salami grey on outside

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salami grey on outside

Postby BillyT » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:20 pm

Hi all,

I'm very new to this, doing my first batch of salami in a converted fridge. I put it in 2 months ago and for the first couple of weeks it was possibly a bit cool, humid and with not enough air flow. I added an outlet fan and an inlet vent and since then the temp has been between 10-15 deg C and humidity between 70-80%.

The salami is still soft in the middle and when I chopped open one I could see that it was pink in the middle but grey/brown on the outside.

Image

Do I just need to wait longer? Is it ruined, and if so what could cause this to happen?

BTW I used curing salt and starter culture number 3 in my recipe. I have quite a bit of mould on the outside that is mostly white.

Thanks in advance
Bill
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Re: salami grey on outside

Postby NCPaul » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:03 pm

Welcome to the forum. :D What is starter culture 3? Describe your recipe in some more detail with ingredient amounts please. Where are you located?
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Re: salami grey on outside

Postby BillyT » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:33 pm

Thanks for the reply and the welcome. I'm near Melbourne, Australia.

This is the starter culture I used: http://sausagesmadesimple.com.au/collec ... -culture-2

I wasn't particularly precise with my recipe, although I was careful with the amount of starter culture and curing salts I used. The recipe was around 2/3 pork shoulder and 1/3 fat, but I have a feeling that I might have been given a soft fat instead of the hard back fat I requested. In addition to the meat and salt I added peppercorns, chilli flakes, lots of garlic and some dried italian herbs. I probably wasn't as careful as I should have been regarding keeping everything cold as I mixed it. Once the salami was stuffed (natural hogs casing) and hung I gave then all quite a few pricks to try to remove air pockets. I did not put any netting on them as I was told it wasn't required for the thinner casings.

If there are any other details I should provide please let me know.

Thanks again
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Re: salami grey on outside

Postby NCPaul » Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:06 pm

Describe the instructions for the fermentation and the amount of sugar in your recipe. Also, how much salt is in the recipe?
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Re: salami grey on outside

Postby BillyT » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:01 am

The curing salt I used contains 1.25% sodium nitrate and I used 30g per kilo of meat (did a 3kg batch, so 90g curing salt in total).

I did not add any sugar. Sorry but I'm not sure what other info I can provide regarding the fermentation.

Thanks again
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Re: salami grey on outside

Postby NCPaul » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:56 pm

There seems to be two issues here (maybe three). The starter culture you used should have come with some technical instructions. Typically the bacteria are given 0.3-1.0 % dextrose as food. Sucrose can be used instead. The food allows for two things to happen, first the bacteria multiply rapidly which hopefully crowds out bad bacteria and second, lactic acid is produced which drops the pH. The pH should be no higher than 5.3 and ideally 4.9 – 4.8. The pH is related to the amount of food; some bacteria can drop the pH with no added sugar, but this is too slow. The other information that should come with the starter culture is the optimum temperature for fermenting. The temperature can range from 25 – 40 C depending on the bacterial strains. The humidity is kept high (90%) during this process and the time can vary from 6 to 48 hours.
The second issue is the use of nitrate only to cure the salami. More typically a combination of nitrite and nitrate is used; the nitrite provides immediate protection and the nitrate is slowly converted to nitrite to give long term protection. If you wish to use nitrate only, you should use a culture with Staphylococcus and / or Micrococcus which will act as nitrate reductase.
You can find much more detail in this book:
http://www.amazon.com.au/Home-Productio ... s=maranski
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Re: salami grey on outside

Postby BillyT » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:15 pm

Thanks again for the help - I certainly have a lot to learn. The only instructions that came with the starter culture were on the page I linked to above, which just said to sprinkle it on to the meat, mix it in and then stuff them.

Yes I have seen a number of curing salts that contain nitrate and nitrite. I think the website I bought mine from wanted to keep the added chemicals to a minimum, but I guess I should have got something safer, particularly while starting out. Is there any way to tell if my salami is safe to eat?

Also do you know why my salami is going brown/grey on the outside? Is it related to the issues you mentioned? Does this make it unsafe to eat? I did eat a bit from the one I posted the picture of above. It tasted ok and I'm not dead... yet.

Here are a few more pics.

Whole setup. The salami at the bottom is the one I talked about above. The salami up the top uses a different recipe but the same starter culture and curing salt. The top one doesn't have the same browning issue as the one below but it does have some dark mould that I am concerned out (close up below).
Image


Top shelf
Image


Bottom shelf
Image


Thanks again
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Re: salami grey on outside

Postby NCPaul » Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:14 pm

Also do you know why my salami is going brown/grey on the outside? Is it related to the issues you mentioned? Does this make it unsafe to eat? I did eat a bit from the one I posted the picture of above. It tasted ok and I'm not dead... yet.


Dry cured sausages require three steps - make the sausage, ferment the sausage, and dry the sausage. Each one has specific things that are best. The brown/gray layer looked to me like meat that hasn't cured properly. It will at some time be unsafe to eat. Using your health to test sausage is not a great idea. I don't think you will be happy with it even if it doesn't kill you. :D

In my opinion, I would start over, but only after I was more sure of what I needed to do for each step. There are a number of experienced salami makers on this site that would be happy to help you, and even some like me that succeed some of the time. :D
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Re: salami grey on outside

Postby BillyT » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:28 pm

That sounds like a sensible plan. Thanks again for your help. :D
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