Anybody use their brewing equipment to ferment sauces?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by EddieD3, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. EddieD3

    EddieD3 Initiate (46) Nov 17, 2017 New York
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    Ya, I've been thinking how tabasco amd all that junk is fermented. I tried to look up any recipes and couldn't find anything. Does anyone have any experienxe in hsing their breeing equipment into any form of food product. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (95) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
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    If they did it probably wouldn't get much discussion in this forum, unless they were using their beer brewing equipment for some food they might add to their brewing beer....and I can't think of anything like that off the top of my head.
     
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  3. EddieD3

    EddieD3 Initiate (46) Nov 17, 2017 New York
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    I'm really lookong for how to use brewing equipment for something else.
     
  4. MrOH

    MrOH Champion (848) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    If you've got a 5 gallon setup like most homebrewers, that's a lot of hot sauce.
    I seem to recall that Chop and Brew had an episode on it.
     
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  5. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Disciple (393) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    Personally, I'd keep the equiptment separate.
     
  6. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,608) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
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    Make a big pot of chili. I have seriously considered using my stainless immersion chiller to cool down soup, I make a big 3 gallon pot once a year for a party and it takes it forever to get cold enough to put in the fridge
     
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  7. minderbender

    minderbender Initiate (186) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    Same here, I like to make a big batch of chili (like 12 quarts) and keep it in the refrigerator as a convenient meal. It takes forever for it to cool down, I've started giving it a water bath in cold tap water, which helps a bit but doesn't speed it up as much as you might think. Cracking out my immersion chiller had occurred to me but I haven't tried it yet.
     
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  8. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,755) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    I've made sauces out of homebrewed beer and mead. Does that count? T
     
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  9. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,608) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
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    That is the main reason I got the Stainless, not sure if anything in the chili would react to the copper. I do the water bath, but that still takes up a lot of time. I am usually doing this after work, so after cooking for 4 it can still take me a couple of hours to get it to safe temps. I have actually remove all food from by beer fridge when I make this so I don't have to worry about putting it in the icebox and spoiling something else.
     
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  10. NorCalKid

    NorCalKid Initiate (99) Jan 10, 2018 California

    5 gallon bucket and lid with a hole for an airlock. Ferment away dude!
     
  11. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,257) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    This thread begs the question whether 'fermenting' is applied the same way to food as it is to beer. I don't think fermenting food is anything more that controlled 'rotting' while the food product breaks down into a different item, i.e. sliced cabbage, salt and vinegar becomes sauerkraut with aging under controlled conditions.

    I would never use your beer brewing equipment if it is plastic to contain any food items because the plastic will retain flavors, stain, etc. Buy dedicated equipment if you want to 'ferment' food. I'm guessing that stainless steel would take some good cleaning to avoid these same after-effects, but likely would clean up with extra work.
     
  12. MrOH

    MrOH Champion (848) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    First paragraph is completely off the mark, but I agree wholeheartedly with the second.
     
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  13. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,755) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    I thought controlled rotting summed it up pretty good. I suppose rotting doesn’t sound too appealing but that’s nuance of vocabulary. But I think beer and food could both be viewed this way. Maybe the unscientific nuance to “rotting” implies something about fewer controls with food than beer? I personally put more thought and effort and science rigor into beer than I do with yogurt, bread, and the odd other things I might seldomly ferment, but it doesnt have to be that way.
     
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  14. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (368) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    I like all sorts of pickled stuff. We always have some Kimchi above the fridge. Sliced daikon in a mustard pickle is awesome. I drove a third of Iceland looking for the famous Harkel (better known as rotten shark... it was not the season... there is a season apparently*... and it was really truly much much worse than anything you can imagine... I am certain you can not imagine how truly horrific this stuff tastes and smells...really)

    Anyway
    Plastic buckets are cheap. Why would I ever risk ruining a beer bucket? I just use 1 and 2 gallon glass mason jars from Amazon. More damned pickled food than any one family should have around anyway.

    Cheers.

    *and if it out of season does it mean the Harkel is not fresh? It's spoiled? That is literally impossible.
     
  15. minderbender

    minderbender Initiate (186) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    I think "rotting" is a needlessly pejorative way to refer to fermentation. And this isn't just fermentation positivity—there is a meaningful distinction between food that is fermented and food that is spoiled, one that the average consumer (and the average health department) would have no trouble identifying. On some level diction is a choice, but why would you choose to blur that particular line?
     
