Fermenting

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by GoodEnoughGear, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    I've been making ferments for a couple of years now. It's easy, healthy and damn fine eating.

    I thought I'd post a couple of hot-sauce type recipes, one in the style of Sriracha and the other a spin on African Peri-Peri.

    First, the basics. This is according to my actual experience, with some comments as to other aspects you might find on the web.

    Making a fermented pepper mash

    You'll need hot peppers of your choice. For Sriracha you want a Jalapeno style ripe pepper (red) (Fresno is good too) and for Peri-Peri of course Peri-Peri chillies. Anything will do, I've made these with Habaneros as well, so it's really up to you if you want to stick to the 'correct' pepper.

    I rinse the peppers, chop off the stems (though you can leave the green base for a more earthy flavor) and roughly chop into 2-3 pieces. Pack them lightly into a Bormioli Rocco Fido type jar. Your choice as to whether you fill it, but leave space at the top for a bit of energetic frothing. This is not really an issue with peppers, but Kraut has a lot of sugar and needs headroom!

    Then make a 2%-4% salt solution, using NON-IODATED natural salt so you don't kill the lactobacilli. Make sure the water is not chlorinated for the same reason. I tend to use a 3% salt solution. This is to create a hostile environment for nasty bacteria while allowing the lactobacilli to thrive.

    Fill the jar to just cover the peppers. Close, place in a dark place somewhere close to an ideal 65 degrees F, and let them go for 3 days to a year. Yep, I shit you not, a year. I find a 3 week minimum and a 3 month maximum is good for me, but I have fermented for a year before without issue.

    There are stories of these jars exploding and needing all sorts of airlocks and whatnot. Bollocks, the seal is weak enough to allow off-gassing and strong enough to prevent air getting in. The fermentation process has the lactobacilli eating sugars, peeing lactic acid and farting CO2. The CO2 will push the lighter air out of the jar, and the lactic acid drops the pH over time until you effectively have the equivalent of vinegar. 3 weeks is enough to get the pH low enough to provide a fridge-stable pickle.

    You should see bubbles after a day or so. Some sites say if you get a yeast mold, just scrape it off. I have never had such a mold, and IMO though it may be relatively harmless, if you do, something is not quite right. The CO2 and acidity should not allow growth of such yeasts. What you will see is a white, lacy effect often at the bottom nwhere the seeds collect - this is perfectly normal.

    This is what they look like after a couple of weeks. These are Peri-Peri:
    20180301_073739.jpg

    Once fermented to your taste, strain out the chillies and pulse in a blender or processor, adding the liquid back in so the resultant mash is like a salsa consistency. I find if I use the same weight of peppers as water I can just blend it all up. Store in the fridge for a year or more.

    Coming soon...Part II, Sriracha and Peri-Peri recipes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
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  2. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    Sriracha

    A fermented Sriracha recipe.

    2 cloves raw garlic
    1 teaspoon palm sugar
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    50 milliliters distilled white vinegar
    300 grams Fermented Pepper Mash

    Place ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.

    Store in the refrigerator for up to a year. Good luck if it lasts a week :).

    Fresnos.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
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  3. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    Molho de Piri-Piri
    A basic Molho de Piri-Piri. This can be made with fresh peppers or fermented pepper mash.

    175 milliliters Olive Oil
    175 milliliters Red Wine vinegar
    30 grams peri-peri chiles or 60g fermented peri-peri mash
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon paprika
    5 cloves garlic
    1 tablespoon oregano Dried
    2 teaspoons brown sugar

    Stem and coarsely chop the chiles if fresh, and garlic
    Add all ingredients to a bowl and blend with a hand blender
    Refrigerate and allow to infuse 1 week, shaking occasionally
    Will keep up to a month in the refrigerator with fresh chillies or a year or more with a fermented mash.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
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  4. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    Homemade Sauerkraut

    This is a simple homemade sauerkraut using lactobaccili fermentation in a Fido jar. There are other methods where you compress the cabbage with salt and let it leach out the water, but I actually prefer this one as the cabbage is less limp and more crunchy, like a pickle. I'll slice it thicker too for the same reason. Slice very thinly for a more 'classic' kraut.

    Of course if you cook it it loses its probiotic goodness, but it's still delicious and more hot-dog friendly.


    1 small cabbage (about 1.5 pounds)
    1 liter 3% brine (non-iodated salt and non-chlorinated water)
    1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional, for flavor)

    Instructions:

    Slice the cabbage: Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into thin ribbons.

    Pack the cabbage into a 1.5l Fido jar: Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the jar. If you have a canning funnel, this will make the job easier. Every so often, tamp down the cabbage in the jar with your fist.

    Cover with brine, leaving at least 11/2inch clearance below the shoulder or it will overflow - the fermentation is quick and vigorous.

    Ferment the cabbage for 2-6 weeks or more: As it's fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature — ideally 65°F to 75°F. You will see very vigorous fermentation in the first 48 hours, so I advise you put the jars in plastic containers to catch any overflow in case you haven't left enough space.

    Store sauerkraut for several months: This sauerkraut is a fermented product so it will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated. As long as it still tastes and smells good to eat, it will be. If you like, you can transfer the sauerkraut to a smaller container for longer storage.
     
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  5. SineDave

    SineDave Friend

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    Ahh Peri Peri..bringing back memories of my youth in Cape Town.
     
