Home Fermentation RecipesFermented Vegetables Pepper Fermentation Recipe: Learn How to Ferment Any Type of Pepper

Pepper Fermentation Recipe: Learn How to Ferment Any Type of Pepper

by Kaitlynn Fenley

How do you make fermented peppers? What is the best salt ratio for fermenting peppers? how long to ferment peppers? With our Easy Pepper Fermentation Recipe you’ll have the best fermented peppers in just 5 weeks! Learn how to ferment peppers at home.

Choosing Peppers for Fermentation Recipes

Here’s my checklist for choosing good peppers: 

  1. Density: The peppers should feel like they are hydrated and have good turgor pressure. It should not feel dried out, shriveled up, and floppy.
  2. Check for surface mold: Look for indentions and soft spots in the peppers. You do not want to buy peppers that are squishy. Peppers that are close to molding will have dark, small, circular indentions or black “pocks” on the surface and near the stem.
  3. Skip the bag: It’s important to note here that you should NOT use peppers that come “triple-washed” in a plastic bag. These do not wild ferment well (or at all, really) because they lack the microorganisms necessary for the fermentation process.
  4. Color: Peppers should have a uniform color, but some peppers do change colors as they ripen. For example, it’s fine to use a jalapeno that is green and may also have some reddish colors.

Fermented Shishito Peppers and Fermented Banana Peppers

At home, I’ve experimented with some fun pepper recipes. My favorite is a mix of banana peppers and jalapeños, but I’ve tried many kinds of peppers.

So You can use this recipe blog for just about any pepper type! I usually stay away from extremely hot peppers that are shades of orange and red, though, because I find that they taste a little soapy after fermentation.

Also, some peppers contain too much capsaicin, so no beneficial fermentation microbes can grow when fermenting those. I’m talking about peppers above 500,000 Scoville units (Trinidad Scorpion, Komodo Dragon, Carolina Reaper, Ghost Pepper, Naga Viper, etc.). I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t any bacteria on the surface of a Carolina Reaper pepper, for instance. At such a high concentration, capsaicin is bactericidal.

If you want to ferment extremely hot peppers, mix them in with more mild peppers and maybe some raw cabbage leaves to help initiate the fermentation process.

I suggest trying:

  • Whole Shishito Peppers
  • Serrano Peppers
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Jalapeños
  • Banana Peppers
  • Anaheim Peppers

How to Make the Best Fermented Peppers

When it comes to fermentation times, the longer the peppers ferment the more the flavor develops. I love peppers that have been fermented for about five weeks. After five weeks they’re perfectly tart and preserved.

I have experimented with fermentation times though! I once fermented peppers for a YEAR and wow.

The wait was long, but the flavor was so unique and good! When fermenting for this long, it’s important to make sure the pH stays low the entire time. Also, when fermenting for extended periods of time, the beneficial bacteria can die off.

When fermenting peppers it’s better to use a slightly higher salt concentration than normal, about 3.5% of the total weight in salt is a good place to start. I like peppers fermented anywhere between 3% and 6% total salt concentration. (Read more about salt concentration here).

If you’re curious about the gut health benefits of fermented vegetables, including fermented peppers, you can read more here.

Mastering Pepper Fermentation

If you’re going to master fermentation, you’ll need to use weight measurements for your fermentation ingredients. That means you need a kitchen scale.

In order to select for the best probiotic bacteria (the ones that are actually beneficial) in your ferments, you must weigh salt to create a specific salt concentration. Weighing salt is the only way to create a salt concentration that will select for only probiotic microbes to thrive. You can read more about why you must weigh your salt here.

Supplies You Need for Pepper Fermentation

To learn more about the best fermentation jars and lids to use, CLICK HERE.

How to Ferment Peppers

During the first few days of fermentation: carbon dioxide and bubbles will be produced. Sometimes jars will become very full of liquid, and this liquid can seep out. It’s important to “burp” the jar during the bubbly stage.

  • If using a standard mason jar lid: remove the lid and tamper everything back down using a gloved hand, tamper, or spoon. Make sure everything is still submerged below the brine, and re-secure the lid.
  • You may notice pepper seeds floating. You can scoop them out with a clean spoon.
pepper seeds floating in the top of a jar of fermented peppers. Seeds can be scooped out.

Always Trust your sense of smell: Fermented peppers should smell pleasantly sour and spicy. Never eat anything that smells repulsive. 

Never eat anything that had mold growing on it: By following directions, you should not encounter this problem. Note that most vine-growing vegetables that are wild fermented will have something called pellicle growth. This is normal for “vine-growing” vegetables as long as they do not look furry, pink, blue, black, green, or magenta.

A safe pellicle is normally opaque, off-white, and crinkly. If you have surface growth like this, it’s a harmless mixed colony of wild yeasts. It’s not “mold”…you can skim it off the top and still eat your peppers. See the two pictures below as a reference for what a normal pellicle looks like.

