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AggieHank86
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Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
I have made my own salsa picante for a long time, and I have decided to take a stab at some Louisiana-style (Tabasco-style) hot sauce. I want a fully-liquid sauce (like Tabasco), rather than something chunky.

Does anyone have a good recipe or any advice for a newb?

For instance, how long do you ferment? I have read that the Tabasco folks ferment three years for each batch. I am a patient guy, but I am not sure that I have THAT much patience. I have read recipes on the internet that ferment for only a few weeks, but I don't see that you get the full benefit of fermentation or the melding of flavors in such a short time. Is there a minimum fermentation period necessary to get that "authentic" flavor?

What peppers? I was thinking mostly red jalapenos, with a bit of red bell pepper for some sweetness and maybe a habanero for a bit of extra zing. Would you de-seed the peppers?

What vinegar type? Cider vinegar might be nice, but I was also considering red wine vinegar.
This post was edited on 5/15 at 6:34 pm


LouisianaLady
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re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
Watch Brad Leone's video on it. I think he just ferments for 2 weeks?


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BottomlandBrew
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re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
ChilliChump also has a good video making some. He has a really good fermented hot sauce youtube channel with tons of good recipes and how-to's.

If you want to mimic the oak barrel, get some oak cubes from a homebrew supply shop, soak them in bourbon, and add those to the ferment. Go easy on the oak. A little goes a looooong way.
This post was edited on 5/15 at 6:44 pm


Volvagia
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Fort Worth
Member since Mar 2006
46429 posts

re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
I recently did a batch that came out awesomely, but I need to refine it because it is entirely too spicy.

I used Tabasco peppers and a single vidala onion, and roughly processed it with 5% by weight sea salt. (Take great care on salt you get, preservatives can kill you).

Fermented in a dark place keeping temperature around 55-60 degrees for six months.

Pressed the mash through a strainer, you want some of the pulp to get through. It gives the sauce a nice body.

Cut with cane vinegar to taste.

(And this is where I might lose people: I decided NOT to recreate Tabasco. Why spend months and hours of effort to duplicate what I can get with 2 dollars and a 20 minute trip?)

Add roasted garlic powder to the sauce to add dimension of flavor.

And a touch of xanthan gum dissolved in oil added while an immersion blender was running to keep the pulp suspended in the sauce and stable (not a typical ingredient in home cooking I know, bringing work home as a commercial food scientist and this is a common move we do >.<)


My first attempt came out very very spicy so be aware if you want to try it, but everyone I handed a jar of sauce to asked for more for themselves and if I had any to spare for friends so

My next attempt will have me cutting the heat of the Tabasco with red jalepenos. Will also ferment at a higher temperature to try to encourage microbial breakdown of the capsaicins.
This post was edited on 5/15 at 6:46 pm


AggieHank86
Texas A&M Fan
Texas
Member since Sep 2013
10717 posts

re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
quote:

If you want to mimic the oak barrel, get some oak cubes from a homebrew supply shop, soak them in bourbon, and add those to the ferment. Go easy on the oak. A little goes a looooong way.
I use the cubes for wine and beer, and I was planning to use them for the hot sauce, also. Thanks for reminding me. I should have included that in the OP.


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AggieHank86
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Texas
Member since Sep 2013
10717 posts

re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
quote:

this is where I might lose people: I decided NOT to recreate Tabasco. Why spend months and hours of effort to duplicate what I can get with 2 dollars and a 20 minute trip?
I agree wholeheartedly. I want something in a similar style, but completely distinct in flavor. This is the same reason that I started brewing my own beer 20 years ago. I wanted to brew the stuff that I could not buy.

With the craft beer craze, I can now buy more things than I can brew, but I still keep making some of the unusual stuff. There are tons of hot sauces out there, so I doubt I will be creating anything truly "original" with this project either!
quote:

My first attempt came out very very spicy so be aware if you want to try it, but everyone I handed a jar of sauce to asked for more for themselves and if I had any to spare for friends so My next attempt will have me cutting the heat of the Tabasco with red jalepenos. Will also ferment at a higher temperature to try to encourage microbial breakdown of the capsaicins.
Are you planning to keep the spicier peppers in the mix as well, or just move to something that is totally (or primarily) red jalepeno?

I like the Tabasco Chipotle sauce, which is far less spicy than the original. I have often wondered whether they even use Tabasco peppers in that one at all.
This post was edited on 5/15 at 6:58 pm


Duane Dibbley
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re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
quote:

What vinegar type? Cider vinegar might be nice, but I was also considering red wine vinegar.

If you plan on putting it on fried foods use malt vinegar.


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Volvagia
LSU Fan
Fort Worth
Member since Mar 2006
46429 posts

re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
My plan is to go 50/50 and see what I get.

I want to keep as much Tabasco as possible because what makes them special is how “wet” a pepper they are. You have sufficient water in the mash from peppers themselves, and the associated flavors.

You lose that if you have to add water if your own.


AggieHank86
Texas A&M Fan
Texas
Member since Sep 2013
10717 posts

re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
quote:

I want to keep as much Tabasco as possible because what makes them special is how “wet” a pepper they are. You have sufficient water in the mash from peppers themselves, and the associated flavors.

