Salami Variation: Help!

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Salami Variation: Help!

Postby AndyTheRobot » Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:09 pm

Hi,

For a few years now I've participated in a yearly Salami making event with my Family. The quick version is that nobody really knows what we're doing, but we're operating on handed-down instructions - old family tradition, that kind of thing.

We make Italian style pork salami. The most recent batch (made Dec 2014) is totally different than the prior year's batch (2013), and I'm hoping some more experienced people can tell me why...

2013:
Hog casing for the smaller salami, paper casing for the larger (like the one in the photo below)
Stuffed using a grinder
finer grind than 2014
less pepper
No hot pepper
Image
Image

2014:
Beef casings, but again paper for the larger ones (not shown)
Stuffed with a vertical stuffer
larger grind (an accident - we overcorrected from two years of thinking we ground too finely)
...a ton of pepper. Too much - we were experimenting.
A little hot pepper was added.
Image
Image

The 2013 batch is more what I'm going for - it has a very soft texture that almost makes you worry it's not cured. The salami in the 2013 photo is a larger diameter than the 2014 salami, but that's just the two I used for photos - the smaller 2013s exhibited all the same differences. You can see that the 2014 batch is significantly darker, and waaayyy harder. It's tasty, but too peppery.

I'm trying to figure out mostly what caused the texture difference - was it the stuffer? It seemed to pack the meat in with less entrained air but I could also believe all that extra pepper played a role. I doubt that the beef casing (which was a million times easier to work with that the pork we used in prior years) caused it, but if I knew anything I wouldn't be here asking questions.

Finally for all I know differences in the pork caused this....or temperature differences in the first days of curing (it's in a cold cellar, not a refrigerator). Or humidity. Or...or...or...

Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Salami Variation: Help!

Postby BriCan » Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:24 am

AndyTheRobot wrote:Hi,

For a few years now I've participated in a yearly Salami making event with my Family. The quick version is that nobody really knows what we're doing, but we're operating on handed-down instructions - old family tradition, that kind of thing.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Finally for all I know differences in the pork caused this....or temperature differences in the first days of curing (it's in a cold cellar, not a refrigerator). Or humidity. Or...or...or...

Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks in advance!


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But what do I know
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Re: Salami Variation: Help!

Postby NCPaul » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:39 am

I'd like some more info - salt and cure # 2 amounts, culture? Fermentation and drying conditions? The salami seem to have dried properly, what was the weight loss?
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