Sopressata- case hardening

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Sopressata- case hardening

Postby Robbo » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:22 am

I made my first attempt at making sopressata using Ruhlmans recipe excepti used beer instead of wine as didn’t have wine handy. Also used Bitec starter LM1. I used pork picnic shoulder that I froze first so it was very cold throughout. Used 38-42 hog casings. Since I couldn’t find and detailed instructions on LM1 starter culture fermented for about 24 hours at room temperature and then placed them in my cold cellar. Temps started at about 14 Celsius initially and gradually got colder over time to about 7 Celsius now. Humidity was generally 65-75% but it also dipped to about 50% and up to 80% for short periods.

I started on Nov 4 and today about 25 days later they have lost 37% of their initial weight. However there seems to be some evidence of case Hardening and the interior looks raw. See pics

https://imgur.com/gallery/pDvkoK2

I am not sure what to do. Some people seem to suggest vac packing to even out the case hardening. Do I do this and then hang them again after awhile? As how will they dry further if vac packed? Or Is it too earlyy to vac pack now?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks
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Re: Sopressata- case hardening

Postby wheels » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:56 pm

It looks pretty good from the picture - but often the picture doesn't tell the full story. Yes, vac packing is a good way to 'even out' drying. Try it, and then you can hang it further to finish.

HTH

Phil
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Re: Sopressata- case hardening

Postby Robbo » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:45 pm

Thank you. My concern is that the interior still looks and feels somewhat raw. If I squeeze an uncut sopressata it is quite firm. However when I squeeze the cut one near the cut end it is a lot softer and you can tell the interior has not dried thoroughly.

If I vac pack now how long do I leave them in the vac pack before drying further?
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Re: Sopressata- case hardening

Postby wheels » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:35 am

I'd give it a couple or three weeks and see how it goes.

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Re: Sopressata- case hardening

Postby Robbo » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:57 am

Perfect. I’ll do that and keep you posted. I’ll then need help on how much longer do dry them after removing them from the vac pack. Thanks
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Re: Sopressata- case hardening

Postby herjac » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:54 pm

Your salami doesn't look bad. If the case hardening was bad you would see large holes where the dry meat on the outside was pulling away from the center and as well, a definite dark rim. I hang to dry in a similar area as you. There is always a thin dark ring, not a thick ring, on my salami when I finish it at 50% weight loss. I vac pack in the frig for a few weeks to even out the humidity across the salami and all is fine.

Herb
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Re: Sopressata- case hardening

Postby Robbo » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:05 am

Thanks herbaceous. I just saw your reply. The thing that worried me is that the interior still looked so raw. They have been in the fridge in Vacpacs for 2 weeks now. Should I leave them in there awhile longer? Or should I remove them now? Also once I remove from vacpacs should I hang them to dry further?
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Re: Sopressata- case hardening

Postby Robbo » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:13 am

Herjac apologies but I just noticed spellcheck changed my typing of your username!
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Re: Sopressata- case hardening

Postby herjac » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:58 pm

I would remove them from the vac pack and dry further. I usually dry to 50% starting weight. After drying I store in vac pack to prevent further drying.
You didn't say if you used cure #2 but since the meat is pink then I assume you did. Salt, cure #2 and culture are the safest way to dry cure. If you intend doing this again, I suggest that you purchase litmus paper to check pH after the initial ferment. You were probably too quick to remove to a cooler area. I use T-SPX and leave for 3 days at 20C before moving to the drying area which is much cooler. In my case it is 5C. After awhile you get familiar with the fermentation smell. It can be a bit sharp and in some cases might even smell a bit like ammonia.
Hope this helps,
Herb
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Re: Sopressata- case hardening

Postby Robbo » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:50 am

Thanks. Yes I used cure #2. You could very well be correct in my moving them to my cold cellar too early. One of my issues is the culture I used is Bitec LM1 and i cannot find any instructions for it so I do not have any fermentation instructions for it. I will purchase some ph testing paper next and I will need to research when to do certain things based on ph
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Re: Sopressata- case hardening

Postby wheels » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:57 pm

Bitec have an LS1 culture - I can't fined an LM1? I wonder if it's a new product? Maybe email them for details - they tend to be 25g per 100kg of meat or so.

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