First time fermenting questions

Beginners FAQ on sausage making, meat curing etc may often be found at the head of each relevant section, but here is the place to ask experienced users for advice if you are still stuck or need more information...we're here to help!

First time fermenting questions

Postby Monnowman » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:36 am

Hello,

I've just started my first batch of fermented sausages after graduating from dry curing pancetta in the fridge. My wife kindly bought me a secondhand wine cooler for Christmas which seems to work quite well at providing the temperatures I want and I haven't had an issue with humidity (yet). I'm into the second week of dry curing at 12 degrees C two batches of sausages: Salami Finocchia and Chorizo (mostly) following Marianski's recipes http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage ... inocchiona and
http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-recipes/chorizo. I made a kilo of the salami and a kilo of chorizo.

I say "mostly" because I used some relatively meaty pork belly so the fat content in both is probably higher than his. I didn't have an accurate scale to meaure the T-SPX culture he recommends (I have since bought one) so did some maths which resulted in using about a quarter teaspoon of the cutlure per kilo of meat. I added the culture dry, sprinkling it on the meat before mixing well. I then fermented both batches at 20-22 degrees C for 48 hours and have sinced had them at 12-14 degrees. I haven't tested pH and as yet have not bought any pH strips.

Some (possibly paranoid) questions that may have been answered in previous posts so apologies if I haven't spotted them:

- I only spotted the technique of activating the culture in water before adding to the mix after I had made the sausages. Is adding it dry a big mistake?

- I'm concerned I didn't add enough culture. Is a quarter level teaspoon enough for a kilo of meat?

- I want to order some pH tsting strips - can anyone recommend some and a good technique for using them?

- If I haven't got a sastisfactory pH immediately after the initial warmer 48 hour ferment can but after the longer (4-6 week) drying period DO get a satisfactory pH, can I feel confident the sausages are safe to eat, if the weight (which I have measured) has reduced by 30%?
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Re: First time fermenting questions

Postby NCPaul » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:12 pm

Welcome to the forum. :D

Paranoid questions are OK (and yours aren't). Adding the culture directly to the meat is fine; actually recommended by the maker.

I weigh the culture and use 0.75 grams per kilo. Now that you have a scale, would you weigh a quarter level teaspoon for us? Did you use the same sugar and amount as specified in the recipe?

No help on pH test strips.

I had pH of 4.9 - 5.3 in 36 - 48 hrs. this year using T-SPX with dextrose at 0.3 % and sugar at 0.3%. It is important to remember that T-SPX is used for mild acidification; a culture like F-LC will give a more immediate drop. It is also important to remember that pH is only one of the safety hurdles necessary.
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
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Re: First time fermenting questions

Postby Monnowman » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:08 am

Thanks for the suggestions :-)
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