How Long Fermented Hot Sauce Last?

In the last few years, hot sauces made their way back into style because many people are craving funkiness.

Not only does the shelf life of your hot sauce increase, but it also improves the already delicious flavor of pepper.

The best hot sauce makers in the world usually ferment their product for a good 3 months before releasing it onto the market.

Fermented hot sauce lasts for up to two years in the refrigerator. After that, it may lose its spiciness and heat, but it will still keep its tanginess.

They accumulate so much extra flavor that it enhances the hot sauce.

We know that fermented foods last a long time, but how long does the hot sauce last? Below is the answer that we can explore.

How Does Hot Sauce Fermentation Work?

Depending on who you ask, the process of Fermentation involves healthy, good bacteria that break down your veggies into smaller Molecules.

This leads to the creation of lactic acids, which increase the acidity and preserve the hot sauce.

The live bacteria don’t get killed off unless you pasteurize them at too high heat, which is one of the main benefits of fermented foods.

When bubbles start forming and the sauce develops a sour and tangy flavor, you can identify it from the bacterium which helps regulate digestion.

Hot Sauce

Shelf Life Of Fermented Hot Sauce

Fermented hot sauces have an expiration date as well. The key difference between the two is that the hot sauce lasts longer.

The most popular hot sauces can last for several years.

Those who have been able to keep their batches fresh for a long period follow a few best practices.

Making sure to let your batches ferment long enough to lower their acidity is one of those best practices.

It is possible to control the acidity by checking the hot sauce’s pH value.

Adding vinegar to the process will increase the acidity and shelf life even more.

You can keep your hot sauce fresh for years by storing it in your pantry at room temperature and not having to keep it refrigerated.

The most likely scenario is that you have been consuming the hot sauce for a long time. It should last you over a year if you followed the recipe correctly.

Fermented Hot Sauce

Tips to Extend Shelf Life Of Fermented Hot Sauce

The hot sauce should be kept at room temperature until the color of the peppers starts to change and dull.

Around 5 to 7 days is how long this will take.

It’s best to ferment hot sauce for 1 to 2 weeks, but you can do it for longer if you want more flavor.

Adding more acetic acid keeps the pH low and preserves the hot sauce for a longer time.

For a long time, Tabasco can be fermented in oak barrels with the right combination of vinegar.

If you have a hot sauce that is too thick, you can thin it out with the help of water and/or a liquid of water.

If you use the right salt to water ratio you can keep bad bacteria from ruining your hot sauce.

Does Fermented Hot Sauce Go Bad?

If you have done everything right, your hot sauce should last you several years, but it will still go bad in time.

Over time, the perishable ingredients will invite mold and bacterial growth. It is important to be aware of the tell-tale signs of spoiled food.

Fermented Hot Sauce Goes Bad

How To Identify if Fermented Hot Sauce is Bad?

If it’s still okay to eat, it’s easy to forget how long you have had it. There are many ways to find out if the hot sauce is bad.

You can use a pH test to see if your hot sauce is still acidic.

It’s time to throw it away if it’s higher than 3.5 Secondary testings can include appearance, smell, and taste.

It’s hard to throw away a great hot sauce you made yourself, but it’s better than having food poisoning later.

Here is how you can make sure your hot sauce is safe to eat:


It’s a good idea to throw away your hot sauce if it appears to have spots. The hot sauce can change in color and texture, but it is normal because of the exposure to oxygen.

This isn’t something to worry about. If you see something growing in there, it is time to throw it away.


A smell test will be next up. If you notice a sour or rotten smell, then you know that the hot sauce has gone beyond the point of no return.

If it still smells delicious, then you can probably use it.


A small sample of the hot sauce is what is left after the last step. To emphasize, not a lot, but a small amount to test the hot sauce.

If it doesn’t feel right, or slimy, spit it out immediately. If your hot sauce doesn’t taste bad, then it’s still okay to eat.

Do You Need to Refrigerate Fermented Hot Sauce?

It’s less likely that a hot sauce will go bad if it has vinegar, fermented peppers, and capsaicin in it.

They reduce the pH level to make sure there isn’t any bacterial activity.

If your hot sauce contains fruits, vegetables, and eggs, I recommend refrigerating it, just to be on the safe side.

Pro Tip:

A healthy ferment can be killed if oxygen is present. The hot sauce should not be kept in the air for long periods.

When you have taken out the desired amount, put the lid on again.


If you want to extend the shelf life of your hot sauce, make sure you have a tight seal on your jar.

The 20% vinegar trick keeps the pH level down, which is good for preservation, and many people prefer to use it.

Have you been able to keep your hot sauce fresh for a long time? Don’t forget to share your tips and observations in the comments.

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