How to Avoid a Pellicle in Fermented Peppers

For this recipe, I used about 3.4% total (w/w) salt concentration. I’m usually able to avoid pellicle growth completely by increasing the salt concentration of the pepper fermentation.

Peppers can be fermented with up to a 10% total salt concentration, but I think that’s too high. I’ve tried a few peppers fermented at 6% and I never had pellicle growth with a total salt concentration of 6%. The yeasts simply do not tolerate such high salt concentrations.

This, of course, is a much saltier pepper ferment. However, the peppers come out more sour and this is perfect for hot sauce!

Click here to learn how to make hot sauce with fermented peppers.

What Temperature Should You Store Fermented Peppers?

Keep your fermenting peppers at a temperature between 70-80 degrees F. Keep out of direct sunlight. After fermentation you should keep fermented peppers in the fridge.

How Long Should I Ferment Peppers for?

After 4-5 weeks, remove the fermentation weight and smell and taste test. Your fermented peppers should smell peppery and pleasantly sour. They should taste tart, savory, and spicy. 

Do I Need to Refrigerate My Wild Fermented Peppers?

Taste test at four weeks: If you prefer the peppers to be more tart and sour, let them ferment for one to two more weeks. After fermenting for 4-5 weeks, place a regular mason jar lid on the jar and refrigerate. Consume within 6 months for full probiotic benefits

fermented peppers in a round glass jar

Wild Lacto-Fermented Peppers: Fermentation Timeline

We tracked our peppers throughout the fermentation process. By checking the progress of microbial stages under the microscope we have provided you with this handy timeline! If you follow our recipe and directions, your timeline of pepper fermentation should approximately match ours! 

 
24 – 72 hours: All contents in the jar should be submerged beneath the brine. At this time there are still Gram negative bacteria and possible pathogens present. 

72 hours – 9 days: After 72 hours you should start to see lots of bubbles being produced. This is the stage in which you will burp the jar (open the lid and make sure everything is submerged below the brine). This is when the ferment enters stage two of vegetable fermentation. Leuconostoc bacteria begin to thrive and produce a lot of carbon dioxide. Gram negative organisms die off. You may notice an acidic smell and color changes during this time.

9 – 14 days: The bubbles in the brine will decrease, as the ferment leaves stage two and enters stage three. The peppers will become cloudy and start to develop a pleasant sour smell. They will also start to change color from vibrant to more muted colors. Lactobacillus species are most abundant during this time period.

14 – 28 days: Lactobacillus make up the majority or all of the microbial population. They produce copious amounts of lactic acid and make the ferment smell even more pleasantly sour. This is the time in which the vegetable mixture becomes preserved.
 
 30 days: Wait for the peppers to smell and taste as you like, and refrigerate when you find the smell and taste most pleasant! We like ours best when we refrigerate at about five weeks, but they are also good at around 30 days. The longer the peppers ferment, the more the flavors develop.

pepper fermentation in a mason with mixed peppers. The glass mason jar is filled with Serrano peppers, jalapeno peppers, and Fresno peppers.
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The Best Fermented Peppers

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How do you make fermented peppers? What is the best salt ratio for fermenting peppers? how long to ferment peppers? With our Easy Pepper Fermentation Recipe you’ll have the best fermented peppers in just 5 weeks! Learn how to ferment any type of pepper at home.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Fermentation Time: 4 weeks
  • Total Time: 672 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings
  • Category: Fermented Foods
  • Method: Fermentation
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 330 grams Peppers
  • 26 Grams sea salt
  • 400 grams water

Instructions

  1. This recipe at 1x works best with a 32-ounce jar. Please use peppers below 500,000 Scoville units. Anything higher may not ferment well.
  2. Wash your fermentation equipment, including the jar, weight, and lid.
  3. Wash your peppers and chop to your desired consistency. You can chop into pepper rings, slices or minced. 
  4. Place your kitchen scale on the counter. Turn it on and set it to weigh in grams.
  5. Place a mixing bowl on your kitchen scale and tare/zero the scale. 
  6. Add your peppers into the bowl, measuring out the designated amount.
  7. Remove the bowl from your scale and set it aside. Place your empty, clean mason jar on the scale, and tare/zero the scale. Make sure your scale is still set to grams, and add the designated amount of filtered water to your mason jar.
  8. Add the peppers from your bowl, into the mason jar with water.
  9. Place a small bowl on your scale and tare/zero the scale. Weigh out the sea salt. Then add the salt to the jar of peppers and water.
  10. Place your standard mason jar lid on the jar, and secure it. Shake the jar for 2 minutes.
  11. Remove the standard mason jar lid. Place your fermentation weight in the jar making sure to submerge all of the pepper pieces and weight fully in the liquid.
  12. Secure the jar lid to the mason jar.
  13. Ferment for 4 to 5 weeks.

