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Bottling Hot Sauce at Home


donk79
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This fall, I have wandered back into the realm of hot sauce production.  I've turned to fermentation, and am including other garden ingredients in addition to peppers.  And I have to say that I am enjoying it!  But I am slightly stuck on the preservation stage.   I decided that canning was the way to go, for something that I wanted to keep potentially for a year plus.  The first batch went into jelly jars.  But I really would like something slightly more elegant to dispense from.  Is there a bottle form that can be pressure  "canned."  Is there another good way to process something like this?  I am assuming that the acid level is insufficient for hot water canning.

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The delightful book Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry has many preservation opportunities, including hot sauce, that only require a boiling-water bath. I think if your recipe includes enough vinegar you'll be safe with the boiling-water bath rather than pressure canning.

 

I don't know about pretty bottles that can withstand boiling-water baths, and honestly I never thought of it. I can tell you that friends gave me the remnants of an excellent hot sauce that some of their guests had brought as a house gift. We never questioned how it had been preserved, so I can't say whether it was simply bottled hot in sterilized bottles or had the bath treatment afterward. (I assume the former.) I can say that it lasted with little deterioration for a year or two. The bottle seems to be a repurposed Old Bushmill's bottle. The light at this time of night ruins the image of the writing on the glass, but note that this was simply corked:

 

20191017_224744.jpg

 

 

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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6 minutes ago, Smithy said:

The delightful book Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry has many preservation opportunities, including hot sauce, that only require a boiling-water bath. I think if your recipe includes enough vinegar you'll be safe with the boiling-water bath rather than pressure canning.

Thank you for the link!  The sauce that I am making is simply vegetables (peppers, pears, squash) fermented into a pickle, then blended.  Yes, very much the random experiment that occurs when you have too much of this and too much of that laying around.  But the first batch (Pepper, pears, garlic) turned out so great that I am optimistic about what could come!  All this is noted, though, to say that I am not adding vinegar, and am not confident in the acidity.  Hence the desire to process under pressure.

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3 minutes ago, donk79 said:

 

For the curious...

IMG_20191017_232237222.thumb.jpg.f866e7705d65371aef36467496eef146.jpg

Ferment bu-bubbling.

 

What's making it go? Salt? You said little vinegar...although that fruit may be providing some acid.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Different products need different level of salt.  Sauerkraut for example want about 2% by weight of the cabbage.  And after a few days you can measure the pH and see that it is declining pretty fast.  And after a few weeks you can titrate some of the pickling liquid with NaOH if you really want to know the acidity, though for preservation you are more interested in the pH than acid concentration (and you should know why pH is not a good proxy for acidity).  Once the pH is low enough, you can let taste guide how long you ferment.  A batch will continue to get more sour over time as more sugars are turning into lactic and acetic acids.  I don't want to quote numbers because USDA has standards that are more complex for assuring food safety, but you can find all of it on-line.

Edited by DocDougherty (log)
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17 hours ago, DocDougherty said:

Different products need different level of salt.  Sauerkraut for example want about 2% by weight of the cabbage.  And after a few days you can measure the pH and see that it is declining pretty fast.  And after a few weeks you can titrate some of the pickling liquid with NaOH if you really want to know the acidity, though for preservation you are more interested in the pH than acid concentration (and you should know why pH is not a good proxy for acidity).  Once the pH is low enough, you can let taste guide how long you ferment.  A batch will continue to get more sour over time as more sugars are turning into lactic and acetic acids.  I don't want to quote numbers because USDA has standards that are more complex for assuring food safety, but you can find all of it on-line.

 

Thank you, @DocDougherty!  I will look into this!  I have been relying on measures other than acidity for true preservation so far, but it's worth checking as to whether the acidity of the pickle might be enough!

Edited by donk79 (log)
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