Fermented Hot Sauce

Hot sauce can take anywhere from a few weeks to 4 to 6 months to ferment. I tend to let mine go on the longer side. My most recent batch was a four-month ferment.

Keep it simple with a single pepper type, or use a variety of (similar colored) peppers with differing levels of heat and flavors. If you use a mix of red and green peppers, you will wind up with a grayish-brown product. Not very visually pleasing, but it will likely still taste delicious!

Fermented Hot Sauce

Prep Time 15 minutes
Fermentation Time 90 days
Course condiment
Makes 1 quart/liter


  • upcycled soy sauce or hot sauce bottles
  • funnel
  • blender, vitamix or food processor


  • 2 lbs. (1 kg) fresh chile peppers, any variety
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) pickle brine or whey
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) sea salt plus more to adjust taste
  • 6-8 cloves fresh garlic
  • distilled vinegar or ripe kombucha to adjust consistency


  • Cut stems off peppers.
  • For more heat in finished sauce, keep the seeds and membranes in hotter peppers. To reduce heat, cut them out and discard or compost.
  • Peel garlic and add to work bowl of a food processor or blender.
  • Add salt and pickle brine or whey to work bowl.
  • Add peppers to work bowl. Pulse until you reach the consistency of pickle relish or salsa.
  • Transfer contents to a quart-sized jar. Secure with a fermentation airlock device, or cover with a swatch of clean cloth or a paper towel. Secure with mason jar ring.


  • Ferment for anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months.


  • If yeast or mold formed on top, wipe, scrape, or scoop off the top layer.
  • Drain and reserve the brine from the pepper solids.
  • Add solids to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth (up to 5 minutes depending on speed and power of your device).
  • Adjust the final consistency with the reserved fermenting brine or distilled vinegar, and adjust the flavor by adding salt to taste.
  • Dispense into upcycled sauce bottles. Store at room temperature or in refrigerator. Keeps for many months.




Not sure how hot each pepper is? Consult the Scoville scale to get your chile bearings.

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