Dry Curing Sausage

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rgauthier20420

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Looking good. I can definitely tell you'v stuffed sausages before. Those links look nicely plump (insert joke here :)). It seems like your using the same sizing casing as I did, so you might want to try and raise the humidity. I was sitting at 70% and they dried pretty darn fast with a little dry rim.

Looking forward to seeing how they turn out!
 
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Looking good. I can definitely tell you'v stuffed sausages before. Those links look nicely plump (insert joke here :)). It seems like your using the same sizing casing as I did, so you might want to try and raise the humidity. I was sitting at 70% and they dried pretty darn fast with a little dry rim.

Looking forward to seeing how they turn out!
Yea, I'm worried about premature case hardening on my sausages (insert your own joke here!). I have a dehumidifier in there and I think it's taking the RH too low. I might tie the dehumidifier to the freezer power and let it cycle on/off that way.

Here's one of my boys stuffing sausages for me (and one of his friends). Like a BOSS. Boudin blanc, those. About 3 yrs ago.

 
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johngaltsmotor

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How are you hoping them to turn red? Most sausages with color are either smoked to impart the color or through spices (cayenne/paprika).
And just to be safe: you did use Cure #2 if you're planning to let them air dry for an extended period (weeks), correct? (Not to ask a stupid question, but I'd rather insult you than let you hurt yourself)
 

rgauthier20420

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How are you hoping them to turn red? Most sausages with color are either smoked to impart the color or through spices (cayenne/paprika).
And just to be safe: you did use Cure #2 if you're planning to let them air dry for an extended period (weeks), correct? (Not to ask a stupid question, but I'd rather insult you than let you hurt yourself)
Some starter cultures help the meat maintain and brighten it's color. Also the Nitrites in Cure #2 do this...from my understanding. I guess it wouldn't be considered turning red rather them maintaining a nice pink color.
 
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How are you hoping them to turn red? Most sausages with color are either smoked to impart the color or through spices (cayenne/paprika).
And just to be safe: you did use Cure #2 if you're planning to let them air dry for an extended period (weeks), correct? (Not to ask a stupid question, but I'd rather insult you than let you hurt yourself)
Yep, cure #2 is worked in there. I also added a dry bacteria culture and let those sausages ferment overnight to reduce the pH.

I assume that the cure will cause them to be red over time, the same way it makes my corned beef red.

Oh yea, meet me in the valley ( ;) $ If you're really JG, you know where it is. $ )
 
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More pics, why not.

I cut the pork shoulder and back fat up into grindable cubes. The fat was ground through the large-holed die in my grinder, then I switched to the small-hole die and ground the lean pork. First pic is the lean pork getting ground (fat is already done, in the bottom of the bowl. Second pic is the result, after combining the fat and pork, spices, wine, bacteria culture, etc.



 

brewbama

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I am just getting into sausage curing. I've done whole muscle (Copa, Lonzino, Brasciola), and I've made fresh breakfast sausage, but not dried sausage yet. I just got the stuffer. What's your recipe?


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I am just getting into sausage curing. I've done whole muscle (Copa, Lonzino, Brasciola), and I've made fresh breakfast sausage, but not dried sausage yet. I just got the stuffer. What's your recipe?


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I'm using the Tuscan Salami recipe from Ruhlman's Charcuterie book. Might be online somewhere. If you really want it, I'll put it up here.

I'm getting started with this. If it works out, I'll do the same with 3" casings, then I'll try whole muscle.
 

brewbama

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I have Kutas' book. There are some good recipes in it but not sure it has that one. I found some online as well.


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I've been thinking about doing just this in my ferm chamber. It's an upright freezer so there's plenty of hanging space.

The only reason I haven't yet is that I'm concerned that the small amount of air available for circulation would be a problem for drying. I'll be interested in seeing your results since we live in similar climates.
 
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I've been thinking about doing just this in my ferm chamber. It's an upright freezer so there's plenty of hanging space.

The only reason I haven't yet is that I'm concerned that the small amount of air available for circulation would be a problem for drying. I'll be interested in seeing your results since we live in similar climates.
So far so good. At 55F, the humidity was a bit high. With the Eva-Dry, little low. Now that the Eva-Dry is cycling, maybe I'll hit a good medium.

