Dry Curing Sausage

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johngaltsmotor

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Grinding meat and fat completely frozen depends on your equipment. Mine stays cold enough that when you grind frozen, even with coarse plates (1/2") you end up shaving off meat and end up a lot finer than called for. I par-freeze the fat for 2 hours and the meat for an hour. Just like brewing: whatever works best for your equipment is what you need to do.
To kill thicinae it takes extreme cold for an extended period (IIRC <0F for 3 weeks). I tend to buy my pork butts as I have room in the deep freeze and let them sit for a month until I get time to turn them into sausage anyway so it doesn't matter if I make dry cured or smoked varieties.
 
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They are done - 68% of original weight. You can see in the pic that there were some spots of white fuzz on them, which apparently is normal (my wife isn't buying that, though). I'm pulling them out of the fridge - and into my mouth. If you don't hear from me again, I very much enjoyed our time together. Cheers.



 
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I smelled it before I ate it and was surprised that it smelled exactly like salami. I've already eaten most of the first link. It passes muster. When I make it again, I'll probably go drier, to 60%. It's not soft, but I'd like it to be firmer. Flavor is perfect.

 

rgauthier20420

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They look great! Very nice color and it doesn't look like you've got any dry rims issues. Very nice separation of the meat and fat. Need my address to send some? :tank:
 

rgauthier20420

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If you're serious, PM me. I'll be vacuum-packing these guys tonight, I could send one to you for quality inspection.
PM sent :)

Now that you've proved this successful with your current equipment....what's next?
 
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PM sent :)

Now that you've proved this successful with your current equipment....what's next?
I have a hog middle that I'd like to stuff and make a true 3" salami. I'm going to be brewing a new lager next weekend, so I'll probably go ahead and make another salami. I can't dry anything that takes more than about a month since I use my fermenting chamber for drying, and the I have to synchronize my drying with a fermenting lager.

I might make a chorizo instead, not really sure yet. But it will be something stuffed in the 3" casing.
 

vagabondat02

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Looking good! The mold you had growing looks like one of the healthy, tasty ones. As long as it doesn't get too fuzzy, or start turning blue or green, it will only improve the flavor of your salami. If it does start going crazy on you, just wash off the casing and wipe it down with diluted vinegar. Congratulations, and welcome to the wild, wonderful world of fermented meat!
 

dinnerstick

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Hi salami freaks. I just made my first batch yesterday. Simple recipe; pork shoulder, fatback, spices, salt, cure #2, and a standard culture mix. Adapted from modernist cuisine. Half the batch got garlic, black pepper, toasted ground fennel seeds, the second half got garlic, szechwan peppers, coriander seed, pimenton (smoked paprika), chili flakes; powdered. Medium hog casing. We fried up the bits of leftover filling that didn't make it into the casing as little patties, they were both unbelievably good.
Now. It's my first go at this. I understand the theory behind fermentation time, drying time, temperature, relative humidity, but I can't spare a fridge as a humidity chamber. I have had them them hanging in my basement overnight, currently at 19 degrees C and around 62% RH. The recipe says to start them warm (18-20C) to ferment, before drying cooler (~12C) at ~75% RH. I'm simply curious as to other people's experiences with similar size sausages and drying without a dedicated chamber. I will move them to a cooler part of the cellar, not sure about the humidity there. But am I going to dry the outside way too fast and leave the insides manky? Should I try to get a simple humidity tent going? Any experiences or ideas appreciated. I should say, I suddenly feel like a novice brewer who is only realizing that yeast health and ferm temp are the important variables, even though I read it in a book before starting in...
Also, I don't have a lot of free space! Thanks!
 
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Hi salami freaks. I just made my first batch yesterday. Simple recipe; pork shoulder, fatback, spices, salt, cure #2, and a standard culture mix. Adapted from modernist cuisine. Half the batch got garlic, black pepper, toasted ground fennel seeds, the second half got garlic, szechwan peppers, coriander seed, pimenton (smoked paprika), chili flakes; powdered. Medium hog casing. We fried up the bits of leftover filling that didn't make it into the casing as little patties, they were both unbelievably good.
Now. It's my first go at this. I understand the theory behind fermentation time, drying time, temperature, relative humidity, but I can't spare a fridge as a humidity chamber. I have had them them hanging in my basement overnight, currently at 19 degrees C and around 62% RH. The recipe says to start them warm (18-20C) to ferment, before drying cooler (~12C) at ~75% RH. I'm simply curious as to other people's experiences with similar size sausages and drying without a dedicated chamber. I will move them to a cooler part of the cellar, not sure about the humidity there. But am I going to dry the outside way too fast and leave the insides manky? Should I try to get a simple humidity tent going? Any experiences or ideas appreciated. I should say, I suddenly feel like a novice brewer who is only realizing that yeast health and ferm temp are the important variables, even though I read it in a book before starting in...
Also, I don't have a lot of free space! Thanks!
Sounds like you know EXACTLY what the dangers are. Low RH and the inside will stay spongy / nasty. To keep the RH up, hang them in a large plastic box or bag.

