To make a simple homemade Tabasco sauce, cut off the stems and chop 1 cup red-ripe jalapeño peppers, grind them into a fine mash with a food processor, and pour into a glass bowl. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and pack the mash down into the bottom of the bowl. Let the mash ferment for one month, covered with a towel. Add white wine vinegar to taste, age for another week, and then strain through cheesecloth into a bottle.
Alternatively, make a larger batch with a longer fermentation time, which is closer to how Tabasco makes its sauce. Chop about 3 1/3 pounds of tabasco chile peppers, blitz in a food processor with 2 cups water and 1 ounce kosher salt, and put the mash in four 1-quart mason jars. Cap them loosely, and then remove the caps once a day for at least one week to let gas out and let air in. Add 3 ounces of oak cubes evenly throughout the jars, tighten the lids, and store in a cool, dark place for no less than three months and up to two years.
To finish the sauce, mix the mash with 4 cups white vinegar and return the mix to the jars. Shake them every day for one month, strain out the pulp, seeds and oak cubes, and place in bottles. The sauce keeps for about a year.
Always wear gloves and a mask when handling hot peppers.