I'm planning to make some fermented chilli sauce. I have the various ingredients and equipment I'll need, waiting in my shopping basket. The only thing (I think) I'm missing is what quantity of chillies I should buy. I'm struggling to find recipes that mention the volume of the yield.

I plan on fermenting the chillies in a 1500ml Kilner jar, and I would like to end up with about 10 150ml bottles of sauce.

I've found a place that sells peppers by the kilo and I guess my question is... would 1kg of chillies be enough for my needs? I'm happy to freeze any left over peppers but the last thing I want is to not have enough to begin with.

I should probably mention that I plan on keeping the sauce quite simple... just the peppers, carrot, vinegar, and the brine.

  • 2
    Fermenting the intact chilies or chopped? Volume would depend on packing - whole bell peppers would take up more volume than whole birds-eye for the same number/mass of chilies.
    – bob1
    Commented Jun 19, 2023 at 22:54
  • People usually do it the other way round. They take the amount of chilies they have (traditionally, as much as they got to harvest) and portion the chilies into as many jars as it takes. You can try roughly predicting the right amount, but it won't be perfect, so expect to just buy a bit more than you need and then having leftover chilies.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 10:15
  • Dried or fresh chiles?
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 18:21
  • I'm trying to recreate my favourite sauce, which is no longer made as far as I can tell. So I'm sticking to it's listed ingredients of just red scotch bonnets, and carrots for the vegetable matter. As for the chillies themselves, they'll be fresh, and I was just planning on removing the stems and roughly chopping them (but leaving the seeds and membranes in) in order to get more into the jar. Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


I've finally got around to answering my own question.

I made three varieties of fermented Scotch Bonnet hot sauce. For the batches I made in 1000ml cliptop Kilner jars, I used 250g of Scotch Bonnets, that I stemmed and cut in half. I also used 50g of carrots, and 20g of Garlic. I then used a cabbage leaf with a fermentation weight on top, to press down the ingredients. It ended up about three fifths of the way toward filling the jar. So I'd estimate that it'd take between 700g to 900g of halved Scotch Bonnets alone to fill a 1 litre jar.

When you factor in the headspace required for the fermentation, the brine, and the fermentation weight (and possibly the length to which the airlock may extend into your jar), then I wouldn't advise using much more 500g to 600g of Scotch Bonnets in a 1 litre jar. Perhaps more if you cut them smaller and really pack them down. This quantity also doesn't take into account any other vegetables in your recipe, which should be subtracted from the 500 to 600g figure.

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