Fiery Fermented Hot Sauce


This is a delicious hot sauce that you ferment, and then store in the refrigerator. It’s from the Ball All New book. If you haven’t fermented much before or at all, this is a very easy introduction to it.

Ball provides three flavour variations to the sauce that you may wish to consider.

See the variations (below the recipe) before starting to see if any appeal to you.

To be clear, this is NOT a recipe for canning. Ball gives no canning directions. When completed, this product is refrigerated storage only. You can store this in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.

As it’s refrigerated, this is a great chance to use your fancy bail jars, etc, that aren’t currently recommended for home canning.

See also: all hot sauces on

The recipe

Jar size choices: Any

Storage method: Refrigerated storage up to 1 year

Yield: 750 ml / 24 oz / 3 cups

Equipment needed:

  • Food processor
  • 1 x litre / quart jar
  • 1 x 125 ml / 4 oz jar to act as a weight
  • Cheesecloth


Fiery Fermented Hot Sauce

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Yield: 750 ml / 24 oz

Serving size: 1 tablespoon

Calories: 7

Fat: .1 g

  • 350 g habanero peppers (3/4 lb. Measured before prep)
  • 500 g red bell peppers (1 lb. Measured before prep)
  • 50 ml water (1/4 cup water / 2 oz)
  • 2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
  • 250 ml white vinegar, 5% or higher (1 cup / 8 oz). This is for the very end.
  1. Wash peppers, then stem and seed them. Wash again.
  2. Cut peppers into chunks, add to food processor.
  3. Add water and salt as well to food processor.
  4. If following variation (1), add those items now.
  5. Process peppers and water until peppers are finely minced.
  6. Pour mixture into the 1 litre / quart jar (mixture should come up to the shoulder of the jar.)
  7. Set smaller jar or other weight on top of mixture.
  8. Cover jar with cheesecloth. Use a rubber band to secure cheesecloth around mouth of jar.
  9. Place jar in a dark, cool place (not the refrigerator) on a plate (the plate is to catch any overflow should it bubble a lot.)
  10. After a few days, a white yeast known as Kahm will start of form on top.
  11. When it does, skim this off on a daily basis or at least every other day. Also clean the rims of the jars and the plate as needed.
  12. Replace cheesecloth securely after your regular cleanings.
  13. Let fermentation continue until bubbling stops -- about 3 weeks, depending on the temperature of the room it's in (see notes.)
  14. Once bubbling stops, then fermentation is complete.
  15. Skim off remaining yeast.
  16. Add vinegar OR follow variations (2) or (3).
  17. Transfer to a clean jar.
  18. Label and date the jar.
  19. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 year.


Recipe notes

  • Hot peppers. You can use whatever kind you wish. Aim for 300 g (10 oz in weight) after prep;
  • Bell pepper. You can use another variety of sweet pepper such as shepherd, etc. You want 400 g (14 oz) after prep. You could also use green instead of red, if you won’t be fussed whether the sauce is red or not;
  • For the salt, use a pure un-iodized salt with no anti-caking agents in it. Thus sea salt, kosher salt, canning aka pickling salt, etc.;
  • Do NOT cut back on the salt in this. It absolutely is there for safety, as it ensures only safe bacteria will grow;
  • Ball suggests a good ambient fermenting temperature for this is 18 to 24 C (65 to 75 F);
  • For the fermenting jar, a wide-mouth jar is easier to clean afterwards;
  • For the smaller jar that acts as a weight, Ball is envisaging the standard North American small jelly-size jar like this:





Variation 1. Sriracha-style

While processing the peppers, add 6 cloves of peeled garlic (or 3 teaspoons bottled minced oil-free garlic) and 3 tablespoons of white sugar (or a few drops of liquid stevia.)

Variation 2. Yucatan-style

After fermentation stops, skip adding the vinegar. Instead, add 250 ml (1 cup / 8 oz) of lime juice (fresh or bottled), 50 g (1/2 cup / 2 oz) chopped, washed fresh coriander aka cilantro and 2 peeled, minced garlic cloves (or 1 teaspoon bottled minced oil-free garlic).

Variation 3. Asian-style

After fermentation stops, skip adding the vinegar. Instead add 250 ml (1 cup / 8 oz) of rice wine vinegar (5% or higher), 1 tablespoon grated ginger (fresh or from a tube), and 2 peeled, minced garlic cloves (or 1 teaspoon bottled minced oil-free garlic).



The assembled jar, ready to stand and ferment.



The white Kahm yeast on the surface. This is a good sign; you want this.



Recipe source

Fiery Fermented Hot Sauce. In: Butcher, Meredith L., Ed. The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. New York: Oxmoor House. 2016. Page 264.



Do NOT attempt to make this salt-free. Have a look at our other recipes for low-sodium hot sauces.

Per 1 tablespoon

  • 7 calories, 98 mg sodium


* Nutrition info provided by








Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *