Hello! Newbie here as well!
I have enjoyed this thread as I'm doing some work on a hot pepper sauce formula myself.
One of the things I have found is theat the FDA classifys Low-Acid Canned Foods (LACF) as havibg a pH of 4.6 or less. I think a pH of 3.5 to 4.0 should be optimum to be sure botch cant grow (could this be where the expressin to "botch" something comes from?
). They also say that C Botulinum bacteria (Botulism) only grow under the right conditions. Foods packed in the absence of oxygen, a favorable pH (above 4.6), the right tempurature (mainly room temp), and contain water and nutrients for growth. Salt helps bind the water and peppers are low in carbs and have almost no protien.
For a pH meter, try eBay or Amizon.
Good luck everyone!