Notes

  • Peppers above 500,000 Scoville units contain an extremely high concentration of capsaicin. At those levels, capsaicin is bactericidal and can prevent natural fermentation.
  • Taring/zeroing the scale with a container on it subtracts the weight of the container, allowing you to weigh only what is added to the container. After taring/zeroing the scale, the scale should read 0.0 with the container on it.
  • Peppers sold in a bag are triple-washed and lack essential microbes for fermentation. If using bagged peppers, I highly suggest adding two fresh cabbage leaves to this recipe as a “starter” for fermentation. You can eat the cabbage leaves after or compost them. 
  • During the first few days of fermentation, carbon dioxide is produced, and you must burp the jar.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a 5-star review below if you loved it! Tag @cultured.guru on Instagram

 

Nutrition information is auto-calculated and estimated as close as possible. We are not responsible for any errors. We have tested the recipe for accuracy, but your results may vary.

author avatar
Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

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99 comments

Cultured Guru August 23, 2019 - 8:18 pm

Yes, like the ingredients list said, 14g of salt…

but it seems that the instructional html copy was typed wrong in the recipe code. I’ve corrected it to say 14. Thanks for pointing it out!

Reply
Ashley July 30, 2022 - 3:53 pm

Hello, I’m confused and hope someone can advise me. In the ingredients list and instructions or says 21g of salt for 400g of water, so that is what I did. Then I read the comments and see that it should have been 14g of salt instead. I just put up about 30 peppers this way yesterday. Should I dump some of the water and add fresh water? I don’t want them to be ruined.

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley July 30, 2022 - 5:52 pm

The comments are old, before the recipe was updated for a larger quantity of peppers. With 21 grams of salt, 400 grams water and 200 grams peppers, you have about a 3.5% total salt concentration, perfect for pepper fermentation. If you read the body of the blog post, fermented peppers are great anywhere between 3% and 6% total salt.

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David September 26, 2022 - 1:06 pm

To safely achieve your desired salt/brine ratio you should always weigh the entire contents of your ferment (fruit & water) not including the weight of your container. Then multiply that by your desired salt/brine concentration (3.5% or 0.035) to get the correct amount of salt by weight. ex. 800g peppers & 200g water = 1,000g x 0.035 = 35g salt.

Reply
Giselle November 16, 2019 - 2:56 am

Before this new blog/website you guys had a recipe up that recommended a 4% brine. Why 3.5% now?

I’m not completely sure, but I think I remember the last recipe saying just making a 4% brine and adding it to the peppers. Basically not taking the pepper weight into account. Am I wrong?? And if not what changed

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley November 16, 2019 - 1:54 pm

We transferred all of our blogs to our newly designed website as-is. So we havent changed our pepper recipe. All of our fermented vegetable recipes account for the weight of water and vegetables to calculate a total salt concentration. You can safely make fermented peppers with any total salt concentration between 3% and 6%. We get the best results with 3.5%… 4% is fine too.

Reply
Greg June 27, 2020 - 2:40 pm

Hey Kaitlynn!

Do you ever find that the peppers form a pellicle (similar to how you say the cucumbers do) with this method? I tried a batch awhile back and it formed what looked like one on the top and they still smelled okay, but I was skeptical so discarded it. But after reading the pickle post, the pellicle you mention there looks pretty much just like the one that formed with my peppers so I was just wondering if that’s something you have run into as well

Thanks!

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley June 27, 2020 - 3:24 pm

Yes! Fermented peppers oftentimes form a pellicle just like the cucumbers. It’s very common amongst all fermented vine-growing vegetables, since their microbiomes are similar. I was finally able to get a good picture of a pellicle when I was writing the pickle blog, but I’ll add those pelicille pictures to this pepper blog too.

Reply
Melissa August 29, 2020 - 3:17 pm

You said, “I usually stay away from hot peppers that are shades of orange though, because after fermentation they tend to taste like soap.”

I’ve been fermenting Cheyenne Peppers which are a bright orange colored hybrid chili pepper of about 30,000- 50,000 Scovilles (ours are usually on the spicier side) and taste lovely once lacto-fermented. They’re impossible for me to eat raw but once lacto-fermented some of the Capsaicin is killed off and they’re perfectly sour spicy and zingy. Go great in omelets, pizzas, salads, or how I eat them straight from the jar.

I’m just curious what exact peppers you’re saying taste “soapy”, but it certainly isn’t the case for these peppers.

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley August 29, 2020 - 4:21 pm

Hey there,

yes, I phrased it the way I did because this is my personal experience using the recipes I develop. I’ve never tried to ferment Cheyenne peppers, so I’ll have to experiment with that! Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

I’ve experienced the soapy end flavor when fermenting yellow-orange Caribe peppers and habaneros using this recipe, specifically. I’ve had success fermenting both using a much higher salt concentration of 6% and an 8-week fermentation time.

