Sunday, August 14, 2022

Fermentation And Lies

 I harvested another batch of cayenne from my two plants, who I've named Big Mama and Little Mama. Fertilized and watered, they're producing like mad. 

I've been told that fermented peppers make the best hot sauce, so I'm giving that a try, again. I've had spotty results with it in the past. This time, however, I'm being a bit more scientific about it. I've reduced the variables in my equations down to one - fermentation method.

The first method, taken from this video, is to chop the peppers and immerse them in saltwater. The second is to blend the peppers into a mash and then stir in some salt. The method is described here

Each set* is then placed in a Mason jar with a glass fermentation weight on top of it and sealed with a fermentation lid.

Here are the photos from the process, primarily the mash. That's where the lies lie.

The salted mash.

The fermentation chambers. The one with the chopped peppers is full of brine as a proper fermentation chamber should be. The one with the mash is sitting there, naked and disgusting. It's the Pride Parade of peppers.

The Lies

The instructions for the mash make the preposterous claim that the peppers will release their juices when you add the salt. The juice will cover the mash and fermentation will begin. Ha! Lies! All of it, lies! Cayenne are not juicy peppers like bells. I think they're too dry for sufficient fluids to leach out and cover the mash.

Well, we shall see. The mash is being put to the test, burned in the Crucible of Truth. Justice will have its day and judgment will be rendered.

I may have to buy a powdered wig to wear as I observe the progress of these two, so solemn is the occasion.

Shopping Notes

You can buy a powdered wig on Etsy. Of course you can. For about $200, you can get a decent one to pass judgment on your peppers as they ferment.

* - For my science-y friends, what's the right word for the pepper glob in the jar? Is it a sample? A compound? A blend? A set? My coffee hasn't kicked in and my internal thesaurus is still partly asleep.


Mostly Nothing said...

I have to go with sample. Blend and set imply there is more than one item in the jar. Salt doesn't count.

You do have a proper black robe to go with the wig right?

I might have to get my wife to knit that wig for our cat. She would *love* it.

A more important question. What were powdered wigs made from?

Ohioan@Heart said...

I thought that the second sample might be a ‘puree’, but the photo shows it is too coarse. I think you used the right word…. “The first method [snip] is to chop the peppers and immerse them in saltwater. The second is [to] blend the peppers into a mash”.

I like ‘mash’. That might not be a great word for the first sample but it fits the second wonderfully. If I had to choose a word for the first, I think I would choose to say it is ‘chopped’.

Ilíon said...

Powders wigs were/age made of wool.

Ilíon said...

Blend the mash up so much that you can't distinguish the constituents and you could call it an emulsion.

tim eisele said...

I agree with M-N. It's a sample, at least as long as there was no bias as to which peppers went into which jar. If they aren't composed of random, representative selections of the peppers, then they are specimens.

K T Cat said...

Sample is indeed the word for which I was searching. Now that my caffeine has kicked in and I'm able to access my memories of chem labs in college, I remember. Thanks, all!