they're just hanging out in the jars waiting for something to happen. The only one I currently have a plan for is the hot sauce jar that I put the barrel staves in, it's smelling amazing almost fruity, hopefully get a chance to do some more work on that one soon. I've made sauce a few different ways, but I think I need a food mill (something like this) to really get the most out of the peppers (although puree and strain has treated me well in the past).

As for the other jars, I might end up blending them into the hot sauce depending on how things are tasting, I always want to experiment with stuff when I have no real goal in mind, I love having jars of fermented peppers around but I find I don't use them as much, I use hot sauces a lot more so miscellaneous jars usually end up being turned into hot sauce then given away. I don't know if I want to one day get a solid recipe and "mass produce" a dozen bottles or so, or if I want to keep doing on-off production runs. For now I'll keep playing and taking notes :-)
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Chainsaw13 11:12 AM 01-08-2018
I'm contemplating putting a stave in the jar I of peppers I have going right now. It's been fermenting for 5-6 months, maybe longer. Fermentation is complete, but now it's just letting the flavors mature.

I put up two jars of brussel sprout kimchi right after Christmas. Still fermenting away happily. I ate a little bit last week with a dinner I prepared. Still very crunchy but already taking on some of the sour flavor you get with kimchi. Definitely a winner.

As a side note, if you run the solids through a food mill (I need to pick one up too), save them and dehydrate. You can grind further if you'd like. Use as further seasoning, or mix with a salt, etc. I have a jar of two year old fermented garlic scapes I need to process this way.

Oh, the brine from the scapes I"m thinking of using to brine some chicken to then batter/fry. :-)
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stearns 11:27 AM 01-08-2018
Thanks for the tips, I've dried full fermented peppers to use in spices but when I strain I always end up throwing away the leftover gunk, I'll definitely save and dry this time.

As for the brine, I use it in stir fries and stuff like that but I've never re-used it for brining purposes. I think the stuff that comes out of my peppers could be a bit too spicy to use to brine a bird, but I bet if I mixed it with regular ol' salt water to dilute it would be pretty tasty :-)
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stearns 08:24 AM 01-10-2018
Alright Bob, you got me thinking. Last night I was cooking some chicken breasts in the instant pot to use in a salad, after giving the outsides a quick sear I split them up in two batches to pressure cook, using a trivet so the chicken was not physically touching any liquid. The first I did using 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup chicken broth for liquid at the bottom of the pressure cooker, the second I used 1/3 cup fermented pepper brine and 2/3 cup water. While I wouldn't call the second one "spicy" (the original brine had a little kick but it wasn't from one of my hot pepper runs), it definitely had a little pepper and funk to it, in a good way. It wasn't enough to call it completely different than the control so I ended up mixing them together to eat, but I think if I upped that to 2/3 cup brine it may impart a significant amount of flavor. I'll give that a shot next time
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Chainsaw13 08:35 AM 01-10-2018
Interesting idea, glad to hear it worked.

I'm looking at getting either a 1 or 2 gallon crock. Local home brew store has them in stock for good prices, better than Amazon. I want to start doing larger batches of pepper ferments. Reading through a friends recipe, sounds like he continues to add to the crock until it's filled.
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stearns 08:54 AM 01-10-2018
I really want to start doing bigger batches, I just have no use for that many peppers, I have a hard time using all the stuff I've built up so far
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stearns 09:11 AM 03-07-2018
Made a small batch of hot sauce last weekend, using 50% (110g) fire-roasted fermented hatch chiles and 50% fire-roasted fermented pueblo chiles, along with another ~75g of brine from the hatch chiles (didn't measure volume, just added to the processor that was already on the scale). Still no food mill, need to leave some kitchen gadgets on the registry, but I used the ol' spoon and sieve method to get pretty much all the liquid out of the pulp. The goal was to do a small batch, so when I ended with 7oz it was perfect, filled up and sealed a 5oz bottle to send out and another 2oz for me to try.

The sauce itself looks great, no noticeable separation and just enough little black specks from the charred pepper skin to give it a good aesthetic. I dried out the leftover pulp and ground it in my new mortar and pestle (kinda old but hadn't used yet), the ground pepper that came out smells heavenly, funky and spicy but heavy on the charred end since most of the charred pepper skin ended up not making it through the sieve into the sauce. Only produced about a tablespoon of dried powder, but I think a little will go a long way with this stuff. Thanks for the tip Bob!
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Chainsaw13 10:06 AM 03-07-2018
That's awesome Ben! I'm still need to get a food mill too, so I can finally process the batch I've had going since last fall.
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Porch Dweller 10:57 AM 03-07-2018
That sounds really tasty!
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shilala 11:30 AM 03-07-2018
Originally Posted by Chainsaw13:
That's awesome Ben! I'm still need to get a food mill too, so I can finally process the batch I've had going since last fall.
Didn't you get a tomato strainer for on your kitchenaid mixer?
Or was that me? Wait. Yeah, I know I have one.
Maybe you were just whoring onto someone else's thread cause you needed one?

