Advice with salami

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Advice with salami

Postby robduca » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:06 am

Hey guys,

Great to be here (thanks to Rob Goodwick and Wheels for the help). Good to find somewhere to learn about this hobby.

So I have had a go at making a salami and might have a problem with case hardening.
I have them in a curing fridge. Made them 16 days ago and they have lost 37.4% weight so I thought I would take one out and cut it open to look at.
Throughout the drying time, I had 2 hygrometers in the fridge reading different. I thought the one that was controlling humidity was reading lower than it actually was, so went and got another weather station to test. Seems that this one reads closer to the controller, so they might have been sitting at around 60% humidity for a while.
Ill attach some pics for the experts to tell me if they are knackered or if they might still be edible.
Are they OK to eat cooked if they have case hardened?
Might have another go this weekend at a fresh batch. Will have a look for a nice recipe to try on here.

This is them hanging
Image

The tester
Image

Sliced
Image

Case hardened?
Image

Thanks guys

Rob
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Re: Advice with salami

Postby montanaSalami » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:18 pm

I would say you've some case hardening, but I'm no expert. In my limited experience the case hardening effected the texture of the meat. Still tasty and safe. If you are not sure and tempted to toss them, don't. Send it to me. :)

The big thing I did different this latest attempt was to squeeze the salami daily. Keeps the casings permeable for good drying progress.
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Re: Advice with salami

Postby wheels » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:18 pm

There's a bit of case hardening, but it doesn't look major. Do you have a vac-pac machine, or access to one? If so, vac-packing them for a while should even out the drying.

HTH

Phil
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Re: Advice with salami

Postby robduca » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:07 pm

Thanks guys. Yep I have a vac pac machine.
The humidity is at 80% now, so will dry them a bit longer and then vac pac for a month or so. (Got the same advice from Robert already)
I ended up cooking some of the one I cut to taste and am happy with the flavour. If this is the worst one I make, ill be happy.
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Re: Advice with salami

Postby Swing Swang » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:26 am

The hygrometers that I use are stated as being accurate to +-5%. I also have two that often have readings that show a disparity of 5% to 8%. This is something we have to accept or spend a lot more money on both the hygrometers and the means to calibrate them.
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Re: Advice with salami

Postby wheels » Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:39 pm

As long as they are consistent in their inaccuracy I don't see it as a problem - other than he first time you use it. After that you just allow for the error. :D :D

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Re: Advice with salami

Postby NCPaul » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:50 pm

I also recommend weighting weekly as a good measure of the drying conditions.
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
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Re: Advice with salami

Postby Dibbs » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:30 pm

Swing Swang wrote:The hygrometers that I use are stated as being accurate to +-5%. I also have two that often have readings that show a disparity of 5% to 8%. This is something we have to accept or spend a lot more money on both the hygrometers and the means to calibrate them.


They are easy and cheap to calibrate. Just put the hygrometer on some sort of stand in a sealed box with a salt and water slurry (saturated salt solution) in the bottom. Leave it a few hours. It should read 75%.

edit: I've used this method many times over the years but I just wondered how accurate it really is. I found this paper http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/jres/81A/jresv81An1p89_A1b.pdf. A quick skim shows it's accurate enough for our purposes but 76% is maybe closer in the 10-20C range. 75% is easier to remember though.
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Re: Advice with salami

Postby BriCan » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:54 am

Welcome

Glad we got you in :)
But what do I know
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Re: Advice with salami

Postby Swing Swang » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:36 am

Thanks Dibbs - that 75% check should be good enough for the range that I'm dealing in, although I rather suspect that my hygrometers under read at the higher humidity levels and over read at the lower end of the range and I have no simple (cheap) method of extrapolating/interpolating from that single data point - much less of a problem now that I've got three winter's worth of curing behind me as I think that we pick up more clues about humidity from the 'feel' of the air on our skin and breathing and also by touch, but it was the cause of much angst in the early days and I still like to have hard data in front of me.
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Re: Advice with salami

Postby montanaSalami » Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:27 pm

NCPaul wrote:I also recommend weighting weekly as a good measure of the drying conditions.


I weight daily. Sometimes twice. :D

OMG!!! It's 8:30, I'm late for my first weighing... :mrgreen:
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Re: Advice with salami

Postby BriCan » Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:12 am

montanaSalami wrote:
NCPaul wrote:I also recommend weighting weekly as a good measure of the drying conditions.


I weight daily. Sometimes twice. :D

OMG!!! It's 8:30, I'm late for my first weighing... :mrgreen:



Maybe ....... just maybe every second month :mrgreen:


I go by feel and as I walk by my things just about every day I give it/them a gentle squeezes :oops:
But what do I know
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Re: Advice with salami

Postby wheels » Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:09 pm

Bit like the wife then... :oops: :oops: :oops:
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Re: Advice with salami

Postby montanaSalami » Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:59 pm

BriCan wrote:I go by feel and as I walk by my things just about every day I give it/them a gentle squeezes :oops:


I am fast approaching that method also. I've some chubs that are percent or two away from the minimum 30% target, yet they are still quite squeezy.

Last spring I had case hardening, and at 30% were firm in feel, but soft in the middle when cut into. Using netting and daily squeezing, there is no case hardening on this go round.
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Re: Advice with salami

Postby robduca » Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:28 am

Thanks for all the replies.
This stuff turned out tasty. Still have half of them vac packed in the fridge, but they don't last too long once opened. Haha :P
I need to sort myself out a decent humidity controller as I think mine is playing up again. I have a MH13001 controller, but it is reading a fair way off a couple of weather stations that I have in to compare. Controller reads 65% and the weather stations are up around 74-81% (There are 3 sensors)
Not sure which one to believe.
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