Newbie Ph query

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Newbie Ph query

Postby Deanot2000 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:16 am

Gents hi. After a soulless evening scouring this forum and the www I am still at a loss to fully put to bed some concerns I have about my second ever batch of charcuterie.

I've got a batch of chorizo and salami milano on the go, both following religiously trusted source recipes (both from the United Kingdom, Turan Turan and the Rover Cottage cured meats guide).

Both contain Cure #2 but no acidifying bacteria ie TSP-X.

I'm three weeks in and after testing both at various times I'm getting a pH of between 5.5 and 6? My first batch dropped to 4.7 so I was happy with the safety aspects of the acid levels but it was quite tart to taste.

Should I be bothered? All other aspects of the cure, ie weight loss and mould coverage I couldn't be happier with. As there is Cure #2 in there am I sufficiently happy to chow on down in a few weeks?!?!?

Warmest regards from the currently very UN-United Kingdom.....

Deano
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Re: Newbie Ph query

Postby wheels » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:51 pm

Hi Deano,

Yes, you should be bothered!

Please post the actual recipe you used along with the method and we'll have a look at it for you.

Cure #2 only protects against botulism - there are many other bacteria that can do you serious damage that are controlled by other methods including lowering pH. Salami with a pH above 5.2 would only be considered shelf stable if its water activity (Aw) has been lowered sufficiently. As equipment to test this is extremely expensive, most of us place a greater reliance on pH. Please note that reduced water activity is no the same as dryness (although drying reduces the Aw).

Have you asked this question of RC and Turan? I'd be interested in their replies.

Phil
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Re: Newbie Ph query

Postby Deanot2000 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:46 pm

Wheels, I'll get the recipes scanned and posted. I'm hoping that my pH testing is the issue. I tried with standard 1-14 pH paper but it was a bit unclear. I then bought some smaller range pH paper namely 4.5 to 7 used to measure saliva pH. On my first go bought a Hanna pH meter which for some reason has taken a crap and isn't working.... very unhappy. I'd be interested in advice on pH measuring and sample prep? I did a 1:1 by volume mix of distilled water and product and tested it that way. Am I far off?
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Re: Newbie Ph query

Postby wheels » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:02 pm

I'd be having words with Hanna - they're one of the industry leaders. 1:1 should be fine for samples, but I'll leave NCPaul to answer further - it's his area of expertise.

Phil
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Re: Newbie Ph query

Postby NCPaul » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:28 am

I usually check the pH by sticking the probe directly in the meat. If you dilute the sample 1:1 you will shift the pH slightly. I'm puzzled that you dropped the culture out of your recipes when you had a successful batch (though slightly sour from too much dextrose) early last year. Aside from the safety hurdle of a lower pH, you may have more trouble getting the salamis to dry properly. It's not that salami can't be made without cultures, it's that it introduces an uncertainty when it's not needed.
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