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dry curing in the philippines or any sub tropical to tropica

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:12 am
by Chefjancris
i had been lurking the forums for months and since had been fascinated with dry cure meats especially. straight to my question. since i am living in the philippines, would it be possible to dry cure given the climate here is mostly humid and hot. and if anybody also knows any sources for the starter cultures that can distribute here? thanks!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:29 am
by tristar
Welcome Chefjancris,

Whilst it is possible to cure cultured sausages in the tropics they have to be formulated for the conditions, just search of "Urutan Bali" the Urutan Bali are dried in the sun during the day and brought in at night to prevent condensation forming on them. They are made without starter cultures or cures and rely on the anti bacterial properties of the root spices contained in them to control the initial bacterial growth, the bacteria in the environment and especially on the makers hands innoculate the Urutan, and it is these bacteria which slowly multiply to form the lactic acid to give longer term protection. The Urutan are always produced in smaller natural casings, and dry very quickly, within 1 week normally, and once dried the lowered water content then gives additional long term protection.

When I lived in Indonesia, I used an old fridge to dry my sausages, I was lucky as the original thermostat would allow the fridge to cycle at around 12 degC, I controlled the humidity with a large tub of saturated salt solution with a rock salt island in the middle sticking up above the water! which was placed in the bottom of the fridge.

As for the starter cultures, you can order from europe, flying airmail will not harm the cultures. Or you can use live yoghurt instead as has been discussed on the forum.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:57 pm
by Jogeephus
I live in a semi-tropical area and what I found is conditions for initial fermentation are ideal here. The problem you will have is the long drying time. This will require temps of around 60F and high humidity. This is where the hurdle as any air conditioning unit will dehumidify the air while cooling. This problem can be overcome by either using a refrigerator or building an insulated box. In my first chamber I used the box method and was able to control things fairly well. I've since built a larger walk-in curing chamber that will keep things ideal no matter what the temperature is outside. It took more devotion and a little jury rigging than anything else. How devoted are you?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:38 am
by Chefjancris
thanks for the quick and speedy reply

@ tristar

i had been reading up on using yoghurt as a starter for fermenting sausages. i've also thaought about the many fermented milk drinks being sold here, namely; the ever popular yakult which has lactobacillus shirota and the other one, chamyto which has a couple other strains of LAB?


i really love eating them things and it become so tedious and a bit expensive going back to the deli and keep buying those stuff. plus i'm not sure how long the sausages had been lying inside their display already. i just want have a vague idea on how to do the fridge setup. right now, i'm in th process of searching for a suitable fridge and had been looking around refrigeration repair shops for options on how to control the temperature inside for that 60=80 F range. but my biggest problem is about the humidity controllers, nobody seems to use them here, so i cant find anything. lastly being that it's always humid here averaging 70-90% RH most of the time, do i need to use a humidifier in my setup?


PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:54 am
by tristar

I managed in a small refrigerator without using a humidifier, just a plastic container filled with saturated salt water, and a pyramid of rock salt stacked up in the middle of it. Worked just fine in the small confines of a domestic refridgerator.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:42 am
by Mrs. Northerner
Hi Guys,

I'm not quite in the sub-tropics, but it's pretty hot here at the moment, and my fridge with a thermostat is going quite well as a curing chamber.

I was having concerns about the humidity but Tristar, I think you've just hit the nail on the head. I've read lots of things about saturated salt solutions but no-one has ever suggested the salt island, which makes perfect sense when you think about it. Now all I need to know is how often you have to change the salt solution? Does it go off?


PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:40 am
by tristar
Hi Nic,

I never had to change my salt solution, it is by its very mature a hostile environment for bacteria.

The pyramid or island of salt, keeps damp by capillary action, and increases the surface area of the salt solution, this allows humidity equilibrium to be acheived faster. It is cheap, self regulating, doesn't consume any power, has no moving parts, and is environmentally friendly!

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:45 am
by Chefjancris
so in effect the salt solution with the salt island acts as a humidity equalizer? what humidity levels does it achieve?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:55 am
by tristar
In a completely enclosed system with nothing being added or removed:

Temp°C RH%
0 75.51 ± 0.34
5 75.65 ± 0.27
10 75.67 ± 0.22
15 75.61 ± 0.18

Of course in our situation, with humidity being added in the form of fresh product, and the opening of the door every time the product is inspected, or lovingly gazed at!, thehumidity will vary. We must also not forget the fact that humidity will be removed in the process of cooling the fridge (condensation on the cooling element). But given time the humidity will stabilise within these ranges.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:27 pm
by Chefjancris
thanks for the quick reply, i'll keep you updated on my fridge setup.

i have been talking to a local refrigerator reoair technician and he said he could hook me up with a 2 compartment fridge with dehumidifier, i hope it would materialize before the end of this month.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:16 pm
by Jogeephus
That sounds good. My humidity runs from 70-90% during the summer months. Inside a fridge, if its hot outside and the unit has to kick on, it will pull it down to 40%. This will be your hurdle but not one that is hard to overcome. You are wise to talk to a refrigeration expert as he can help you with the needed switches. Its really quite simple but getting on the curve can be rather intimidating.

Re: dry curing in the philippines or any sub tropical to tro

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:53 am
by Silaynon
Hi Chefjancris. After 6 years how's the quest for meat drycuring in the Philippines?