Have my skins gone off?

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Have my skins gone off?

Postby petesMeat » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:32 pm

Hey Folks

I bought a new 50 yard pack of hog casings about 2 weeks ago and put them straight in the fridge. Tonight I got them out to start making a new batch of sausages and they totally stink. I took out about about 4 metres and put them in a bowl of cold water to soak for 2 hours. Changed the water a few times. Ran water through them a few times. Left for another hour in more fresh water. They still honk and the smell seems to sticks to my hands and everything else!

I've probably had at least 5 packs of skins ordered online in the past and they've never smelt like this. Sometimes they smell a bit sweaty and mildly unpleasant, but this is a whole new ball game. Smells like it's come out the pig's arse!

If any of this smell gets into the sausage then they'll probably be the worst tasting sausages known to man! So I don't really want to risk my lovely ingredients ( i'm trying out a Beef, Leffe and enlgish mustard :D )

Is this normal or does it sound like the skins have gone off?

Thanks
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Re: Have my skins gone off?

Postby NCPaul » Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:04 am

They sound "off", were they well packed in salt?
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Re: Have my skins gone off?

Postby petesMeat » Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:31 am

No less than usual, although they did seem a bit wetter than previous batches when I opened the packet.

So it's now the following morning and the lengths I took out have been soaking overnight. They smell much less but still have a bit of that same aroma.

I obviously dont want to throw out the whole packet if this is normal.
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Re: Have my skins gone off?

Postby DanMcG » Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:46 pm

That's not normal for me and I've bought casings from many different suppliers. where are you located and where did you get them from?
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Re: Have my skins gone off?

Postby petesMeat » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:25 pm

Yeah ok then. Didn't seem normal to me either but I wasn't sure. I'll throw them out and order some more.

I'm in the UK, but won't name and shame the supplier as they've been fine in the past! I'll just let them know direct.

Thanks
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Re: Have my skins gone off?

Postby vagreys » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:17 pm

Yep. Even good casings can be pretty woofy, sometimes, but a key element of your description, that it is clinging to your hands after touching them, suggests that this is spoilage and/or bacteria. If they were slimy/sticky when you first noticed the strong and unpleasant smell, I'd be worried that they were contaminated during processing. It happens even in the best shops.

As described by BriCan and others, a little sodium bicarbonate in the soaking water makes them slippery for loading on the stuffer, and it also reduces the residual odor of strong-smelling casing. I've had some casing that was stronger smelling than other hanks, and while the smell was strong, it diminished with soaking, and while still detectable at stuffing, was gone after blooming and didn't transfer to the sausage meat, itself.
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