Reply
Sally Baker August 6, 2022 - 9:31 am

Did you mean Cayenne peppers?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley August 7, 2022 - 4:33 pm

They may have, I have fermented cayenne peppers, but Cheyenne peppers are a type of pepper as well. They are hybrid cayenne peppers.

Reply
Lakshmi November 21, 2020 - 10:58 am

Hi Gurus,
I’m a new reader of your blog. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. I’ve just started on my vegetable fermentation journey.

The two times I’ve fermented Serrano peppers, I noticed a white sediment at the bottom of the jar. I’ve been using it hoping it’s safe since it’s still submerged in brine. What could this be? Have you seen anything like this?

Thank you 😊
Lakshmi

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley November 22, 2020 - 3:08 pm

Hey there!
Cloudiness and sediment at the bottom of the jar is completely normal! It’s simply dead microorganisms and fermentation byproducts from the first two stages of fermentation.

Reply
Justin Schwartz April 3, 2021 - 3:30 am

Hello Kaitlynn,
Officially addicted to your blog. I also ferment Taiwan chilis. (90 pesos, $1.80 a kilo here) I usually cut the tops off, (with gloves on)should I leave leave them whole and just poke a hole in them? I make a sauce with them and add roasted red peppers, cider vinegar and salt then blend. I will now let them ferment for 5-8 weeks and try a 4 and 6% salinity. I make mine by the gallon jar, sharing is caring. Thanks again for your recipes. I really appreciate them.
Justin






Reply
Trisch Doenges July 3, 2021 - 5:13 pm

Hi, Kaitlynn,
Would a fermentation crock yield the same results, potentially?
Thank you 🙂

Trisch

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley July 5, 2021 - 11:23 am

Yes! a fermentation crock will work well. You still need to keep everything submerged with a fermentation weight, even with the water seal crock lid.

Reply
Lynn Andreas July 13, 2021 - 4:42 am

This is so helpful! I have not fermented peppers before so I’m excited to try. Your instructions are clear and concise! I do have two questions. 1. Do you think shoshito peppers would ferment well with their thin skins? And 2. In your last paragraph you say, “ We like ours best when we refrigerate at about five, but they are also good at around 30 days. ”. Can you please clarify? Do you refrigerate at 5 days?

Thanks!

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley July 16, 2021 - 6:59 am

Shishito peppers work great with this recipe! When I originally published this recipe I used shishito peppers, and they were delicious. Just don’t use shishito peppers that come in a bag. Those are usually triple washed and do not ferment well.

That last sentence was supposed to say five weeks, just like the timeline above that paragraph. I fixed it, thank you for pointing it out.

Reply
Cassy Smith August 12, 2021 - 2:27 pm

Hello! I am new to the fermenting process and can not wait to try your recipe! I was curious, is it ok to add seasonings such as garlic to this recipe to add other flavors to it? Again, I am new to the process but I was just wondering.

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley August 12, 2021 - 4:28 pm

Well, welcome! I’m glad you found your way to our safe and healthy fermentation recipes.

Yes! you can add seasonings like a bit of garlic or onion, just keep all the other ingredients and quantities consistent as written in the recipe.

Reply
Megan Dwyer September 5, 2021 - 2:03 pm

Can a pellicle develop on the vegetables themselves and not just on the surface of the brine? Is this still safe?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley September 9, 2021 - 1:55 pm

Yes, it’s possible if the vegetables are floating above the brine. Everything within the brine will get cloudy, but there shouldn’t be anything growing on vegetables if they are submerged below the brine.

Reply
Anna R Kochersperger September 17, 2021 - 5:27 pm

Hi there, should I de-stem the whole shishitos or just cram em in there with a bit of the stem attached?
Thanks so much!!!

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley September 18, 2021 - 6:34 am

either way is fine! I left the stems on when I fermented shishitos

Reply
Anonymous September 18, 2021 - 12:25 pm

I have read that one should use cheese cloth or a fermenting lid rather than a mason jar lid. It was said there was danger of the jar exploding during the fermentation process. What has your experience been

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley September 19, 2021 - 8:20 am

You should never use cheesecloth for vegetable fermentation, the lid should always be solid and fully closing. I don’t know who “it was said” by… but if you read this blog post and the recipe notes, I indicate three times that you should burp the jar while it is in the bubbly stage. I’ve never had a jar of fermented vegetables explode with a standard mason jar lid.

Reply
Adriana September 30, 2021 - 4:24 am

Thank you so much for including the information on the change in bacteria based on days fermenting and acid content. I was beginning to get worried as my tomato/pepper ferment was very sour smelling. I am on day 4 and will keep burping! It smells a little good and a lot sour. But I expect that it will soon change to smelling very good and a little sour. I appreciate you adding the science in!!!! So very helpful!

