How to Stop Fermentation in Hot Sauce- All You Need to Know

Sometimes you may realize that the fermented hot sauce changes its flavor and color over time. In fact, if you decide to open the hot sauce container, the mixture overflows, spilling over the sides. We expect the fermentation to stop after bottling the hot sauce, but this might be vice versa.

This is just one of the misfortunes that happen as a result of the fermentation process.  We have carried out an in-depth research to shed more light on how to stop fermentation in hot sauce. Besides, you will come across the tips to help you achieve this during the fermentation process.

We shall start by possible reasons for continued fermentation in hot sauce even after bottling. We will then look at how it is possible to stop such misfortune and the tips on betterment. Well, without wasting much time on the introductory part, let’s get into the business.

Causes of non stop fermentation in hot sauce

Causes of non stop fermentation in hot sauce

The mixture ferments just like any other food due to available micro-organisms; specifically yeast and bacteria. These organisms exist in the air and ingredients that consume and reproduce the starches and sugars in it.

For this reason, any jarred fruit, herb, or vegetable will never cease from fermenting unless there’s something special to curb the growth of microorganisms. Washing your ingredients won’t eliminate these microorganisms because they are deeply located in the peppers, garlic, in the air, etc.

More so, leaving your ingredient or bottled hot sauce at room temperature can be another reason for non-stop fermentation.

The fermentation is recommended for some hot sauces, but I guess not for yours. For this reason, let’s look at how we can treat the problem before it worsens;

How to Stop Fermentation in Hot Sauce (ultimate guide)

how to stop fermentation in hot sauce

Fermentation being a natural process, it can stop naturally after the yeast has consumed all the available sugar in your hot sauce. This process may take an extended period and if you’ve an added source of sugar like fruit in the fermented hot sauce, the fermentation will never stop. Have a look at these steps and solutions to stop fermentation in hot sauce;

Solution 1: Canning

Sealing and heating the bottled pepper sauce to a necessary heat for a specific period will halt the fermentation process. The process will only pick when you open the bottle. Based on the canning and heat-treatment process, you can place it at room temperature; sometimes it may call for refrigeration. However, you should note that because you are making the sauce, the texture and taste may change.

Solution 2: Salting

Salting can be another trick to stop fermentation in hot sauce. Providing your pepper with sufficient salt will prevent the fermentation from occurring since there will be habitat for bacteria. This trick is suitable for shelf-storable pepper tastes; it’s simple to accommodate.

Solution 3: Acid (citric acid and vinegar)

Another trick that you can employ to stop the fermentation process in hot sauce is making it acidic. A good example of where this method is applicable is in the Tabasco which is a shelf-stable pepper sauces. However, you will be forced to remove the solids from your mixture, but be careful to use acids such as citric acid and vinegar. The citric acid shouldn’t have excess sugar such as lemon juice.

Solution 4: Use of artificial preservatives

If you are not impressed with the above solutions, maybe it is time to give trial to artificial preservatives such as Sodium benzoate. These are robust anti-microbial stuff that can help you prevent the fermentation process from occurring in hot sauce.

When the pH level of your fermented hot sauce is below 4.2, the growth of the yeast will be hampered; hence the fermentation process will be stopped. The environment will be too acidic. For this reason, you are advised to apply vinegar after your hot sauce has fermented.

Solution 5: Refrigeration

In fact, this is the simplest option to opt for if you intend to stop fermentation from occurring in the hot sauce. The cold temperature in the freezer is known for slowing down the bacteria growth, eventually preventing their growth and fermenting. This is because the environment will have low temperature which is suitable for making the yeast less active to ferment the available sugars.

Furthermore, refrigeration will also preserve the flavor and color of your hot sauce. This action is also famous at preventing more than enough gas accumulation in the jar. Therefore, there is no need to worry about your bottle bursting as a result of gas pressure.

Solution 6: Pasteurizing the sauce

If you are unsatisfied with the above actions, you can pasteurize your sauce. Doing so is necessary before bottling as it tends to raise the temperature. The high temperature is responsible for killing off the yeast, eventually stopping the fermentation process. After a 1 to 2 weeks fermentation period, once you have strained the peppers, cooking the fermented hot sauce is possible in a saucepan or a pot on the stove.

Give the mixture something like 13 minutes to simmer before jarring or bottling it. On the other hand, you can choose to boil the jars containing your fermented hot sauce. However, you have to be careful when heating the sauce as it should not be subjected to excess temperature; you are likely to kill all probiotics.

Tips when making hot sauce

Tips when making hot sauce
  • If your hot sauce is prepared without cooking, then you require a pH that’s a bit low. Hence, using lemon juice and vinegar is highly recommended because their pH falls around 2.8.
  • If you decide to heat or cook the sauce, then bottling should be done while warm; not immediately from the oven.
  • Bleach remains excellent for cleaning, but only if you utilize sufficient of it.

You might be interested to know Does Fermentation Make Peppers Hotter?


  • Can I stop fermentation by boiling?

The fermentation process isn’t achieved by boiling because the action will kill the bacteria. Nothing will be there to convert sugars to alcohol.

  • Can fermented hot sauce explode?

Yes, this happens when there is more than enough CO2 in a bottle; it is likely to burst.

Final words

Well, up to this juncture, stopping fermentation in hot sauce is absolutely possible with the help of the above easy steps. Remember, some of the actions will even stop further changes in color and flavor as well as preventing spills and explosions. Go through this article because you deserve the knowledge.

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