You definitely want the warm start to get the fermentation up and the pH down.

Keep an eye on mold growth. Brush with vinegar. Some mold will eat away at the casing: you don't want that.

Weigh one of your links, and keep weighing it over time to know how much drying you've accomplished.

I meant to make a bunch over the winter but got busy. Good luck with yours. Let's see some pics soon.
 

dinnerstick

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Sounds like you know EXACTLY what the dangers are. Low RH and the inside will stay spongy / nasty. To keep the RH up, hang them in a large plastic box or bag.

You definitely want the warm start to get the fermentation up and the pH down.

Keep an eye on mold growth. Brush with vinegar. Some mold will eat away at the casing: you don't want that.

Weigh one of your links, and keep weighing it over time to know how much drying you've accomplished.

I meant to make a bunch over the winter but got busy. Good luck with yours. Let's see some pics soon.
Thanks for the tips. I'll try to knock up a humidity tent without resorting to hanging them in my currently empty plastic conical....!
I am indeed monitoring the weight. I'm sure i'll post back pretty soon. Here they are after half a day hanging. The dark ones are fennel, red ones are the bonkers other ones.

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dinnerstick

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I made a little low tech (no tech?) humidity chamber from an old plastic crate. It's a pan of water, a thermometer and my old dial hygrometer. The front is just a plastic bag cut open and draped over loosely. The RH shot up from 63 to ~77% immediately (despite what the dial says in the pic). I'll keep an eye on it like this for a day or so and ventilate periodically. Meanwhile the salami got a bit of white mold, and I brushed them with vinegar. As i brushed, the mold really looked like the white mold coating on various salami/fuet. I don't know if that mold was in the mixed culture I used, but I was eating a white coated fuet at the same time and intentionally not washing my hands...?

(and for those not familiar that's a plastic single-use keykeg next to the box, we get our beer in them where I contract brew. Weird things, it's a bag of beer inside a plastic shell.)

DSC_1195.jpeg
 

dinnerstick

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1 week update: Holding around 80% RH and 19 deg C, they are looking good. Haven't weighed them again but they are shrinking slowly. They have sporadic white mold, powdery and fluffy. If this the good stuff?? No black or green mold to be seen. The smell is gooooood!

DSC_1205.jpeg
 

dinnerstick

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update: 3 weeks in. the sausages have lost on average 34% of their 'original' (which was 1 day after hanging) weight, with some variation from one to the other. also the white mold is variable, but definitely does not like to grow over the fatty bits. they look good, they feel good, and they smell great. no sign of anything growing on them other than the white stuff, which, when you get it on your hand, smells like the white mold on salami. my partner in crime is building a little computer controlled temp/humidity chamber with an arduino, so we can finish them at low temp, but the parts are taking a long tie to arrive, so they are sitting at 75% RH and ~19c.

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dinnerstick

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first taste! and it was good. both are not quite spot on with the texture, the meat needs to be in bigger chunks and the fat smaller, but for a first go i ain't complaining! both moist in the middle, but not soggy or mushy, pleasant texture, could be a bit drier but probably not attainable without a drying cabinet build.... the fennel/pepper one is firmer than the chili/szechuwan/pimenton/coriander one. the latter is spicy but more chili than szechuwan, and really tasty. garlic is mellow, spice builds but is in check. the fennel one is amazing. punchy anise flavor backed up by the black pepper. wow, planning next batch.

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dinnerstick

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actually not very scared only because everything along the way went so well. they looked great and smelled great so hazard seemed unlikely. the tasting of course was preceded by a good round of "it's a good day to die jokes", but so far....
 

Somethingnuw

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All very complicated....i cure for a few weeks then press them....old family trick no additives...just 3% course salt some pepper then vacuum seal and leave in fridge....we do this between November and February as we live in Vancouver, British Columbia and the temperatures of our win3 cellar are perfect....no need to ferment as they are just small sausage, we only use pork shoulder
 

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