Why Ferment Hot Sauce?

There are probably thousands of different types of hot sauces out there, but did you know that a lot of them are made from yeast?

Anyway, why ferment hot sauce in the first place?

Fermentation adds the flavor and texture to a hot sauce that no other process can deliver. 

During fermentation, bacteria consume sugars and produce acids, producing a unique blend of flavor, heat, and preservation.

There are many reasons why fermented hot sauce is popular, including the complexity in flavor it brings, positive effects on the digestive system, and long shelf life.

Continue reading if you want to learn more.

Fermented vs Unfermented Hot Sauce

There is a big difference between the two hot sauces, even though the main ingredients are the same.

If food is fermentable, it means that it has undergone a natural process in which the sugars in the food are converted into alcohol and/or acid in an environment with no oxygen.

Fermented hot sauce can be made by putting peppers and fruit in a salt brine solution and storing it in a mason jar.

The peppers are allowed to ferment in the salt brine for about a week or longer if the time is right.

Maintaining the correct pH is important here for keeping out bad bacteria and preserving the hot sauce.

You probably already know that some popular hot sauces are made from oak barrels.

There is a simpler way to make regular hot sauce, where the peppers are combined with the alcohol.

As soon as you blend the ingredients, it is ready to be consumed. The fermented hot sauce requires a lot of time to process.

Unfermented Hot Sauce

Why Is Hot Sauce Fermented?

Refrigerators began to be used as a way of preserving and prolonging the shelf-life of food.

People could store and enjoy food knowing that it would last a long time.

The main reason people ferment hot sauce is that it gives them new and complex flavors, including a pleasantly surprising Tanginess, compared to non-fermented hot sauce.

Regular hot sauce will give you a flavor that hits you all at once, whereas fermented hot sauce is more subtle and layers.

Fermented Hot Sauce

Is Fermented Hot Sauce Good?

There is an argument to be made that fermented hot sauce is not as spicy as regular, non-fermented hot sauce.

The other flavors of hot sauce taste similar to the non-fermented hot sauce, which has more heat.

In comparison, heat is lost in the fermentation process, and the hot sauce is usually milder.

If you use some of the spiciest hot peppers out there like Carolina pepper or ghost peppers, you should still be able to get a good amount of heat in your hot sauce.

While still having a hot sauce that is packed with heat, you can get the complexity of flavor with the fermented hot sauce.

There are several benefits, including the complex flavor of the hot sauce.

  • It is easier to digest food that has already been partially broken down.
  • Also referred to as the “good” bacteria, which helps in digestion, is included.
  • It has a shelf-life that lasts for a long time.
  • If you have a lot of frozen peppers in your fridge, you can ferment them and bring back a lot of the flavor.

How Long Should Hot Sauce Take Time to Ferment?

It takes about seven days for hot sauce to ferment. In the first couple of weeks, the most active fermentation will occur, then it will die down.

You will get a more complex flavor the longer you ferment it, but a week is enough time to get a pretty good ferment on your hot sauce.

Changes in flavor and color can be caused by fermented hot sauce, which continues to ferment after you bottle or jar it.

Fermented Hot Sauce

Final Words

I think it’s a better question to ask, why not ferment hot sauce?

If you want to change things up with more depth and flavor, Fermented hot sauce can be used just as frequently as regular, non-fermented hot sauce.

It will last you a long time without spoiling, and it is good for your bicycle. It is worth having a bottle or two in your kitchen.

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