Does this brine recipe look right?

Recipes and techniques using brine.

Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby RidleyRumpus » Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:17 pm

I found this recipe on this site http://schmidling.com/ham.htm made up the brine and have some pork in it for a few days.

However having looked around a bit it does seem an awful lot of Prague powder, is it safe or should I chuck it out?

Brine Recipe

Water...................................1 gallon
Pickling Salt.......................1 cup
Sugar....................................1/4 cup
Prague #1 (Cure)...............1/3 cup
Pickling Spice.....................1 tsp
Cloves...................................1/2 tsp
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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby DanMcG » Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:53 pm

Damn, it's been a long time since I've done a brine. If no one offers any advice I'll give it a shot. I know Kutas's recipes will have 3-4 oz per gallon but that weight not volume
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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby Swing Swang » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:50 pm

This looks far too much and I'd say that's at least double the quantity you need.

1/3cup of Cure 1 = 5688mg of potassium nitrite
(assuming 1 cup = 273 grams of salt and cure 1 = 6.25% potassium nitrite)

Assuming that you're curing 10kg of meat in 1 imperial gallon (4.536kg), and that the potassium nitrite becomes evenly dissipated throughout the meat and brine and that none dissipates elsewhere this gives a concentration of potassium nitrite of 391mg/kg, about twice the permitted amount of 200mg/kg in the UK.

My gut feeling is to make up another batch of brine without the Prague powder in it and to dilute it so that the total mass of the new brine/old brine/meat is such that when the 5688mg of potassium nitrate that you have in the mix is evenly dissipated it will reach a concentration of about 160mg/kg, then leave it in the brine for as long as you have already.

Must stress that this is just a back of a beermat calculation and my intuition though...
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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby NCPaul » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:33 pm

You might look into trying this instead:

http://www.localfoodheroes.co.uk/calcul ... ody-anchor

The recipe you posted might work, but it is difficult to be sure and it is very time dependent. Give the meat a long post curing time for the salt and nitrite to distribute in the meat after removing from the brine. It is tricky to get a consistent result from these types of brines. I did one kilo pieces of pork loin on two different occasions and had the salt content vary by 1 % all other things (I thought) being equal.

You can read this thread to give you some idea of what your results might be

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/1815 ... st-results

Keep in mind that nitrite absorption is a non equilibrium process. :D
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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby RidleyRumpus » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:58 pm

Swing Swang wrote:This looks far too much and I'd say that's at least double the quantity you need.

1/3cup of Cure 1 = 5688mg of potassium nitrite
(assuming 1 cup = 273 grams of salt and cure 1 = 6.25% potassium nitrite)

Assuming that you're curing 10kg of meat in 1 imperial gallon (4.536kg), and that the potassium nitrite becomes evenly dissipated throughout the meat and brine and that none dissipates elsewhere this gives a concentration of potassium nitrite of 391mg/kg, about twice the permitted amount of 200mg/kg in the UK.

My gut feeling is to make up another batch of brine without the Prague powder in it and to dilute it so that the total mass of the new brine/old brine/meat is such that when the 5688mg of potassium nitrate that you have in the mix is evenly dissipated it will reach a concentration of about 160mg/kg, then leave it in the brine for as long as you have already.

Must stress that this is just a back of a beermat calculation and my intuition though...


Trouble is it is about 5kg so that would make it 4x.

If you made up another batch without the Prague powder and soaked it would it leach out the excess then by osmosis?
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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby RidleyRumpus » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:14 am

Swing Swang wrote:This looks far too much and I'd say that's at least double the quantity you need.

1/3cup of Cure 1 = 5688mg of potassium nitrite
(assuming 1 cup = 273 grams of salt and cure 1 = 6.25% potassium nitrite)

Assuming that you're curing 10kg of meat in 1 imperial gallon (4.536kg), and that the potassium nitrite becomes evenly dissipated throughout the meat and brine and that none dissipates elsewhere this gives a concentration of potassium nitrite of 391mg/kg, about twice the permitted amount of 200mg/kg in the UK.

My gut feeling is to make up another batch of brine without the Prague powder in it and to dilute it so that the total mass of the new brine/old brine/meat is such that when the 5688mg of potassium nitrate that you have in the mix is evenly dissipated it will reach a concentration of about 160mg/kg, then leave it in the brine for as long as you have already.

Must stress that this is just a back of a beermat calculation and my intuition though...


