Coppa Drying Stalled

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Coppa Drying Stalled

Postby anedand » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:09 am

Hi everyone,
I have a coppa that went into the drying cabinet on December 12th. The % of moisture loss has been slowing over the past month or so, which was expected, but now it appears to have flatlined at around 27%. In fact, I got a reading of 3g more tonight than last week at this time. Which means it appears to have only lost about 3g in the past 14 days.

Here are my readings:
12/12: 669g
12/22: 579g (13.45%)
12/27: 552g (17.49%)
01/06: 527g (21.23%)
01/12: 508g (24.07%)
01/19: 501g (25.11%)
01/26: 491g (26.61%)
02/02: 485g (27.5%)
02/09: 488g (27.06%)

Image

I have 2 other larger coppas that went into the same cabinet on Jan 6 that are both around 27% loss already.

Image

Should I be worried about this little guy (second from the left) or should I give him a couple more weeks and see if he gets back on track?

Any suggestions are appreciated.
Thanks!
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Re: Coppa Drying Stalled

Postby wheels » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:32 am

Coppa has more fat than (say) bresaola, so you'd expect slower/less weight loss as fat doesn't lose weight, but evn so 27% seems low. What temp and RH is the chamber at?

Phil
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Re: Coppa Drying Stalled

Postby anedand » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:43 pm

The cabinet is set at 13C and 70% RH- the RH tends to fluctuate more than than the temp but it generally stays mid 70s- occasionally I find it in the high 70s if I haven't aired it out and/or the compressor hasn't run. This time of year there is very little cooling necessary in my garage so it can build up a bit.
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Re: Coppa Drying Stalled

Postby NCPaul » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:20 pm

How does the coppa "feel", uniform firmness?
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Re: Coppa Drying Stalled

Postby wheels » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:00 pm

I've just noticed the fan. Is it running?

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Re: Coppa Drying Stalled

Postby anedand » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:46 pm

wheels wrote:I've just noticed the fan. Is it running?

Phil


Phil, the fan is on the humidifier circuit, so it cycles on for a short time several times a day. It doesn't run continuously or ever for more than a minute or two.

NCPaul wrote:How does the coppa "feel", uniform firmness?


Paul, I haven't given it a good squeeze in a while. I'll glove up tonight and check, but generally speaking it seemed uniform and firm last time I checked it.
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Re: Coppa Drying Stalled

Postby wheels » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:25 pm

Only you know your chamber, but the first thing that springs to mine is the possibility of case-hardening caused by the fan. But it looks as if you've been successfully using this set-up for a while? If so, it would only be a very long-shot.

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Re: Coppa Drying Stalled

Postby anedand » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:19 pm

NCPaul wrote:How does the coppa "feel", uniform firmness?


Paul, I checked the firmness this morning - feels firm but still slightly malleable. Definitely firmer than the 2 younger, larger coppas, but definitely not hard or dry feeling. I would say it is slightly softer in the middle than on the ends, but barely and without knowing specifically what to look for I'm not sure that means anything. Certainly nothing that made me think there was a problem and nothing to make me think it's dry enough to slice, but again, I'm looking for feedback here because I'm not sure what's happening or what exactly to look for.

wheels wrote:Only you know your chamber, but the first thing that springs to mine is the possibility of case-hardening caused by the fan.


Phil, case hardening definitely crossed my mind, but I'm not certain how to determine. If you read above, the muscle still has some give, and the exterior seems soft and pliable, certainly not dry if that would be detectable in hardening. The casings are beef bungs for what that's worth.

wheels wrote:But it looks as if you've been successfully using this set-up for a while?


I'm posting in the beginners forum for a reason :D I'm very new at this and this is my first coppa and only my second piece. One related note, my humidity did climb over 80% overnight on Monday - which is making me wonder if it's that is something I need to deal with. I have the humidifier set to trigger at 70%RH so somewhere around 69% humidifier kicks on, it hits 70% pretty quickly and shuts off, but since the sensor isn't immediate, and there is some distance between the probe and the humidifier, the RH generally continues to climb to around 74% or 75% before it begins falling again. If the chamber is closed (I often leave it cracked open since the conditions in my garage are very favorable most of the day right now - literally 55F and 71% this morning when I left) and not cooling regularly (as it is now) that tends to build up a bit, which it may have done while I was gone over the weekend, perhaps over-hydrating the meat and giving me a slightly elevated measurement on Monday? Just a thought.
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Re: Coppa Drying Stalled

Postby wheels » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:27 pm

From what you've told us, I think the best thing may be to do absolutely nothing.

Leave it for a few weeks and see how things are then.

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Re: Coppa Drying Stalled

Postby crustyo44 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:38 pm

Advise from another beginner. I think the fan is too big for the chamber and cause case hardening as Phil stated.
I have nearly finished my wine fridge/curing chamber and I am going to fit an air inlet and outlet. The latter will have a very small computer fan ( speed adjustable) This seems to be the best solution as I've seen on several Forums.
Cheers,
Jan.
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Re: Coppa Drying Stalled

Postby anedand » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:45 pm

Thanks again to everyone for the feedback. Drying is still very slow, but making incremental progress. I think the case hardening diagnosis makes the most sense. I have disabled the fan and have been just ventilating manually but I purchased 2 small fans I will wire up on a dehumidifying switch when I have some time.

29% loss at day 87 and counting. Fingers crossed.

Image

I have 2 more coppas behind this one at 28% and 29% on day 62 so I'm optimistic that I'm working out the kinks.
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