[This instructable is entered into the 2017 Gluten Free challenge. If you like what you see, I'd appreciate your vote.]
Jealousy is the original green eyed monster, and here's your chance to make your friends jealous of your awesome hot sauce making skill. No one needs to know, of course, that the secret to your success is getting others to do your hard work for you. In this case, the hard work is done by the humble lactobacillus bacteria.
Step 1: What You'll Need
1 sharp knife
1 Cutting board
4 One Quart sized Mason Jars (sanitized)
1 sauce pan
1 pair gloves
5 lbs chili peppers (I used a mix of Jalapeno, Serrano, and Anaheim chilis, but any hot peppers will work)
12 Cloves Garlic
4 Cups water
4 Tablespoons Sea Salt
Step 2: Let's Get to Work
The process is simple. Glove up, and while I didn't specify it in the first step, you may want to put on safety glasses as well. I do, because all it takes is one time forgetting what you're doing, rubbing your eyes, and having a really bad time of it to establish you never, ever want to do that again. Once you're ready, the process is:
1. Put the water and salt on to boil
2. Remove the stems from your chilis, and chop the chilis coarsely. I keep my seeds and veins in because I like heat, but you can remove them for a milder sauce.
3. Peel your garlic - This is a good place to turn off the heat on your water.
4. Blend chilis, garlic and brine - I had to work in a couple of batches here, and mix the result in a separate bowl for consistency.
5. Mix well, and pour into the mason jars - do not fill the jars all the way up, you'll want a little room to stir the sauce later.
6. Cover the jars with the cheese cloth, and set aside in a warm, dark environment to ferment.
7. Check and stir the sauce daily. If white mold forms on the surface, remove it. Black or green mold means something went wrong, throw it out.
8. Give it about 2 weeks to ferment. The bacteria converts the sugars in the peppers and garlic into acid, and the brine keeps other nasty stuff from growing. The cheese cloth gives the bacteria CO2 it needs to do its work, while keeping everything else out. I'm taking my current batch to 30 days. You may notice that your sauce smells sweeter right out of the blender, and starts smelling more like proper hot sauce as time passes.
9. Once you're happy with the fermentation, remove the cheesecloth, seal the jars, and refrigerate. The resulting sauce will keep for months in the fridge.