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How to Make Fermented Hot Sauce

Well shit, everyone! It’s time to fuckin’ make your own fermented hot sauce! Have you ever tasted Tabasco Pepper Sauce? You may or may not like the taste. I honestly don’t give a shit what you think about it. I only parade this fine sauce because of the fucking awesome way it is made and the fact that it contains exactly three ingredients: peppers, salt, and vinegar. Try to find another hot sauce at your local Wal-Mart that contains only three ingredients. You might find one or two, but it will be difficult. I bet you could find several of them at Whole Foods, but then again, you would have to deal with the yoga moms in their farty yoga pants. I don’t want to go to either of those fucking places, but not necessarily because of their questionable business practices and the way they treat their employees and all that horse shit. I mostly don’t want to go to Wal-Mart or Whole Foods, because I don’t want to risk getting myself into a conversation with anyone. About anything. I digress, because I do what the fuck I want to do.

Anyway, make your own hot sauce, but first, watch this incredibly awesome video about how Tabasco is made:

What You Need:

-Peppers (Jalapenos, Habaneros, Peter Peppers, Bhut Jolokia, Cayenne, or any other type of pepper)

Peppers that look like dicks
Cock Peppers

-Salt

-Water

-Distilled White Vinegar

Distilled White Vinegar
Distilled White Vinegar

-Other ingredients, such as garlic, ground peppercorn, dried/fresh herbs, jizz, or anything else you want

-Hot sauce bottles

Reused Hot Sauce Bottles
Reused Hot Sauce Bottles

-Erlenmeyer Flask

Erlenmeyer Flask
Erlenmeyer Flask

-Bung. With the Erlenmeyer flask I use, a medium-sized bung is required. It can be purchased at your local brew store or anywhere online.

Bung
Bung

-Airlock. It can be purchased at your local brew store or anywhere online.

Airlock
Airlock

How to Make it:

This process has several steps, and it takes about 6 weeks to complete. If you aren’t ready to commit to this project, or you don’t have the ability to delay gratification, well, you’re probably a stereotypical American who can barely squeeze into your oversized SUV. For once in your fucking life, don’t be a lazy bag of Jesus turds. Make this hot sauce properly, and it will result in the most savory taste bud rape you’ve ever experienced. Sure, you could cook and blend a bunch of stupid ingredients together and call it hot sauce all in one day, but everyone would know you’re a fraud, and you would forgo the aging process that gives your hot sauce its true flavor. Remember, the Tabasco you put on your Sonic bacon pretzel dog, the heat of which was mitigated by gorging on an extra-large red velvet cheesecake milkshake, aged for three years. You only need to age your sauce for six weeks. Don’t be a grab-asser.

1. Make a pepper mash. To make a mash, just lightly blend your peppers in a blender until they are chunky, but not liquidy. You could also chop the peppers until they are chunkyish. Some blogs out there recommend you leave the stems on the peppers. Don’t do that. Yes, the stems have some nutritional value and all that hippy bullshit, but they will also change the flavor and color of the sauce. Compost the stems.

2. Add your other ingredients to the mash in the blender. If you’re going to add fresh garlic to your sauce, remember that garlic goes a long way when it is aged. So, unless you love garlic more than your wife (like me), use less than you normally would. Add the mash and other ingredients to the flask.

Fresh Pepper Mash
Fresh Pepper Mash

3. Make a brine solution. You need a brine solution for a number of reasons. First, salt water brines help preserve food by inhibiting bacterial growth. They also flavor food on a cellular level using the process of osmosis. This process is a major reason why aged sauces taste so much better than fresh sauces. Quick note: this principle doesn’t apply to you and your interminable dereliction of personal hygiene. You most certainly do not improve with age. I’m mostly talking about your super yucky buttcrack mouth.

To make the brine, you need to dissolve salt into water at a ratio of roughly 1 cup of kosher salt to one gallon of water. Since there are 16 cups in one gallon, that makes your ratio of salt to water 1:16. Unless you are making a shitload of hot sauce, you won’t need even close to one gallon of water, which means you won’t need even close to one cup of salt. However, you can use this formula to determine how much salt is necessary, based on how much water you use. You’re super dumb, I realize that. Therefore, I will give you directions that can be used to quickly and accurately make your brine.

One measured cup at a time, add water to the mash (which has already been poured into the flask). Continue to add cups of water until your mash is engulfed in water, and the water is roughly an inch above the mash. Sometimes, your mash will float. That’s fine, as long as you have enough water in the flask to cover the mash if the mash were to sink.

Next, add your salt to the mash. If you needed 4 cups of water to cover your mash, you will need to add ¼ cup of salt, or 2 ounces.

5 cups water = 2.5 oz salt = 5 tbsp
4 cups water = 2 oz salt = 4 tbsp
3 cups water = 1.5 oz salt = 3 tbsp

See a pattern, Einstein? For every cup of water you add or subtract, add or subtract a half ounce of salt or 1 tbsp. And don’t forget to go fuck yourself.

Mix everything together with a frown and a murder weapon.

Add the brine solution
Add the brine solution

4. Tightly seat your bung and airlock into the flask, and pour a little bit of water or vodka into the airlock. This will allow the sauce to burp carbon dioxide, while preventing oxygen from returning to the flask. Hard liquor is a better option, because it is sterile or sanitary or whatever the fuck. Do not remove the bung or airlock from your flask for any reason. If you do, you will increase the odds of oxygen entering the flask, which will provide a perfect environment for bacteria to destroy your sauce or create weird flavors. Sometimes, however, you will get a little mold on top of your sauce. If you do, just get a sanitized spoon, and remove the mold. Your sauce will be fine.

Bung and airlock inserted
Bung and airlock inserted

5. Let your sauce ferment and age in a dry place that is protected from sunlight for exactly 4 weeks. I use the box in which my flask was shipped. It’s pretty fucking thick, unlike your wiener. During the first week, you may see your airlock bubbling every now and then. If you do, your sauce is fermenting. After a week of sitting and fermenting, shake the sauce around a bit every few days. This will help prevent mold from forming.

Ferment and age in dark, dry corner
Ferment and age in dark, dry corner

6. Strain the mash. After four weeks, remove the airlock and bung, and pour the mash into a fine strainer. You want the brine to drain out of the mash, but no need to press on the mash to squeeze the last bit out. Removing the brine will help prevent separation of your sauce.

Strain the mash
Strain the mash

7. Add distilled white vinegar to the mash. Pour the mash into a blender and add enough distilled white vinegar to completely engulf the mash and cover by about an inch.

Add Vinegar to the mash
Add Vinegar to the mash

8. Blend the absolute fucking shit out of the mash. I turn my bad-ass blender on high for about three full minutes. While thinking about Satan, continue to hatefully add vinegar until the sauce is at a consistency you desire. Then, with cat blood all over your lips, pour the sauce back into the flask, put the bung and airlock back on, and put it back in the dry place that is protected from sunlight for exactly one week.

Blend the fuck out of the hot sauce
Blend the fuck out of the hot sauce

9. After one week, bottle the sauce. Sanitize your hot sauce bottles. You can do this by boiling them for 10 minutes, or by running them through the dishwasher at the highest heat setting possible. Pour the sauce into the bottles, put on the caps, and put the bottles back in that dry place that is protected from sunlight for exactly one week.

Bottled Hot Sauce
Bottled Hot Sauce

10. Rape your taste buds. After one week, your sauce is ready to use. After you open it, put it in the refrigerator, because it will now be regularly exposed to oxygen every time it is opened. The sauce should continue to get better and better with age, unlike your appearance.

Enjoy, motherfucker. You’re welcome.

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