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Beer, barrels and bacteria: Fermentation at Sauce Shop

We wanted to go into a bit more detail about the fermentation process and why we were inspired to create a range of aged hot sauces. This process takes up a lot of our day-to-day thoughts and activities at Sauce Shop so here’s a bit more from behind the scenes!

Fermentation

The art of ageing our hot sauces lies in the process of fermentation. The trick is nothing new; fermentation has of course been around long before any of us food and drink experimenters came along… The first recorded use of yeast to produce a beverage can be dated back to 7000 BC. This practice may be more familiar to beer lovers, and as keen homebrewers ourselves we have always had an interest in the way fermentation can produce such diverse flavours and aromas. The activity involved in beer making is the same basic metabolic process, that consumes sugar in the absence of oxygen, that occurs in our chilli barrels (albeit Lactobacillus bacteria rather than yeast).

The Process

Our use of this method involves blending chillies with sea salt and sealing them into barrels. Inside, the Lactobacillus bacteria, naturally found on the chillies, converts the sugars into lactic acid and CO2 – generating a wealth of new complex flavours and an amazing aroma. It takes approximately 3 months for our mash to reach the desired ferment. At this point we use it when cooking our chilli sauces or simply combine it with white grape vinegar to create our aged hot sauces. 3 key ingredients, 3 months and a lot of TLC.

James was inspired to create this range after trying some chilli sauces he received as a gift from Mallorca, bought on a market stall, this style of uncooked sauce carried a powerful and unique flavour. Having also read about the process that goes into making Tabasco sauce, barrel-ageing chillies over years to develop an abundance of flavour, this range of aged hot sauces offered itself as a way to really showcase the chilli flavour that we love.

You can find out more about each flavour on their product pages, and grab all 4 of them here!

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