BTW, I used Thai chilis (red) and Sungold Cherry Tomatoes (bright orange and sweet) that I have grown in the garden. It is such a lovely bright orange shade right now! I wish that it would stay that bright. But if I understand correctly it will be a bit more dull in color when it is finished. Either way, I am so excited and glad that I have come across your blog. It is very helpful to be able to reference something so well written. Thank you and please keep it coming!






Reply
Ralph Goodwin September 30, 2021 - 12:00 pm

Most excellent site! I have wanted to try preservation by fermentation for quite a while… I am finally starting with this pepper recipe today. It is already twigging my taste buds!






Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley October 1, 2021 - 8:08 am

Glad you found us here! Enjoy the recipe! 🙂

Reply
Matt November 3, 2021 - 2:59 pm

Hi, I’m new here as well. Quick question. Is the weight absolutely necessary to keep the peppers submerged? Would filling the water line to the near top keep the peppers submerged since there wouldn’t really be space for them not to be submerged? And if the weight is necessary, is there anything I can use in place of? Instead of buying a weight.

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley November 4, 2021 - 8:47 am

Hey there, and welcome to the fun world of fermenting!

Yes, you need to keep them submerged, it’s very important. But here is a fun trick if you don’t have the means to get a fermentation weight:

Fill the jar as much as possible and secure a solid mason jar lid. Place the jar in a glass dish to prevent messes. Every morning gently flip it upside down and leave it to stand on the lid for about 12 hours. Before bed, gently flid it back to stand upright. In the morning upside down again, at night right side up.

This will keep any of the pepper pieces from being out of the brine for too long.

You’ll still need to burp the jar to release the gas in the bubbly phase. If you are using a metal mason jar lid, you can take the lid off for a moment and rinse it off before replacing it to keep it from rusting.

Reply
EmilyYoung November 14, 2021 - 10:35 am

Hi there,
I really appreciate the science you’ve presented in this blog! I just started some 2 days ago and I check them about 5 times per day, LOL!
I have a question about pellicle. Since it’s a yeast, is it possible to use it to make bread?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley November 16, 2021 - 2:06 pm

I think it would definitely be possible! I’m unsure what kind of flavor would develop, but it would be a fun baking experiment. Let me know if you try it!

Reply
Keenan February 2, 2022 - 8:56 am

Hi Kaitlynn,
I’ve gotten everything I need to ferment jalapeno peppers following your instructions, although I am a little confused on one aspect. Although you state clearly several times that any salt concentration between 3% and 6% will work for peppers, on this particular page your pepper fermenting instructions recommend 3.5% salt. Sounds great, I’m ready to go! But, then I notice on your “Complete Guide to Safely Using Salt in Vegetable Fermentation” page, you list 4.0% being best for peppers. Please clarify which concentration between 3% and 6% you think would be best for jalapenos. 3.5% or 4.0% ? Thanks, loads!

Also, if I may ask? What are the four types of salt in the fermenting mix that you used to sell on this site, that is no longer available? Thanks again! Love your work!






Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley February 3, 2022 - 6:01 am

Any salt concentration between 3% and 6% works… so both 3.5% and 4.0% work well. I like them anywhere between 3% and 6%. It’s not a matter of clarification of which is best. As long as you stay in that range, it’s just a matter of flavor preference. If you want to use this exact recipe, just use the salt concentration I used here… 3.5%

It’s a blend of two flake sea salts, Himalayan salt, and sel gris.

Reply
Keenan February 4, 2022 - 4:19 am

Thanks so much for your reply. 3.5% it is then!
You are awesome!






Reply
Sal February 28, 2022 - 1:11 am

Hi, I’m so glad our found your site 😀
Is it ok to use cabbage leaves to keep the veggies submerged? I don’t have enough weights and they are ridiculously expensive in Australia. Tia

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley March 1, 2022 - 2:22 pm

of course! Cabbage leaves will work fine.

Reply
Ian James March 19, 2022 - 9:16 pm

About a month ago I started a jar of peppers following about the mentioned proportions of salt and water. I used red bird, habanero and ghost peppers, as well as garlic from the grocery store. I’m concerned they haven’t really fermented. They dont look like they’ve changed as much as i expected. They smell okay and I tasted the liquid which is quite hot. I’m just uncertain if the fermentation has worked.

Is there anything I shouid do at this point to save this batch?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley March 21, 2022 - 9:04 am

Hi there!

What do you mean by “about the mentioned proportions”? Did you measure your ingredients by weight? This is the only way to ensure consistently good results.

Did the liquid bubble and become cloudy?

Reply
Sara April 17, 2022 - 5:32 pm

I haven’t tried this recipe as it’s pretty similar to mine but I cannot seem to get peppers that are crispy, they always go soggy. Any advice? They’re always super firm when I start them.

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley April 18, 2022 - 10:29 am

Hi there! If your peppers always go soggy, it’s most likely because you are not using enough salt.

