Making homemade fermented hot sauce is incredibly easy and super simple, and tastes SO much better than the store-bought stuff! Feel free to play around with different hot pepper varieties, you can even mix and match with adding a few sweet peppers in to help make a more mild sauce, too. Just make sure the vessels and equipment you use for fermenting are totally clean, but only use food-safe cleaners like dish soap to clean them (no harsh cleaners, obviously). I personally just boil the glass jays and fermentation weights for about 5 to 10 minutes beforehand, take them out of the water, and let them cool to room temperature before packing them with the peppers. For more insight on the fermentation process and best-practices, you can read through the blog post above. Enjoy, my friend!
To prepare the brine, whisk together the water and salt in a medium bowl until the salt has dissolved completely. Set it aside.
Remove and discard the caps of the chilies. Cut them in half lengthwise, then cut into roughly 4-inch long pieces. For a slightly milder sauce, remove the seeds, for a spicier sauce, leave them in.
Toss together the garlic and chilies in a bowl, then place them in the mason jar, pushing down on the contents to try and fit as many peppers as you can, leaving about a 1-inch gap between the top of the jar and the top of the pepper pile.
Pour the brine into the jar until it's level with the peppers. Place the glass fermentation weight on top of the peppers and push down to help compact the peppers a bit more. Ideally, you want about 1 inch of space between the top of the glass weight and the top of the jar—you can remove some pepper pieces if needed to lower it a bit.
Once you have 1-inch of headspace, add more brine to the jar until the weight is just covered and submerged in the brine.
Screw on the airlock lid, with the airlock assembled according to the manufacturer's directions. **Make sure** that the bottom tip of the air lock DOESN'T touch or get submerged in the brine. It should be exposed to the air in the 1-inch of headspace at the top of the jar. If it is submerged, it will not be able to vent the CO2 properly.
Store at room temperature out of direct sunlight and allow to ferment for at least 5 days, and up to several weeks. The brine will turn cloudy (read the signs of a healthy fermentation above for more details).
When you're ready to enjoy your hot sauce, remove the air lock cap, remove the glass weight, and empty the mixture into a blender. Puree at medium speed until your desired consistency is reached (I like mine a little chunkier, but if you want it silky smooth like sriracha just keep on blendin').
Store in clean glass bottles and keep refrigerated.