My first salami, a few questions.

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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby Shalloy46 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:22 am

I have a temp controller on the fridge and have set it to 12C. I dont have a humidifer but do have a hygrostat. I havent needed a humidifier yet as the Rh has been around 90%'.

When the ambient is at 15C + the RH in the fridge drops to around 85% because the fridge cuts in more so the humidity drops.

This morning when I went to work the RH in the fridge had climbed back up to 92%. I opened the door slightly and it started dropping so will be interesting to see what it is tonight when I get home. Im thinking maybe I need to put my heat lamp back in there so it forces the fridge to come on more and drop the RH below 80%.

I thought that after a week of drying they would have started to lower the rh in the fridge as theyve dried out. My recipe said to spray them twice a day with water but I havent bothered because my Rh is so high.

@Swing Swang..Ive had mice in my garage before going after left over grains in my grain mill (Im an all grain home brewer as well) But I caught it in a trap and havent seen any sign of another one since. But do have a few traps and an ultra sonic mice deterent thingy just in case.
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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby GUS » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:00 am

Check out a recent thread where kill2k makes a cold smoke chamber, we go through anti-meece tips there.

I live in the country & they are a pest, i/m sure if I haunt the afterlife i'll be the ghost seen with polyfilla wailing about mice, & holes in the fabric of buildings.

anti-mouse proof strip seal under the bottom of the garage door (check your side gaps too) but checkout copper mesh. this could be incorporated into a design to allow some unnattended breathing space for your curing.
ultimately though mouseproofing pays dividends.
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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby Shalloy46 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:08 am

@Gus.. I've gone back to keeping the door closed because when I got home from work tonight the re was 70%.

Anyway here's my plan.

1. Plug my heat lamp into my voltage control and sit it at the bottom of the fridge under the fan.
2. Have the fan running all the time to push that warmer air around the fridge.
3. Have the fridge set to 12 or 13C connected to my temp controller.
4. The heat will make the fridge come on more often dropping the Rh to about 78-82%.
5. Increase or decrease the voltage to my heat lamp so the fridge comes on just enough to hold the RH at 78-82%.

Only problem is during the day the RH will drop as the garage warms up and the fridge comes on a lot more. So maybe each morning when I go to work I can unplug the heat lamp and only turn it on when I get home at night.

Bit of trial and error but keeping the door open dropped the RH to 70%. I was told you shouldn't drop the RH more than 10% per week. So I want it around 80%.
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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby wheels » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:23 pm

I have to say that a fan on all the time worries me.

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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby Shalloy46 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:44 pm

Even on low speed? I thought that if the air inside is a certain humidity then the fan is just moving around that humid air?? And i was using the fan to make sure I circulkate the humid air around. It faces down to the bottom of the fridge and the air rise up the front against the door. I have it turned down to low speed and have a rag over the top to act as a filter and reduce airflow even more.

But Ill turn it off if you think I should.

This morning with the fan on overnight the Rh was 80%. But ambient was 65% as we had rain over night.
I turned the heat lamp off last night because the fridge was cutting in too much and the rh dropped to 70% but it was a warm night.

My salamis now have a light covering of white mould with some spots of heavier white mould over them. Ive noticed that where there is fat against the casing the skin has dried out and is dry and hard to touch.

The rest of the casing isnt as sticky and greasy anymore and they have definitely started to dry. Im just worried that after 10 days they might be drying too quickly. Although cant see how when my RH was up around 90% for most of that first 7 days.
Should I be spritzing them with water?
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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby NCPaul » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:29 pm

Are you tracking weight loss? In two weeks I'm usually between 15 - 20 % weight loss.
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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby Shalloy46 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:43 pm

Never thought of that. i will weigh them tonight and see how much theyve lost lost. Thanks.
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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby wheels » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:44 pm

Shalloy46 wrote:But Ill turn it off if you think I should...



I can't make that call for you, but if you think that they're drying too quickly?

Shalloy46 wrote:...Should I be spritzing them with water?


If you feel that they've not got enough humidity I'd tail back on the things that you've done to reduce it rather than spritz them.

Maybe a tray of very well dampened salt would help balance things out.

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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby Shalloy46 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:28 am

I spent morning tea looking at another forum Im on that has a thread on salami making and was mainly just looking at pictures of salami that were posted. I have to say after reading that mine look fine. I was worried mine were drying out too quickly but after seeing how they are supposed to look all dry and dark with the casings shrivelled up and wrinkly, well I think mine are still okay as they still look like sausages not salami.

Ive noticed where pockets of fat are near the casing they are drier but I suppose thats because no moisture can get out in these areas.
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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby Swing Swang » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:08 am

I left my fan on all the time in a closed fridge as I also thought that a circulation of air in an enclosed space would even out humidity and temperature changes (this was winter and there was a temperature controlled 15w heater in the fridge). I was also drying 15kg of sausage in an under-counter sized fridge and lowering the humidity was a problem as was condensation on the sausages - the fan (obviously) did nothing for the humidity, but made a big difference to the surface moisture on the casings. I also opened the door for one hour per day and took a section out of the door seal to reduce the humidity which did the trick. It took nearly three months to get the sausages to the desired weight with no case hardening /uneven colouration so by design or accident something went right.

Of course I've only made one batch of cured/dried sausage to date so that makes me an expert ;-) !!!
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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby Shalloy46 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:39 am

Well I weighed them tonight and the percentage loss ranged from 26% for the smallest one to 19% for the largest. The average loss was about 21-22% which is after 10 days. So I'm guessing this is too much.

I've turned the fan off, cranked the temp up to 14C to stop the fridge coming on and gave them a spritz of water. I will add some salt to try and keep the humidity back up around 82-85% for now.
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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby wheels » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:18 am

You'd be best to just alter one thing at a time and note the resulting changes down for future reference.

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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby Shalloy46 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:08 pm

Well I gave them a spritz last night. just a light spray of distilled water. This morning the chamber was back up to 90%. I seem to get down to 80% during the day when I''ve got home from work but then it shoots up to 90% over night as the ambient drops and the fridge doesnt kick in anymore.'

Is the 21% weight loss average too much after 10 days and should I be trying to slow this down?
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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby Shalloy46 » Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:41 pm

After 3 weeks they have only lost a further 2% compared to what they were at 10 days. They dont feel as sticky on the outside anymore and are a lot drier with some parts of the casing fairly dry'and hard to touch, but other parts are still soft. I''ve dropped the humidity down to 60-70% by keeping the door open a crack.

They do feel very spongy when I squeeze them though, like they are still soft and moist inside. its hard to tell if they are drying out too quickly or not quick enough. My humidity has probably been at the higher end for most of the time.
I attempted 1 week at 80-90% 1 week at 70-80% but in this second week the RH often climbed to 85% especially overnight.

If they dont feel sticky on the outside anymore does this mean they arent losing anymore moisture from the inside?

I also have a lot of large white mould spots growing on them and not sure if I should wipe them with a damp cloth to make this mould spread all over the sausage or not?

Heres a picture.

Image
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Re: My first salami, a few questions.

Postby wheels » Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:28 pm

What size casings are these?

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