Answer: All you have to do is dry your paprika peppers until they're very dark and turn leathery or hard. It's easier to get them completely dry if you cut them into thin strips, and dry them in a dehydrator or warm oven (at 120F).
Here's some info on making tobasco that I found at the Chili Head Digest:
The process is actually called "fermenting". You can ferment your peppers the same way you ferment other vegetables. In fact, the following is similar to how the very first tabasco sauce was made, according to my Tabasco cookbook.
1. Crush or coarsley chop your tabasco peppers.
2. In a large bowl mix the tabasco peppers with
salt. The ratio is 3 Tablespoons salt to every
5 pounds of peppers. Put the mix in your crock.
(Instead of mixing together you could also just
layer peppers/salt/peppers/salt in your crock).
3. The salt will extract the juice from the peppers.
You should begin to see liquid forming. Keep
pushing down the peppers, the idea is that you
want the liquid to cover the peppers. If after
48 hours not enough juice has formed, add just
enough water so that when you squish the peppers
down they are submerged in the juice.
4. Let the crock sit at room temperature. It will
start to ferment. You can tell it is fermenting
because you will begin to see little bubbles on
the surface. Allow it to ferment until you no
longer see these bubbles. You can continue
to allow it to "age" if you want. Just keep
smelling it. When the aroma is something you
would find pleasing in a sauce, then stop aging it.
5. At this point, you can process it using your
favorite sauce-making process. I usually put the
fermented pepper-mash into a blender with a wee
bit of cider vineger and puree. Then I strain
into bottles. You could also just use the juice
as-is. Or you could use the juice mixed with
a little cider-vinegar. It is really up to
you from here!
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