I'm optimistic, but prepared for ultimate failure / death. But I'm optimistic.
 

johngaltsmotor

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As long as your pH dropped quickly enough and you keep the humidity low enough to prevent undesired mold varieties you'll be fine. It just may take longer to dry if the humidity is too high.
Cure #1 or #2 don't truly add color, they just retain it by preventing the meat from spoiling and turning grey. If you want them truly red you could have added some Merlot (you can almost make pork sausage look like beef this way).

I was just concerned about any interaction of the yeast and the white molds, so I now have a separate refrigerator for dry curing. People think I'm nuts for having 2 refrigerators for hobbies along with a fridge and deep freeze for food.
 

rgauthier20420

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I've been thinking about doing just this in my ferm chamber. It's an upright freezer so there's plenty of hanging space.

The only reason I haven't yet is that I'm concerned that the small amount of air available for circulation would be a problem for drying. I'll be interested in seeing your results since we live in similar climates.
Raven, I dried my Chorizo in a converted wine fridge. The only thing circulating air was a small CPU fan and I had a bowl of water in there. I maintained almost 80% relative humidity with this method. A slightly bigger fan and a larger bowl should be all you need to keep things where they need to be.
 

rgauthier20420

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So far so good. At 55F, the humidity was a bit high. With the Eva-Dry, little low. Now that the Eva-Dry is cycling, maybe I'll hit a good medium.

I'm optimistic, but prepared for ultimate failure / death. But I'm optimistic.
What was the humidity w/o the eva dry running in your chamber?
 
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What was the humidity w/o the eva dry running in your chamber?
Hard to say. The temp was originally at 33F, and the RH was about 15%. When I raised the temp to 55F, the RH went up to 90%, but that might have just been a temporary spike due to the change in temperature in the closed freezer. I through the Eva-Dry in there and the RH dropped down into the 60's.

I've got the Eva-Dry cycling on and off with the freezer right now and the RH is at 78% (just checked).
 

rgauthier20420

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I've got the Eva-Dry cycling on and off with the freezer right now and the RH is at 78% (just checked).
Nice. That's going to work perfectly I think for you. Finding that nice drying level is important. I for my casing size it seems that 70% was a little low. Closer to 80% would have been perfect. I used hog casings.

Looking forward to see how these turn out. I'll be doing another batch hopefully next weekend when I get my new grinder and supplies from butcher-packers.

Nice to see some people on here take an interest to the cured/fermented sides of meats :rockin:
 
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5 days into it, my salami has lost 10% of its original weight. I'm graphing this right now in excel - I'll post the graph when I have more data. I'm measuring the weight of one of the sausages every day. It lost 4% in the first day. It seems that the weight loss slowed down quite a bit when I raised the humidity from 65% to 80%.

No mold of any kind so far. With the beer fermenting in there, I thought something might develop. Maybe it helps that the freezer is full of evolving CO2.
 

rgauthier20420

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Sounds like things are progressing good. The higher the humidity the slower they will dry out, which is good so you'll prevent dry rim. One thing I did last time that I'll be doing differently is using some sort of hook on the sausages when I tie them. I just tied them directly to the rack, so I didn't want to mess with it during drying.
 
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Sounds like things are progressing good. The higher the humidity the slower they will dry out, which is good so you'll prevent dry rim. One thing I did last time that I'll be doing differently is using some sort of hook on the sausages when I tie them. I just tied them directly to the rack, so I didn't want to mess with it during drying.
I used a small tension curtain rod and shower curtain hooks there. Perhaps a little ghetto, but they're working great. I tied one single sausage to one of the hooks so I can quickly measure weight and then return it to the stink chamber.
 

johngaltsmotor

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That's not ghetto. I used butcher string to tie the ends, then just used paperclips to hang them from the wire shelving in the fridge :-D (yeah, I'm cheap)
 
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Minor pertubations in the graph were due to me playing with the temperature and humidity control in the first few days. Extrapolating from the data there, looks like between 2 and 3 weeks to get to 70%. That's assuming the curve remains roughly linear.

 

rgauthier20420

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That's a great time frame. Definitely seems to be progressing well. Take a look at the recipe I'll be using this next go round and let me know your thoughts. Right here. I picked up this meat grinder off of Craigslist for $50, so this time around things should be much smoother with grinding which was a PITA last time.
 
