Update: my second attempt at a pepper mash was quite successful (and tasty). I did add in some small pieces of carrot as an added measure to provide the salt some good stuff to eat up. I also did not chop up the pepper into such small pieces which seemed to help, as well.

It’s been twelve days since I started my first vacuum bagged pepper mash/fermentation. And, as you’ll see by the photo below, I believe it has failed, or at the very least, failed to get going in an appropriately timely manner.

pepper mash in bag

There’s just the tiniest amount of expelled gas from the fermentation process amongst those bits of Carolina Reaper, scorpions and MA Wartryx. Everything else looks fine in terms of color and what not, but there’s just no evidence of any sort of fermenting going on there. But, I have a feeling I know what the issue is. Frozen peppers.

I started this mash with peppers that I had harvested last season, but have also been frozen since. I’m pretty sure that by freezing the peppers, all of the flora and bacteria needed for fermentation were kill off. Unfortunately, if I attempt this process again, repeating my same steps, I’ll end up with another lifeless ferment in hand. So what am I going to do, having only a store of frozen “peppersicles” available.

The solution, I’m hoping, will be pretty straightforward. I am going to introduce something more fresh into the mix. Given that I don’t have any fresh chiles in the household to help kickstart the endeavor, I am going to add some freshly chopped carrots with this next attempt. I was planning on using the vegetable at some point in my hot sauce making experiments so it makes sense to use it at this point, as well.

Fingers crossed that this next mash shows a little more life than my first attempt.