Reply
Allan May 1, 2022 - 11:05 am

Hi, I am fermenting around 4kg of jalapeños in 4% brine in a 5L size crock. I added 5 cloves of fresh garlic. Is the addition of garlic likely to inhibit the drop in pH during the lactic acid formation stage of fermentation?

Reply
Allan May 17, 2022 - 1:49 pm

I am fermenting around 4kg of jalapeños in 4% brine in a 5L size crock. I added 5 cloves of fresh garlic. Is the addition of garlic likely to inhibit the drop in pH during the lactic acid formation stage of fermentation?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley May 17, 2022 - 2:50 pm

Sounds like a great batch of peppers! the addition of a few garlic cloves won’t inhibit or change anything.

Reply
Sally C July 14, 2022 - 1:33 pm

I just took my 1st batch of Banana Peppers out of the crock and transferred them to a Mason Jar for storage. They have been fermenting about 6 weeks. They are crunchy and delicious! Your recipe is perfect! I was worried because when I transferred them to the mason jar and poured the liquid over them it was cloudy, but from what I read here on your blog it will settle back down. Thank you! Your blog is awesome!






Reply
Sally Crecy July 14, 2022 - 1:39 pm

I just transferred my 1st batch of Banana Peppers from the crock to a Mason Jar. They have been fermenting for about 6 weeks. They are crunchy and delicious! I was worried about the liquid being cloudy when I poured it in the jar, but after reading the comments here, I think it will be fine once it has settled down again.






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Angie July 27, 2022 - 6:46 pm

Your comment about triple washed peppers from the grocery store makes me wonder…how much should I wash my homegrown peppers in order to keep the wild microorganisms at a good level? Excited to try this. We’ve had a bumper crop of jalapeños (green, red and yellow) and am trying to fine more ways to preserve them.

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley July 28, 2022 - 10:36 am

you just need to give them a light rise in cool water. “triple-washed” vegetables in bags from the store are washed with anti-microbial compounds, so just don’t use any soapy vegetable washes or anything like that.

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Derek August 4, 2022 - 8:02 pm

Hello, thanks for all the information! Is it a bad idea to ferment different types of peppers together? Would that affect the outcome?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley August 5, 2022 - 12:01 pm

You can ferment a mix of peppers. Depending on the peppers it will just change the level of heat and flavor a bit. Green peppers are more herbaceous, I guess you could say, and reddish orange peppers are more earthy.

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Shannon August 5, 2022 - 5:24 pm

Hello Kaitlynn….I noticed Weck jars in the above photo. Did you do the original fermenting in those jars or transfer the peppers to the Weck jars after fermenting?

If you can do the fermenting in the Weck jars, how should we go about doing that as the fermented weights do not account for the wide girth of the wide mouth Weck jar (solution tends to rise above the weights given the excess space around the weight when placed in the Weck jar)? Does this affect the process?

Thanks for the help…. Shannon

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Kaitlynn Fenley August 7, 2022 - 4:36 pm

I’ve fermented in both Weck jars and mason jars. A wide mouth glass fermentation weight fits perfectly in the ~16 ounce tulip weck jar and the weck jars linked in this post. You can also use some cabbage leaves to tuck everything in before placing the weight in.

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Cynthia August 14, 2022 - 1:37 pm

When using fermenting lids and springs do you still have to burp jars?

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Kaitlynn Fenley August 15, 2022 - 8:18 am

If the lid is solid sealed, it needs to be burped. I don’t ever use special “fermenting lids”.

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Stephen August 19, 2022 - 8:29 am

Have you ever fermented ghost peppers like this?

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Kaitlynn Fenley August 19, 2022 - 8:42 am

I have not, mainly because I don’t find a need for things that hot. I like to stick around 30K to 50K Scoville units max.

Reply
Emily August 22, 2022 - 8:47 pm

Hi, I tried this recipe for fermenting shishito peppers. They are crisp but very bitter! What can I do different on my next batch?
Thank you

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Kaitlynn Fenley August 23, 2022 - 9:17 am

You can let them ferment longer. The flavor of fermented peppers usually gets better with time.

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natasha September 28, 2022 - 7:34 pm

Hi, I’m looking forward to fermenting peppers. Do I need to de seed peppers or can I just slice into rings and ferment seeds and peppers together?

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Kaitlynn Fenley September 29, 2022 - 9:34 am

You can leave the seeds in or you can remove them. it’s up to you. Leaving the seeds in can sometimes cause a bitter flavor and also makes the pepper hotter.

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Angie Jones October 2, 2022 - 9:21 am

I have some peppers, mostly green, red and yellow jalapeños, that have been fermenting for 5-6 weeks now. I wanted to make a hot sauce that can keep for a long time, as I experimented with varying amounts of some REEEEAAAALLLY hot peppers (Death Spirals) and don’t see us plowing through it very quickly. If I add fresh onion and peppers, is that going to shorten the “shelf life”? I know the ACV won’t but about how much would you suggest of each? I fermented in quart jars, and one pint with the highest concentration of the death spirals Any other suggestion for turning these peppers into hot sauce?