You lose that if you have to add water if your own.
Interesting.

Are there "wet" peppers with Scoville ratings more in the range of a jalapeno?

Could you keep the Tabasco "wetness" with less heat by de-seeding the Tabasco peppers?



I just looked at the Tabasco recipe for the Chipotle sauce. It says that they just add Chipotle to the original recipe based upon Tabasco peppers. Given that the chipotle is just a dried jalapeno, this addition would add no water at all to the mix, leaving the sauce dependent upon the Tabasco peppers for liquid. Interesting.

Heck, you could probably just add powdered Chipotle to the base sauce, and I keep that powder on hand at all times for cooking. Some Ancho powder might be good, too.
This post was edited on 5/15 at 7:27 pm


Volvagia
LSU Fan
Fort Worth
Member since Mar 2006
46429 posts

re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
quote:


Are there "wet" peppers with Scoville ratings more in the range of a jalapeno?


As I understand it, Tabasco’s are rather unique in that regard.

It’s why one of the reasons why they selected Tabasco to base their sauce around.


quote:


Could you keep the Tabasco "wetness" with less heat by de-seeding the Tabasco peppers?


Of course....:but ain’t nobody no one got time for that. Also be advised that they DONT deseed for the real mash, do it is clearly temperable either through time or cutting.

quote:


I just looked at the Tabasco recipe for the Chipotle sauce. It says that they just add Chipotle to the original recipe based upon Tabasco peppers. Given that the chipotle is just a dried jalapeno, this addition would add no water at all to the mix, leaving the sauce dependent upon the Tabasco peppers for liquid. Interesting.


Well that is after they add vinegar (with is 95% water anyway)


I’m talking about the first step: when you are working with the pepper mash and let it ferment.


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real turf fan
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re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
One problem is that not all Jalapenos are created equal and a lot of the jalapenos are much milder than they used to be.

For a different heat, try to find the Peruvian 'yellow peppers'. Also some of the Thai peppers might be used to strip chrome off bumpers.

If you've seen the posters of peppers (one is of fresh peppers, the other of dry peppers), there is a whole world out there beyond tabasco peppers.


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BottomlandBrew
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re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
quote:

Are there "wet" peppers with Scoville ratings more in the range of a jalapeno?


Plenty of other peppers have enough water in them to ferment them in a mash rather than a brine. I fermented some habanero and ghost peppers last year in a mash of their own liquid and it worked just fine. That's way more scoville than what you're talking about, but concept is the same.

The downside of a mash fermentation is that it's a little harder to keep mold from forming on the top as your vegetal matter is right at the surface.


Volvagia
LSU Fan
Fort Worth
Member since Mar 2006
46429 posts

re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
quote:

Plenty of other peppers have enough water in them to ferment them in a mash rather than a brine. I fermented some habanero and ghost peppers last year in a mash of their own liquid and it worked just fine.


I stand corrected then.


quote:

The downside of a mash fermentation is that it's a little harder to keep mold from forming on the top as your vegetal matter is right at the surface.


I found if you put in your salt evenly dispersed in the mash and ferment in s sealed, air locked jar, mold isn't really a problem.

Salt plus zero oxygen snuffs it.

What I use.

This post was edited on 5/16 at 8:04 am


BottomlandBrew
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re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
quote:

Salt plus zero oxygen snuffs it.


Yeah. I use the tops, but even then if you ferment long enough you will get oxygen ingress. I'm really surprised that you fermented for six months and didn't see any mold. That's pretty awesome.


Volvagia
LSU Fan
Fort Worth
Member since Mar 2006
46429 posts

re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
I’m starting to wonder if I simply got lucky then. Because I even stirred it every couple of weeks.


Did you have a very active lacto culture? Especially at first?

I had to cool it further (45-50) for week two because gas pockets in the mash volume was causing it to back load into that cap.

ETA: one thing I did do to make sure the lacto won the competition was to sprinkle some extra salt right on top. I don’t have my notes with me so I don’t know the quantity. .3% of overall mash weight I believe?

Creating a locally high salt concentration that will inhibit growth at the air interface until growth underneath can develop, acidity, and displace oxygen so it’s not an issue.

For future opening, the mature culture is already in place so oxygen is consumed quickly.

Plus whatever mold that might be struggling along on the surface is now in the interior of the mash in a very inhospitable environment
This post was edited on 5/16 at 8:48 am


BottomlandBrew
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re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
quote:

Did you have a very active lacto culture? Especially at first?


I've done it a couple ways. I've gone with only the bacteria on the peppers, and then I've done it by adding some kimchi liquid to get things jump started.

quote:

I had to cool it further (45-50) for week two because gas pockets in the mash volume was causing it to back load into that cap.


Sounds about right. You always think you have enough head space and then a couple days in that stuff starts rising further and further up towards the top.


Volvagia
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re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
Replied to draw your attention to above edit


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gumbo2176
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re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style
I make my own and use habanero, ghost, Trinidad Scorpion Butch T peppers and leave the milder stuff with tabasco, cayenne, serrano, etc. to those that can't handle the real heat.


BottomlandBrew
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re: Homemade Hot Sauce - Tabasco style


Milder hot sauces have their place just as much as the super hots.


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