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That's a great time frame. Definitely seems to be progressing well. Take a look at the recipe I'll be using this next go round and let me know your thoughts. Right here. I picked up this meat grinder off of Craigslist for $50, so this time around things should be much smoother with grinding which was a PITA last time.
That grinder looks great. I cube my meat, then freeze, then grind it while still frozen. Worked great. The fat goes through more easily, but my grinder didn't have any trouble with any of it while frozen. It was all pork, so frozen beef or other leaner meat might be more difficult.

What meat are you going to use?

That recipe looks great. I think I'll smoke some of mine next time. I like how they tie the salami into large rings like that. I'll probably do that next time too, which will likely be right after this time :)
 
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rgauthier20420

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That grinder looks great. I cube my meat, then freeze, then grind it while still frozen. Worked great. The fat goes through more easily, but my grinder didn't have any trouble with any of it while frozen. It was all pork, so frozen beef or other leaner meat might be more difficult.

What meat are you going to use?

That recipe looks great. I think I'll smoke some of mine next time. I like how they tie the salami into large rings like that. I'll probably do that next time too, which will likely be right after this time :)
One another forum I visit about sausage making, a veteran member cubes his meat and mixes the salt and cure mixture and then puts it in the fridge wrapped for 48 hours. I will be doing the same thing and 24 hours in the freezer and then to the grinder. It's sort of a curing stage but I believe it helps the Cure #2 do it's job on maintaining the color of the meat.

I'm stoked about the grinder, especially at the price I got it. I plan on using either a pork roast or butt and I'll probably pick up 1 lb of pork fat back to add if I'm not able to get enough from the other cut. I plan on doing the 5 lbs the recipe calls for.

I'm putting together a venturi cold smoker this weekend with some old brew fittings and an aluminum can this weekend. Picking up a cheap aquarium air pump this week also. I'm gonna cold smoke it in my smoker just with it turned off.

Doing this is definitely just as addictive as brewing it seems. I'm planning on starting during next week and I'll likely be grinding an stuffing next weekend.
 
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One another forum I visit about sausage making, a veteran member cubes his meat and mixes the salt and cure mixture and then puts it in the fridge wrapped for 48 hours. I will be doing the same thing and 24 hours in the freezer and then to the grinder. It's sort of a curing stage but I believe it helps the Cure #2 do it's job on maintaining the color of the meat.

I'm stoked about the grinder, especially at the price I got it. I plan on using either a pork roast or butt and I'll probably pick up 1 lb of pork fat back to add if I'm not able to get enough from the other cut. I plan on doing the 5 lbs the recipe calls for.

I'm putting together a venturi cold smoker this weekend with some old brew fittings and an aluminum can this weekend. Picking up a cheap aquarium air pump this week also. I'm gonna cold smoke it in my smoker just with it turned off.

Doing this is definitely just as addictive as brewing it seems. I'm planning on starting during next week and I'll likely be grinding an stuffing next weekend.
Yes, I added the salts on the meat after cubing and before freezing, similar to what you suggest there. I wanted to make sure they got mixed up well with the meat.

I'd like to see more of that smoker when you get it finished. Sounds like you might be a bit of an OCD bastard like I.
 

rgauthier20420

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Yes, I added the salts on the meat after cubing and before freezing, similar to what you suggest there. I wanted to make sure they got mixed up well with the meat.

I'd like to see more of that smoker when you get it finished. Sounds like you might be a bit of an OCD bastard like I.
Well this might be the most ghetto thing I've ever put together, but I just couldn't help myself. I bought a cheap aquarium air pump and tubing from Pet Smart that totaled $15. I emptied a can of peas and screwed 2 1/2" hose barbs into each end. I then drilled 3 little holes at the bottom for new air to enter. And yes, I drilled all the holes with a wood spade bit. You can imagine how off they are considering how thin the aluminum is :rockin:

One video is with the flash light on and the other is without. Any questions about this modern technology contraption....feel free :drunk:

Flash: ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TbLjmw11As
No flash:

20140603_204709.jpg
 
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rgauthier20420

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Ha thanks! It took a total of 2 minutes to make. Sorry I didn't get an action shot. I just used some mulch to test for smoke. All you do is drop chips or whatever, smaller the better, into the bottom of the can and use the three small holes at the bottom part to light the wood. You should be able to see the red hot wood through the bottom holes in one of the video. A small air tube goes through the barb that's facing into the can and just sits inside the other fitting creating a vacuum drawing the smoke up.