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Kaitlynn Fenley October 3, 2022 - 8:29 am

You could pickle the fresh onion and peppers and then combine the pickled mix with the fermented mix to make sure the shelf life is longer.

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Constance October 2, 2022 - 2:52 pm

Hi Kaitlynn! After 5 weeks of fermentation, would the peppers be able to be preserved by water-bath canning method? Is the ph low enough to prevent botulism spores from “waking up”?

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Kaitlynn Fenley October 3, 2022 - 8:31 am

Yes you are able to can the peppers after they ferment, but you have to bring them to a boil, hot pack them into hot jars, then water bath can. You can test the pH to be sure, but they should be below pH 4 which is safe from botulism.

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Constance October 3, 2022 - 1:04 pm

Thank you for your quick response! It’s just what I needed to know. I’ve dug deep in the “hard drive” of my old chemistry knowledge , and have figured out how to use citric acid to get a 3-4 % solution that has ph 2-3. So if I need to , I can adjust ph with citric acid. I have a ph meter to test with. Thank you again for your help. Constance

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Angie Jones October 19, 2022 - 6:18 pm

Thank you for your earlier responses. We are loving the fermented peppers and this weekend I will turn some of them into hot sauce. We’ve had a few weeks of the crud here, so that just means the peppers got more time fermenting. Love the flexibility fermenting gave us!






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Jan October 19, 2022 - 9:23 pm

Turned out perfect!






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Angie Jones December 21, 2022 - 6:40 pm

I guess I didn’t ferment enough peppers this summer. Is it possible to ferment frozen peppers? I have a bunch of sliced jalapeños I could use. If not, what if I used fresh jalapeños from the store and used one of our frozen home grown crazy hot peppers in the mix? Thanks for any guidance!

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Allan May 20, 2023 - 10:02 pm

Can you Add Brine From Previous Ferment To Get New One Started faster

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Patrick D. June 7, 2023 - 6:06 am

If I don’t have weights, can I just purree the pre-salt brine

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Kaitlynn Fenley June 7, 2023 - 10:37 am

No, you should follow the recipe as it’s written. If you don’t things can easily go wrong.

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Sandra August 21, 2023 - 12:15 pm

Can you process the peppers after being fermented?






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Kaitlynn Fenley August 22, 2023 - 2:35 pm

I like to blend them up into hot sauce! But that’s the only “processing” I’ve done with my fermented peppers

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Al Kadar August 28, 2023 - 3:33 pm

Help please. I have done everything per the instructions but have run into a snag. I am unable to cover 330 grams of peppers and a weight with 400 grams of water in a 32 oz jar. It’s not even close. Is something off i.e. should there be less peppers or more water? I’m on hold until I get some clarification. Also, I have already tried twice to submerge the peppers in water. Have I now rinsed the peppers too much for them to ferment properly?
Thank you.

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Kaitlynn Fenley August 28, 2023 - 3:42 pm

are you using larger whole peppers, so they are taking up more space in the jar? Try slicing them. These measurements always work for me and I’ve been making this recipe for 5 years. It shouldn’t matter if you’ve rinsed them a few times.

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Al August 28, 2023 - 8:05 pm

Ok, slicing them smaller did the trick. I had cut them into spears. All of the peppers and weight are under the brine. I’ll let you know how they turn out. Thank you!

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Al September 10, 2023 - 4:35 pm

This entire ferment is shishito peppers. It is 13 days old and seems to have developed pellicle. I skim it daily and when I do it is surprisingly dry. The peppers have reduced to about half their original size and the brine is cloudy and smells like alcohol and is peppery. The smell is pleasant and not off putting. Does this seem to be progressing normally and should I continue to allow it to ferment? Thank you.

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Kaitlynn Fenley September 11, 2023 - 8:58 am

Since it’s only 13 days in, I think all of this sounds normal. Like in the timeline above the recipe, I suggest letting peppers ferment for 4-5 weeks at least. Sometimes longer to let the flavors develop more.

Andre September 5, 2023 - 6:27 am

Thanks for this recipe, it looks and sounds delicious! Gonna try it with my garden grown peppers. One question remains for me: after the 30 days and putting the jar in the fridge, do I still need to keep the peppers submerged all the time until I finish eating the jar? Or are they ok from then on to swim normally in the water? T

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Kaitlynn Fenley September 7, 2023 - 12:35 pm

Once it’s in the fridge you can remove the fermentation weight. You don’t need to keep it submerged in the fridge.

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Jon September 21, 2023 - 11:26 am

“I like to blend the higher salt fermented peppers with fresh onion, a few different types of fresh peppers, and apple cider vinegar for a perfect hot sauce!”

