Recipe For Barrel Aged Hot Sauce
This is a test run recipe for making Oak Barrel Aged Hot Sauce. To begin you will need –
3/4 Cup of Kosher Salt
10 lbs. of Fresno Chilies
1 qt. of Warm Water
You can use an oak barrel that is newly charred or try curing one yourself with liquor so it simulates a used oak barrel. The barrel aged hot sauce recipe above calls for a 5-liter barrel. It depends on what you use to cure it with, but the used barrels work better. Just imagine using a barrel aged hot sauce that had been aged in an old tequila barrel or bourbon barrel. Yummy!
You need the help of a good food processor for processing the peppers. You want them to release their powerful liquids. You also need a funnel for getting the pepper mash down into your barrel. You can take samples of your barrel aged hot sauce periodically using a large dropper or a turkey baster.
Your first course of action is to inspect the peppers and remove any mold or rotten spots. Now take off any stems, but leave all the seeds intact. You might want to rough chop your peppers now, but this will depend on how you plan to process the peppers into mash.
It’s time to process those peppers. If hot and spicy chilies are being used, you want to ensure that the immediate area is well ventilated and that no kids are hanging around. The peppers contain oils that can get out into the air. Once these oils are in the air, they can cause coughing fits. Sometimes people like myself have to find these things out the hard way. After juicing up all your peppers, combine the extracted juice with the pulp.
Now that the peppers have been juiced, there may still be some large pepper chunks in the juice. Put the last bits into an immersion blender and puree them. This will get them to where they fit down through that narrow bunghole of the barrel. Once you’ve processed the whole 10 pounds of Fresno chilies, you should be left with enough pepper mash to equal about one gallon. I originally thought I would add in 25% water to ensure that my barrel aged hot sauce had ample liquid to stand up to 30 days of being in the barrel. It would also make it easier to incorporate the salt, and it would tone down on the heat of the barrel aged hot sauce a little bit.
The liquid to salt ratio in your barrel aged hot sauce, needs to be ’30 to 1′ by volume for a good ferment. When you add up water and mash you should have a little over 5 quarts. Now you want to dissolve 6 ounces (3/4 cup) of kosher salt into your water, and then combine that with your mash. Your barrel aged hot sauce should be coming along nicely.
After the salt is totally dissolved, take a ladle and add the mash to the oak barrel using the funnel. Now put the bung into the bunghole and let your barrel aged hot sauce sit a spell.
Let the chilies ferment for 4 weeks and add in 2 cups of distilled white vinegar. Let the barrel aged hot sauce sit for seven more days. After you pull it back out, add in another 1/2 cup of the vinegar along with 1/2 cup of tamari.
All total, a full batch of barrel aged hot sauce will yield approximately 3 quarts. This is after it is aged and strained (plus it has the tamari and vinegar added). Now the heat of your barrel aged hot sauce will be good and palatable, so it doesn’t make you suffer.