And this is what it looked like this morning: not as bright. The habeñero mash naturally darkened and today's overcast penetrated my kitchen.
If you don't have a chinois or "china cap," any fine sieve will do. If the mesh of your sieve is not ultra fine, you'll simply end up with more sediment in your hot sauce, which is not a problem, though I imagine that hot sauce with large chunks of sediment would spoil more rapidly at room temperature. Even so, the sauce will be very acidic. The vinegar and the capsaicin in the habeñeros together will naturally retard most spoilage. Here comes the fun part! Oh, and be sure to push the remaining liquid through your sieve by applying pressure to the mash with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Note: save your old hot sauce bottles and caps. They come in handy. Okay. Now for the fun part. Or should I say, the funnel part?
I needed a funnel but I didn't want to buy one. Lucky for me, there were some leftover Sno-Cone cups from a Sno-Cone themed party at Flying Object. I just cut the tip off. In a pinch, you could even take some paper funnels from the gas station. Just be sure there's not old motor oil on them.
And that's it. A whole season of tending four habeñero plants + a two-phase, week-long aging process = three bottles of hot sauce. Each bottle roughly equates to about three square feet of land, so think about that the next time you are in the supermarket, looking at the mountains of hot sauce.