Do you have a recipe for your hot sauce somewhere? How much vinegar and fresh peppers do you add?

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Kaitlynn Fenley September 21, 2023 - 1:40 pm

I don’t have a written recipe for it yet; I never make it the exact same way. I do teach students in my online course a loose hot sauce tutorial. I am developing a fermented sriracha recipe that will be posted here on the blog soon though.

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Justin Bell October 1, 2023 - 3:32 pm

Do you know if I can move fermentation lids to a new jar and loosely put lids on once it’s at the stage of decreases bubbles. Currently at day 16 and want to start a new batch.

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Kaitlynn Fenley October 2, 2023 - 9:40 am

Yeah, you can take the lids off, switch lids etc. I do it all the time. As long as everything is still submerged with a fermentation weight taking the lid off is no big deal.

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Al K October 3, 2023 - 7:52 pm

Hello, I have been fermenting shishito peppers for five weeks. Around the three week mark the ferment developed pellicle which I have removed on a daily basis. The peppers have a lot of sediment on them, so much so that it looks like snow. The peppers are layered and each layer has sediment in between. Also, the brine has a fruity, yeasty aroma. The PH is 4 or below. My question is while this meets the criteria of being edible it is not vey appetizing and I am concerned about the large amount of sediment; would you recommend composting this batch and starting over? On another note I have fermented two of your other recipes and both turned out great. Thank you.

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Kaitlynn Fenley October 4, 2023 - 9:10 am

Sediment within the brine is natural and normal. It’s just spent bacteria. I do not think that you need to discard the batch. I recommend scooping off the pellicle, pouring off a little brine, topping it off with a bit of raw apple cider vinegar, and placing them in the fridge to age for a few weeks.

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Karen October 5, 2023 - 9:03 pm

Hi Kaitlyn, Thanks for the science-based information on how to ferment any pepper. I’m about to follow this recipe. One question I have – I may have missed it, but do you provide any guidelines on how much water to use? Luckily the batch I’m working on right now is very close in weight to the one you used in this recipe, so I’m just going to follow it. But I plan to ferment some smaller batches of other varieties of pepper, and can’t figure out how to determine how much water to use for those projects. Many thanks!

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Kaitlynn Fenley October 6, 2023 - 10:21 am

Hello!

You can simply scale this recipe down by dividing it. There isn’t a set formula or ratio of water when I develop recipes. The important part is having the correct salt concentration, which is a % of the total weight of water and vegetables.

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Ada October 19, 2023 - 12:45 am

I mostly ferment what ever is ripe in the garden, usually a mixed jar of veggies including peppers. In the past I have used 3.5% salt, because the peppers take the higher percent. Do you think that is necessary? If I do other veggies without the peppers I can cut it back to 2%. Just wondering what an expert would advise. Thank you!!






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S Haworth November 18, 2023 - 5:06 pm

Well, it’s been 5 weeks since I packed a bunch of jalapeño slices in salt brine and set them in a dark cabinet. According to the instructions, they should be done.
Taste test: I should have deseeded them! Definitely still plenty of kick. Salty and crunchy but mostly just like a jalapeño slice.

I don’t know that they taste that sour/fermented to me though. They don’t smell bad, just not like I was expecting. I was expecting something like creme fraische or kraut.

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Kaitlynn Fenley November 19, 2023 - 8:14 am

If they don’t taste sour enough yet, then let them ferment longer. I’ve let peppers ferment for 6 months before, to achieve the flavor I wanted.

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Chris November 20, 2023 - 11:12 am

Okay so I did this and they are so salty I don’t know if I can eat them. Do you rinse them to store in refrigerator after fermenting?

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Kaitlynn Fenley November 20, 2023 - 4:57 pm

Everyone experiences saltiness differently. These peppers aren’t any saltier than a brined olive . If you you personally think it’s too salty, you can remove half the brine, top it off with some vinegar and put it in the fridge. That will cut the saltiness and add a nice vinegar flavor.

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Ashley Gallon April 29, 2024 - 11:42 am

Is it possible to can these peppers after fermentation? I know it kills the lacto bacteria but we have an excess of peppers and want long term storage. Wanted to know if it is safe to can then or if this is more of a “fridge pickle” recipe and unsafe for canning?

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Kaitlynn Fenley May 3, 2024 - 6:51 am

The pH is safe for canning, in theory… and it would all need to be cooked to a proper temperature, and I don’t know how that would change the texture. I’ve never tested it so I can’t tell you for sure if it’s safe or a good idea.

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Michelle May 27, 2024 - 9:21 am

Designated amount of water??? I didn’t see it addressed until the directions. Which section did you cover it in?

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Kaitlynn Fenley May 27, 2024 - 9:24 am

The amount of water is listed with the peppers in the ingredients list. Right above the instructions

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