  6. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    I've made sauerkraut and fermented hot sauce from thai peppers. The hot sauce was a failure, but the sauerkraut was the best I ever had and stupidly easy to make. I dont do a brine like you do, I only use salt. It draws out the moisture and creates its own brine.

    Also made my own red wine vinegar.c

    Edit: didn't read the preface
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
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  7. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    By the way, here is my (non-)recipe for red wine vinegar.

    Buy a box of wine and wait 6 months. Or longer

    It's typically recommended to consume boxed wine within 2-3 months because the plastic bags are still permeable to air and oxygen turns alcohol into acid. But for vinegar this is exactly what you want.
     
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  8. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    I'm making a sauerkraut and pastrami sandwich

    FD2FD2EE-F63E-4F8B-83D4-8EFA29D76AC3.jpeg

    It will be ready in one month

    If using brine like @GoodEnoughGear, I recommend putting some liquid in the jar first before adding cabbage. It helps reduce the trapped air bubbles, which saves you some work later on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  9. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Started a batch of jalapeños and cucumbers today. First time trying both so I look forward to the results

    8515DBDB-1C65-49A4-860B-BB19D4771C09.jpeg
    DD49448E-917F-4E86-9D6D-FA81207214AE.jpeg

    Just a basic salt brine with some peppercorns and garlic cloves
     
  10. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    So checking up on my pickling experiment

    DD1C19CD-6444-4C77-8301-9276B1FB100F.jpeg

    Neither the cucumbers or the jalapeños were sour. The cucumbers are far too salty and are garbage. I was trying out the jalapeños whole to see how it would work out and the cavity still had air. Half were mush but the other half were still firm. The firm ones are still usable but not what I was expecting.

    The recipe I used called for 1 tbsp salt per cup of water. Doing some calculations this turns out to be a 6% solution. This is far to high and probably why is doesn't taste like there was any fermentation.

    Going to start over with the right concentration.
     
  11. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

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    @Cspirou can you salvage any of the peppers for green pepper sauce? All it takes is a blender and a sieve. Maybe a splash a distilled vinegar because of the air pockets you still had...
     
  12. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    For peppers you want to slice them at least in half - I slice in quarters. I use a 2% brine with non-iodated salt, works wonderfully for peppers. I've not done cukes, but I would imagine an even weaker solution, but running some risk of mold. Maybe use a starter from something else like cabbage.

    This is 40 Jalapenos and a jar of sauerkraut about 4 days in. You can see bubbles in the kraut especially, a good sign.They'll be good to go at 3 weeks.

    (edit - in retrospect if you at least puncture the peppers you may be OK)

    20180626_201257.jpg
     
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  13. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Yeah, I think they would work in a tomatillo salsa. Even the mushy ones don't taste like they are spoiled.

    @GoodEnoughGear

    Cutting them up would have been the common sense thing to do. However I have seen jars of sport peppers where they are whole, even with the stem. So I thought it was worth trying out. Although those were probably brined with vinegar which is a different beast. Next batch I will cut into halves or quarters lengthwise.
     
  14. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    It's also about density of material to solution. These jars are pretty packed, so by weight an even more lowerer salt to peppers ratio than just switching your solution to 2%.
     
  15. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    So, update on my pickling adventure. I was dumping out the cucumbers assuming they were spoiled and I was intending to start over. However I noticed that they looked pretty fermented. I gave it a taste and they were definitely sour, but not that much, however still very salty. From what I'm reading the excess salt just slowed fermentation way down. I think if I just replace the solution with 3% brine that I'll be fine. If I was smarter I would have just kept the brine I had and diluted it, but hey you live you learn.

    I also did a little pickling reconnaissance at In N Out. For those of you that don't know, In N Out now has pickled yellow peppers as a condiment next to the ketchup and they are pickled whole. I inspected the peppers all over the surface to see if there was any cuts or holes and I didn't see any. Opened the peppers really carefully and noticed that there was a lot of empty space in the cavity still and a little bit of brine. So when pickling whole I think it's actually okay that some air remains. Next batch will have one whole pepper along with chopped to continue experimentation.
     
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  16. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    So here's what I ended up with:

    AC8FC74C-D855-4494-B439-5E419FF8CE58.jpeg

    They definitely look right. Still taste way too salty. I think I need to soak them in water to get the excess salt out. But at this point i would rather start over. I can still use these as a salty component in a sandwich.
     
  17. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    Hmmm...looks like the real deal. I'd try again but keep a couple tablespoons of this brine as a starter and use no salt at all. Maybe even a little cabbage in the jar to foster those lactobacilli and drop the ph fast.

    <edit> There must be a gazillion resources on how to make pickles :) </edit>
     
  18. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Yes, i've done plenty of reading and I'm on the experience/experiment phase. Although 90% of the recipes I find use vinegar.
     
  19. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    Yeah, I have no reference point vs. a vinegar (and likely cooked) pickle. It may not be a matter of replicating but of learning to appreciate something new. I appreciate you experimenting - forge ahead, fuck the theory.
     
  20. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    What have I gotten myself into?

    D62268CA-DD59-4EA5-BCF2-D6AB17A0E8E8.jpeg

    From left to right:

    -Jalapeño, onion, carrot and radish escabeche
    -tomatoes
    -escabeche with mix of whole and chopped peppers
    -onions
    -cucumbers

    The last two have a brine with pickling spices and is at 3.6%. The others have a 3% brine. The 3.6% is actually a miscalculation but it's not so bad so I left it as is.

    This is ultimately to make a chicago style hot dog with all pickled ingredients.
     

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