The trouble is the joint is about 5kg and I used a measuring jug to measure the P#1 and it seemed to be about 1/2 a 200g bag..... so that make 100g in the brine.

Are you saying that if I was to put the joint in water then the salts would leach back out, presumably by osmosis?
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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby wheels » Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:07 am

Ah, the dynamics of immersion cures; why do I get the urge to run away whenever they're mentioned!

Given the cup measurements I assume that it's a US recipe and that it refers to US gallons and cups. I also note that you're planning on curing a 5kg piece of meat.

With the 100gm cure #1 that you mention above in 1 US gallon, and 5kg meat, the potential level of cure is around 150mg/kg (Parts Per Million) - an ideal amount. But, this would be after a very long time curing - 50+ days.

The recipe mentions to cure for 4 days for 5lb meat, <2 days per kg. If you cure your meat pro rate, say about 9 days, it will probably not be properly cured; the best information we have is that, in that time, it will only absorb 65mg/kg.

I hope this helps.

Phil

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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby Swing Swang » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:24 am

Nice to read your reply wheels.

Totally off topic - I do wish recipes would use SI units, especially where salt is concerned...
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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby Swing Swang » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:28 am

RidleyRumpus:
>Are you saying that if I was to put the joint in water then the salts would leach back out, presumably by osmosis?

That's what I was implying (based on a lot of assumptions). Wheels has given a much better reply and I would therefore not advise using my suggested fix for a product intended for human consumption.
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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby RidleyRumpus » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:17 pm

wheels wrote:Ah, the dynamics of immersion cures; why do I get the urge to run away whenever they're mentioned!

Given the cup measurements I assume that it's a US recipe and that it refers to US gallons and cups. I also note that you're planning on curing a 5kg piece of meat.

With the 100gm cure #1 that you mention above in 1 US gallon, and 5kg meat, the potential level of cure is around 150mg/kg (Parts Per Million) - an ideal amount. But, this would be after a very long time curing - 50+ days.

The recipe mentions to cure for 4 days for 5lb meat, <2 days per kg. If you cure your meat pro rate, say about 9 days, it will probably not be properly cured; the best information we have is that, in that time, it will only absorb 65mg/kg.

I hope this helps.

Phil


If I am reading this correctly then as it has been in 5 days it will be safe to eat?

In fact it seems it would not be cured at all, any suggestions as to what I should do?

(apart from read here before starting....)
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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby DanMcG » Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:27 pm

Thanks Phil for sharing your knowledge, I know its your favorite subject.
I guess it would be safe to eat after 5 days in cure but it won't be cured, from Phil's calc's it will need 45 more days for that.
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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby RidleyRumpus » Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:24 pm

Thats what I was thinking, so pretty damn safe to eat.

Anyone have any recommendation as to what to do at this point? Apart from leave it in there for another 45 days.
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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby wheels » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:16 am

Please ignore everything I said above. I can't believe I've done it, but what I told you above is incorrect. I apologise and can only put it down to me rushing as I'm not allowed up for long periods at present. I was out by a factor of ten when I entered the amount of water. :oops:

To amend the post above:

With the 100gm cure #1 that you mention above in 1 US gallon, and 5kg meat, the potential level of cure is around 680mg/kg (Parts Per Million). But, this would be after a very long time curing - 50+ days.

The recipe mentions to cure for 4 days for 5lb meat, <2 days per kg. If you cure your meat pro rate, say about 9 days, the best information we have is that, it will absorb about 275 - 300mg/kg. After 5 days it likely to have 225 - 275mg/kg.

As has been mentioned this is based on extremely limited testing - but it's the best information we have. The tests on Smoking Meats that NCPaul links to need some interpretation and it should be noted that they are somewhat flawed as it was the residual levels in the meat that were tested. Regrettably, the poster did not understand that nitrite doesn't remain as nitrite in the meat.

Whether to bin it, or to remove it and leave it to equalise to allow the cure to spread evenly in the meat, then cook it, has to be your call I'm afraid.

Once again, my apologies for my initial error.

Phil
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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby NCPaul » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:26 am

It's easy to get tangled up in the calculations of brine curing so don't beat yourself up about it Phil. I personally would pull the meat out, and let it equalize for at least ten days then try it. It will likely be too salty but even then could be used to season other dishes. Operationally and equipment requirements make brine curing so appealing but calculating one is still a thorny problem.
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Re: Does this brine recipe look right?

Postby wheels » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:19 pm

Funnily enough, the forecast salt level's not too bad.

Phil
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