First time fermenting - homemade Sriracha

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First time fermenting - homemade Sriracha

Postby Gentlemom on Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:32 pm

Hello,

I have never fermented before but when I came upon a recipe for homemade Sriracha that involved fermenting I was excited to give it a try. I followed the instructions carefully, they stated it should begin to ferment by day 2 or 3 and to finish by day 5 or so. I have it in a half gallon mason jar with the lid on loosely as recommended in the recipe. I have stirred it 1x daily, also per the recipe. I have not seen what I can definitely identify as fermentation, but I have noted the level of the contents rise by watching the measures on the side of the jar. Today is day 7, it looks good - no mold or off looking colors or films, it smells good, like peppers and garlic. My question is, what do I do now? Is it ruined somehow? or is it slower than the recipe's author noted? Any guidance you can give would be sincerely appreciated!
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Re: First time fermenting - homemade Sriracha

Postby Gutted on Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:55 pm

Gentlemom wrote:Hello,

I have never fermented before but when I came upon a recipe for homemade Sriracha that involved fermenting I was excited to give it a try. I followed the instructions carefully, they stated it should begin to ferment by day 2 or 3 and to finish by day 5 or so. I have it in a half gallon mason jar with the lid on loosely as recommended in the recipe. I have stirred it 1x daily, also per the recipe. I have not seen what I can definitely identify as fermentation, but I have noted the level of the contents rise by watching the measures on the side of the jar. Today is day 7, it looks good - no mold or off looking colors or films, it smells good, like peppers and garlic. My question is, what do I do now? Is it ruined somehow? or is it slower than the recipe's author noted? Any guidance you can give would be sincerely appreciated!

It doesn't sound a long time to ferment but I am not familiar with Sriracha. The ambient temperature will affect it and could slow it down and so could the amount of salt.

You say that the contents have risen so It could be ready, have you tried any?

What were you expecting to happen?
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Re: First time fermenting - homemade Sriracha

Postby Gentlemom on Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:42 am

The recipe states:
"Check the jar every day for fermentation. (This should begin after 2–3 days.) Once you begin to see bubbles/liquid-y magic at the bottom of the jar, fermentation has begun! (For me, this began after 2 days.) Stir contents each day, until the contents of the jar are no longer rising in volume from the fermentation. (My mash hit this point after 5 days.)"

I have not really seen "bubbles/liquidy magic" the mixture has stayed pretty well distributed throughout, no separation of any kind that I can note. It has been cooler than summer but not particularly cold here, we just had a couple of days in the 70s. The recipe calls for 3 teaspoons of kosher salt to 1 1/2 pounds of peppers, AND looking back at it now I realize I added weights together where I shouldn't have and have used too many peppers. I suppose it is ruined then...
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Re: First time fermenting - homemade Sriracha

Postby Gentlemom on Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:10 am

Can anyone help me with this? I really hate to have to throw all of this away if there is any way I can save it. I waited months for these peppers to ripen so I could make the sauce. Thanks for your time!
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Re: First time fermenting - homemade Sriracha

Postby Gutted on Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:47 am

Gentlemom wrote:Can anyone help me with this? I really hate to have to throw all of this away if there is any way I can save it. I waited months for these peppers to ripen so I could make the sauce. Thanks for your time!

It's difficult to know what you have done, even what is in the ferment and therefore it's an awful lot of guesswork! Added weights together? If your working to a recipe and it gives quantities then why is any summation needed?

It might be worth you listing the recipe and what is in the ferment. Many people, including myself, may be unfamiliar with Sriracha.

Ferments are rarely totally ruined even when things are not done 100% correctly. Miscalculating can affect the fermentation time required, as can many factors. If you've used less salt than required then it could be finished but not ruined!

I suggest that you try some with a clean spoon. If it tastes like it should then there doesn't seem any reason to wait. If it doesn't taste ready then leave it for longer.