Anyways, those hand mills like Ben linked, those are for mashed potatoes. That's about it. Every polander on the hill has one, it's law.
But they even suck for tomatoes, and they don't deal with seeds at all. The spinner rides up on the seeds, then you gotta spin backwards, then you forward two spins and it quits working again, then you curse and wish you got a proper saucer.

An old tomato saucer is king. But the attachment for the kitchenaid mixer is pretty boss, too. Same difference, it's just more fun with the old grinder for little batches.
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shilala 11:34 AM 03-07-2018
Originally Posted by stearns:
I really want to start doing bigger batches, I just have no use for that many peppers, I have a hard time using all the stuff I've built up so far
Christmas baskets, brother.
We put up tons upon tons of stuff when I had the farm. We made "Homemade Goodness" baskets for the whole family, friends, everyone at Christmas.
Jam some homemade sketti noodles and fresh homemade bread along with all the other goodness and they were always a huge hit.
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stearns 11:37 AM 03-07-2018
Originally Posted by shilala:
Didn't you get a tomato strainer for on your kitchenaid mixer?
Or was that me? Wait. Yeah, I know I have one.
Maybe you were just whoring onto someone else's thread cause you needed one?

Anyways, those hand mills like Ben linked, those are for mashed potatoes. That's about it. Every polander on the hill has one, it's law.
But they even suck for tomatoes, and they don't deal with seeds at all. The spinner rides up on the seeds, then you gotta spin backwards, then you forward two spins and it quits working again, then you curse and wish you got a proper saucer.

An old tomato saucer is king. But the attachment for the kitchenaid mixer is pretty boss, too. Same difference, it's just more fun with the old grinder for little batches.
You talkin about something like this? Or a manual grinder like this? Please point me in the right direction, I've only used a food mill for making gnocchi once a long time back so I guess I can only speak to it's use with potatoes, but I need something that doesn't get seeds stuck under it for grinding up peppers. Learn me some of your brain thinking!
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T.G 12:17 PM 03-07-2018
Scott, any reason a good blender like a Vitamix or BlendTec wouldn't work?

I blend whole peppers with seeds, whole peppercorns, coriander, dried whole seed spices, even dried star anise in my virtamix when making sauces.
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Chainsaw13 12:25 PM 03-07-2018
Originally Posted by T.G:
Scott, any reason a good blender like a Vitamix or BlendTec wouldn't work?

I blend whole peppers with seeds, whole peppercorns, coriander, dried whole seed spices, even dried star anise in my virtamix when making sauces.
That's what I currently do too, in my Vitamix. However, the latest sauce I'm working on has yellow/orange flesh and black seeds. I'd rather not have the seed impart anything on the overall color.

I like the idea of the manual grinder, mostly from a cost perspective.
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T.G 07:30 AM 09-16-2018
A few months back, Ben sent me some sample bottles of his fermented jalapeno hot sauce and it was fantastic. It was very unique, had that flavor you can only get from lacto and was really well balanced, not over vinegary or salty like the handful of fermented chili sauces that are on the market.

So, first thing I did was dump a pound or so of serrano peppers into a fermenter after I finished a batch of pickles. That was a few weeks ago, added a pound of habaneros this morning.

Assuming I don't bump the temp up to accelerate it, I figure the fermentation has at least a few weeks left, if not longer.

So, my question for Bob and Ben and anyone else doing this, what are you guys doing to kill the lacto at the end - are you boiling, killing it with high salt concentration or just relying on a pH adjustment from an acid? Or a combo? I see good and bad in all of them when it comes to how it will change the flavor and texture.
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Chainsaw13 12:40 PM 09-16-2018
I've always mixed with vinegar at the end. But then I've let my ferments go months.

I had a friend who's a master at all things fermentation suggest pastuerizing with my sous vide. This was to kill a kahm yeast infection a batch of mine had.
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T.G 12:46 PM 09-16-2018
Originally Posted by Chainsaw13:
I had a friend who's a master at all things fermentation suggest pastuerizing with my sous vide. This was to kill a kahm yeast infection a batch of mine had.
That's brilliant. Near minimum sterilization temp for a long exposure time kill; won't change the texture. Why didn't I think of that...
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