Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fermented (?) Vermouth Hot Sauce

So I found this chili head message board on the internet and someone on there had a post about fermenting chilies in white wine. I assume, over the several weeks it was supposed to take to make this, that the wine would convert to vinegar as it was exposed to air. I never have white wine laying around, but I always have vermouth. Now vermouth is a fortified wine; it is a higher percentage of alcohol, and it is also infused with a variety of herbs. I didn't know if the higher proof would slow down or destroy that wine to vinegar conversion but I gave it a go anyway. I also think this is more an infusion of chili in booze to make sauce than truly fermenting chili.

I used Carpano Antica, which is a higher end vermouth with a bittersweet, very herbaceous profile. The end result is very tasty but perhaps not the best use of expensive vermouth. While there is some herby undertones, the chili heat really dominates. Which, I suppose, is to be expected because it is hot sauce. I think if I made it again I would use very mild chiles like anaheims so the vermouth could be noticed more. I think this is more an infusion of chili in booze to make sauce than truly fermenting chili. So, being hopeful, I added raw pickle brine as a starter to maybe get things fermenting...

When I decided it was finished, I blended it all up. This was very annoying because there was so little of it. Stopped to scrape down the blender every second. No matter what, all the seeds never ground up; so I strained it. This gave the sauce a smooth consistency and it wont keep getting hotter while the seeds sit and infuse in the sauce while its refrigerated.

Vermouth Hot Sauce

(this was all done with a scale, based on how many chilies I had, with 2% salt and vermouth to cover)

84g chili (mix of yellow jalapeno, tabasco, habanero and mostly cayenne)
2g salt
187g vermouth 
1Tbl raw fermented pickle brine (from green bean pickles- haricot vert, salt, garlic)

Chop chilies and combine all ingredients in a jar. Stir or shake every few days for a few weeks. I ended up doing 3 full weeks in a cool fall philadelphia. 

 Blend it. 

Strain it. 

Bottle it. 

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