Usually when doing a ferment I weigh the veg and then weigh the corresponding amount of salt. For my first ferment, I didn't leave it long enough so it was not ready to eat.
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Re: First time fermenting - homemade Sriracha

Postby Gentlemom on Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:11 pm

Thank you so much for the replies! Here is a link to the recipe and instructions, the reason I ended up using more peppers than I should have is that she gave proportions for different ripenesses of peppers in pounds and I added them to the total... stupid mistake. It does contain garlic, which I know can cause botulism issues when infused in oil (anaerobically). Also, it does call for the addition of vinegar then cooking the completed sauce to thicken... bringing to a boil and then simmering 5-10 minutes. Any other thoughts would be appreciated!

http://www.reclaimingprovincial.com/201 ... -sriracha/
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Re: First time fermenting - homemade Sriracha

Postby David on Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:57 am

Gentlemom wrote:Thank you so much for the replies! Here is a link to the recipe and instructions, the reason I ended up using more peppers than I should have is that she gave proportions for different ripenesses of peppers in pounds and I added them to the total... stupid mistake. It does contain garlic, which I know can cause botulism issues when infused in oil (anaerobically). Also, it does call for the addition of vinegar then cooking the completed sauce to thicken... bringing to a boil and then simmering 5-10 minutes. Any other thoughts would be appreciated!

http://www.reclaimingprovincial.com/201 ... -sriracha/


I do not understand for what purpose to fermentation and then boil it all?
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Re: First time fermenting - homemade Sriracha

Postby Gutted on Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:44 pm

Gentlemom wrote:Thank you so much for the replies! Here is a link to the recipe and instructions, the reason I ended up using more peppers than I should have is that she gave proportions for different ripenesses of peppers in pounds and I added them to the total... stupid mistake. It does contain garlic, which I know can cause botulism issues when infused in oil (anaerobically). Also, it does call for the addition of vinegar then cooking the completed sauce to thicken... bringing to a boil and then simmering 5-10 minutes. Any other thoughts would be appreciated!

http://www.reclaimingprovincial.com/201 ... -sriracha/

All I can really tell you is, don't be afraid to experiment! Find out what works best for you. Maybe use smaller quantities while you experiment. Ferment for longer and see how it changes it. Sugar will affect the flavour and can assist the bacteria. Liquidized potato can do a similar thing and might affect the flavour differently. I've been using liquidized potato in my sauerkraut to encourage some bacteria that I added to culture.

Just be careful with the garlic, but if you boil it then I think that should take care of anything nasty. Check to make sure!

David wrote:I do not understand for what purpose to fermentation and then boil it all?

For some people, the taste and texture are the most important things about food. For other people, like me and you by the sound of it, the function is the most important thing. Live bacteria to benefit the digestive system.

From what I can tell, the boiling it is meant to thicken the sauce. I think, innocent bacteria ruthlessly murdered, boiled, once they have done their job. lol
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Re: First time fermenting - homemade Sriracha

Postby Gentlemom on Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:41 pm

I understand about the boiling killing the beneficial bacteria and therefore the benefits of the fermentation... this was simply the closest recipe I could find to the original sauce.

Gutted wrote:Just be careful with the garlic, but if you boil it then I think that should take care of anything nasty. Check to make sure!


How would I "Check to make sure!" on the garlic?

Thanks again for your help!
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Re: First time fermenting - homemade Sriracha

Postby Gutted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:55 am

Gentlemom wrote:I understand about the boiling killing the beneficial bacteria and therefore the benefits of the fermentation... this was simply the closest recipe I could find to the original sauce.

Gutted wrote:Just be careful with the garlic, but if you boil it then I think that should take care of anything nasty. Check to make sure!


How would I "Check to make sure!" on the garlic?

Thanks again for your help!

I'm certainly no expert on botulism and the do's and do not's of how to prevent it. Reading online shows that the botulism bacteria Clostridium botulinium can survive temperatures in excess of 212ºF/100ºC. However acid and salt tend to kill it and combining salt, acid, via fermenting and heat should kill the bacteria. You've already been doing these things so you should be okay.

It's not that common anyway becoming a victim of it. The botulism bacteria is present in soil so it tends to be on most vegetables wherever there is no air to some degree, particularly root vegetables with soil. Air destroys it so washing away soil kills most of the bacteria.

Fermenting produces quite high levels of acid, especially the longer the ferment goes on. The beneficial bacteria present will also make for an unwelcome place for the botulism bacteria.

If you've been adding salt and vinegar and exposing the garlic to air then that should be more than enough to prevent a problem. Heating it to thicken will put the cherry on the top.

Therefore, don't pay it any more than minor attention and basic precautions and enjoy your experimenting to make your perfect sauce.
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