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  16. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (95) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
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    I know someone from Iceland who talked about this same stuff (I presume). She said her best description would be putrefied fish and (almost embarrassingly) couldn't understand why anyone would want to eat it....other than to say they did.
     
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  17. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,755) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    Mostly for grins. I’ve studied similar processes in natural systems, and in those systems the lay person might say rotting and the scientist might try to put on sophisticated airs. Sometimes you gotta let your hair down.
     
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  18. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Devotee (498) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    I occasionally ferment other things, but it is in nowhere near the kind of volume needed to make it worth using my brewing equipment. Much more. even if I were to go gung ho and ferment that large of a volume. I'd get additional vessels, and keep the two separated.
     
  19. minderbender

    minderbender Initiate (186) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    Oh right, I could... [long catatonic pause] answer the question.

    When I started homebrewing, I built a "son of fermentation chamber" out of polystyrene. It is excellent for insulation, so when there wasn't any beer in it, I would sometimes use it to ferment yogurt. The yogurt didn't actually touch the chamber, it just sat in there in a big pan. Basically I would heat up some milk to near boiling, cool it down, add a spoonful of yogurt, and let it sit in the chamber with some hot water bottles for 12-24 hours. It worked great.

    I don't make much yogurt anymore, and I've moved on to a BrewJacket for my fermentation temperature control, so I don't get much use out of the old polystyrene fermentation chamber. But it was handy for making yogurt in large quantities.
     
  20. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,257) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    Okay so "rotting" (making sauerkraut in this case) is a "process" according to Wikipedia. https://www.google.com/search?q=wha....1.69i57j0.15454j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 It really just depends on whether it is good or bad bacteria at work.

    But bacteria eating something is not the same as yeast eating something, thus a different kind of "process" and a double meaning of "fermentation". And I was wrong about saying vinegar was used in making sauerkraut. It's used in pickling, another kind of "process".
     
  21. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (730) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    I likes me "da sauce" :astonished:
     
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  22. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,755) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    As to the question at hand, when I have made yogurt, kimchi, and that fermented lemon recipe from the NYTimes, canning jars (from 1/2 pint to half gallon, or 1 gallon pickle jars) were in play. I’ve only used my brewing gear for beer, mead, and cider. For sour beers I have separate gear (older ale pails and better bottles). I like to keep the rotten bugs separate from the tamed yeast.
     
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  23. EddieD3

    EddieD3 Initiate (46) Nov 17, 2017 New York
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    So....anybody use their brewing equipment for food recipes? I do appreciate the lesson on the difference between rotting and fermenting. I didn't know what I was getting into....I'm sorry.
     
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  24. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,755) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    I forgot to add to my most previous post that my brewing gear is made for 5 gallon batches and I have never found myself making this much sauce, etc., at one time. So no. And the stuff about the difference between rot and fermentation -- it's all rot.
     
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  25. NorCalKid

    NorCalKid Initiate (99) Jan 10, 2018 California

  26. minderbender

    minderbender Initiate (186) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    I think debates about language are almost always unsatisfying, because of course you can use words to mean whatever you want. A lot of it is highly arbitrary anyway, and different cultures make different decisions about where to draw lines. Famously, Japanese people draw the line between blue and green in a different way from Americans, and there's really no way to say who is "right" or "wrong" (though of course when you're driving in Japan, you'd be well advised to adhere to their conception of what a "green light" is). Similarly, an American brewer would typically call a stout an "ale," which sounds strange to British ears since stout is one of the few British brews that isn't an ale. Again, neither usage is really right or wrong, you just need to be aware of the different meanings if you want to speak fluently in both societies.

    So there's a lot of arbitrariness, and no one can really say that anyone else is wrong apart from saying, "Well that would be a misuse within a certain community." But I think you can still make arguments that one usage is a lot less confusing than another. For instance, I would be horrified to learn that my anesthesiologist uses "anesthesia" and "street drugs" interchangeably:

    Surgeon: "Administer the anesthesia!"

    Anesthesiologist: "Okay, if you say so...." [starts cooking heroin]

    Surgeon: "What are you doing?!?"

    Anesthesiologist: "Oh, haha, when you really think about it, anesthesia is just another kind of drug, so I use the term to mean any kind of psychoactive drug. I thought it was weird when you said to administer anesthesia, since it would serve no medical purpose and would endanger the patient, on top of being highly illegal, but you're the boss."

    Surgeon: [sigh] "Administer propofol you weirdo."