Did I explain that ok?
 

rgauthier20420

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I've read people that made a similar setup (using nicer containers for the pellets :)) that have smoker last 7-10 hours and some have it last 3-4 hours. From what I've read, it depends on how fast the air flows. I can get a small air control valve if I think it's going to fast and burns to quickly.

To be honest, either of these times are fine with me. But really, if I have to reload all I need to do is turn it upside down to empty and pop new pellets inside. It's that easy.

I'm getting some pellets this weekend, so maybe I'll do a test for 1 cup of pellets and see how long it smokes for.

For me, it's a successful build and I'm happy it only cost me $15 all in all :D
 

rgauthier20420

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Sounds like you might be a bit of an OCD bastard like I.
Well sir it seems your right about me and OCD. After building the smoker, I'm already thinking of ways to redo it and make it a bit less ghetto. Damn you!
 

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10 days, no mold of any kind on the casing. Might still happen, but I was sure they'd be a mess and I'd be hitting them with vinegar by now. Maybe the CO2 from the fermenting beer in there is inhibiting the growth.

Or you just did a good job in cleanliness :ban:. I also think the completely enclosed environment helps inhibiting the mold growth, and of course the reduced temperatures. I didn't get any mold on mine to my surprise. Good to hear.

How about some updated pictures? I'm sure they're looking completely different by now.
 

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Glad I'm not the only salami maker round here - my butcher constantly remarks at how surprised he is that I'm still alive.

I've stopped mincing my meat as my grinder doesn't give a coarse enough finish so I use a knife and fine chop with a few big chunks.

Last batch I experimented with adding gorgonzola to half of the mix, they bloomed blue after a month and then settled to powdery grey. Contrary to what I expected the cheese inoculated salamis ended up milder after six months hanging than the non cheesy. The deliberately molded bacon on the other hang was horribly earthy.

Made myself a smoker using an Ecosmoker burner ( runs on fine wooddust ) but so far it's only been used on fish and cheese. I give most things 24 hours in it.

Come winter when I get my next pig carcass I plan on training a time lapse camera on the hanging hams and salamis.

What's the purpose of freezing the meat beforehand?
 

rgauthier20420

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Glad I'm not the only salami maker round here - my butcher constantly remarks at how surprised he is that I'm still alive.

I've stopped mincing my meat as my grinder doesn't give a coarse enough finish so I use a knife and fine chop with a few big chunks.

Last batch I experimented with adding gorgonzola to half of the mix, they bloomed blue after a month and then settled to powdery grey. Contrary to what I expected the cheese inoculated salamis ended up milder after six months hanging than the non cheesy. The deliberately molded bacon on the other hang was horribly earthy.

Made myself a smoker using an Ecosmoker burner ( runs on fine wooddust ) but so far it's only been used on fish and cheese. I give most things 24 hours in it.

Come winter when I get my next pig carcass I plan on training a time lapse camera on the hanging hams and salamis.

What's the purpose of freezing the meat beforehand?
It brings joy to my eyes to see more and more people posting about the cured/fermented meats. An interesting idea to put cheese inside of a salami. I wonder what would happen if some of the harder cheeses were used?

A slightly courser product isn't a bad thing at all. I've seen a recipe where you grind 1/2 the meat and then 1" cube the rest and stuff it with the fat like that. It's a beautiful finished product.

A reason for freezing the meat prior to beginning the process would be to kill of any Trichinosis. It's more for game meats than commercial, but it's just a precautionary step some take.

I'm going to propose a salami share! I'm picking up the cuts for my next batch this weekend and will be starting it during the week. I'll begin a thread there instead of jacking this one :)
 
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I read about killing parasites in the meat with freezing, but I think the recommendation is to freeze for weeks. I froze just to get a good grind. If the meat gets warm, the fat will "smear" and you won't have nice marbled mix; it will look more like it was emulsified. Bad.

Because of the friction of the grinder and it's screw, you're adding plenty of heat anyway. So I find I can grind both the fat and the pork, even when completely frozen.
 
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