    Anyway I think calling fermented foods "rotten" is just about as silly. Again, none of this is really proof, because language is very malleable and there's no "right" or "wrong" except by reference to usage within a specific community. Of course, we do actually have reference books on usage in American English. You can look up "rotten" in the dictionary, and you will find no support for using it to describe a well-fermented beer. It's true that dictionaries don't resolve arguments about what the language should be, but... come on.
     
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  27. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (97) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    I think towards what the OP is looking for, I would assume that most brewers keep their gear for brewing. I have my partial mash/extract 5 gallon pot and have used it for a lot of spaghetti, but have never done anything else with the gear. A local guy who brews does make his own hot sauces, but he uses small pots and pans, and then mason jars normally used for cooking.
     
  28. Witherby

    Witherby Initiate (91) Jan 5, 2011 Massachusetts
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    I ferment lots of things besides beer (sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, hot sauces, kombucha) but the only overlap is when I make cider vinegar or malt vinegar. And all of it stays far away from my beer brewing equipment.

    I would love to find out more about barrel-aged or barrel fermented hot sauces, like Tobasco. But I don't need 5 or 10 gallons of the stuff. Now if you want a serious project that makes even the best sour beers look like child's play, take a look at the process to make proper balsamic vinegar:

    [​IMG]

    "The disciplinary imposes a minimum period of ageing of twelve years.
    The type of wood used are:
    Chestnut, it gives color and helps the acetification process;
    Oak, strong and compact it gives up vanilla flavor;
    Cherry-tree, it gives the sweet and mellow cherry stone flavor;
    Mulberry, it gives “heat” and harmony to the balsamic vinegar;
    Juniper, it expresses the strong aroma of the resinous wood."
     
  29. EddieD3

    EddieD3 Initiate (46) Nov 17, 2017 New York
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    For the record 1 person has answered my question. How would you use your brewing equipment for anything other than beer. lol
     
  30. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (95) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
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    Looks like there are at least three good suggestions if you include the idea to use a stainless steel immersion chiller for cooling chili/soup, the youtube vid about sous vide steaks posted by @NorCalKid and the 5-gallon pot for spaghetti.

     
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  31. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (97) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    Right, I think the mind set behind most people is that their brewing equipment is for brewing beer or what ever it is intended for. Even the local guy that does sauces, says the gear he has for that is just for sauces. He is going to start doing sake soon and that gear will be just for sake.

    I have even started looking at doing Kombucha as my girlfriend loves it. And after looking into it, other than a pot to brew the tea in, I would buy all new gear just for it. I think many of these different fermented foods act very differently when prepping and fermenting that the usual equipment is not needed.

    Doing a quick google search reveals to me that making a sauce is easier than I thought and all you would really need is the bucket. Basically pickle your peppers and once they get to a point, slap a lid and airlock on and check in on them in a few months. Now unless you are going into the hot sauce business, or love hot sauce on everything you eat and drink, you would have enough for more than a few years.
     
  32. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (509) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    I frequently use my second kettle (and propane burner) for boiling lobster... probably more than for brewing, in fact. You don't really want to boil several gallons of water indoors in July!

    I do all my kimchi, sauerkraut, etc. in large mason jars with vented caps... Makes plenty for us and it can go right in the fridge when we start to eat it.

    Sandor Katz refers to food fermentation as "controlled rotting" so I'm fine with that terminology.

    Edit: The kettle cleans up fine for brewing. Scrub with baking soda or Oxyclean, fill with water and bring to a boil, dump and rinse 3 or 4 times. Sounds like a lot but takes less than 30 minutes.
     
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  33. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,755) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Premium

    Sorry, didn't really follow that analogy. Anyway, I think it is more ironic than silly. At least that was what I was going for. Should have used a winkie emoji?

    I bet he didn't use an emoji!
     
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  34. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (231) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    I try to get my wife to use my breeding equipment for a meal. I have to be a really good boy for that job to get done.
     
  35. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (730) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Quaint custom there in Tajikistan :grin:
     
  36. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,469) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    There's a lot of that going around.
     
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  37. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,257) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    Strangest, ill-timed example of auto-correct that I've ever seen! :wink:
     
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  38. MrOH

    MrOH Champion (848) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    So, uh, this thread went crazy over the past few days.
    Anyhow, I stand by my stance. Would any of you say that rising bread is "rotting"?
    To OP, I'll reiterate, you can totally use you're brewing equipment to make lacto-fermented hot sauce, but unless you're using one of those 1 gallon set-ups, you're going to have more hot sauce than you can give away.
     
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