Project "P" (Pepperoni)

Rand
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Project "P" (Pepperoni)

Post by Rand » Sat Jun 04, 2011 18:32

I have had some pepperoni drying now for 5 weeks and it seems to be slow in harding. Any suggestions?
Last edited by Rand on Mon Apr 23, 2012 09:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Chuckwagon
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Post by Chuckwagon » Sun Jun 05, 2011 07:05

Rand wrote:
I have had some pepperoni drying now for 5 weeks and it seems to be slow in harding. Any suggestions?
Hi Rand, Did you use a culture? If so, was it Bactoferm and which type? Can you tell us more about the process you used and the ingredients? It's hard to say without knowing more about the sausage. Come on back, good buddy! :lol:

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
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Post by Chuckwagon » Mon Jun 06, 2011 06:18

Hi Rand,
You wrote:
I have had some pepperoni drying now for 5 weeks and it seems to be slow in harding. Any suggestions?
I can see a problem right off the bat but you may not agree with my assessment. On page 186 of Ruhlman`s book, he tells you in instruction #6 that it is optional to hot-smoke this particular recipe. I disagree strongly as a recipe containing Cure #2 is for DRY-CURING ONLY. In order to qualify this recipe for hot-smoking, it MUST contain Cure #1 only. He makes no mention of that fact.

In my opinion, Michael Ruhlman is a terrific chef. On the other hand, Stan Marianski and Miroslaw Gebarowski are probably the world`s leading authorities on sausage making and the problems associated with it. Stan has not only written several books about his craft, but he has provided an information page, posting all his recipes and processing secrets at WedlinyDomowe.com. Marianski is the only expert in his field who has done this as far as I know. Even Poli has restricted access to his recipes and processing procedures. I know Stan and believe his heart is not only the size of Texas, but it is in the right place as well. In other words, he shares his knowledge with others and knows this is a win-win situation for himself AND his readers.

OK, you asked my opinion (by email) so here goes: Your initial incubation period of 16 hours at 78°; F. (25°;C.) could be a problem. Some lactobacilli require over 85°; F. (29°; C.). Your choice of Bactoferm™ F-RM-52 is just fine - for certain products. I use Mold 600 and F-RM-52 all the time for some specified products. However, for pepperoni, I`m wondering if it wouldn`t be better to use T-SPX, fermenting 72 hours at only 68°; F. in a much higher humidity of 90% to begin with. If you then dried the product at 55°;F. and dropped the humidity to 80% , you should have about 70% yield (30% reduction) after seven or eight weeks. Afterward, one would store the pepperoni at about 55°; F., but drop the humidity slightly, to about 75%. For a truly dry-cured product, it just makes sense to use a much slower acting T-SPX culture.

If you wish to have pepperoni in a much shorter period of time (it will have more sour "tang"), then you might consider making a "semi-dry" sausage using F-LC. In this case, ferment the sausage at a whopping 100°; F. for 24 hours in 90% humidity before RAISING the heat until the IMT is 140°; (to kill any possible trichinella spiralis). One would then dry the sausage two or more days at 65°; F. in 70% relative humidity. These pepperonis are best stored at 55°; F. in 75% humidity.

Rand, did you remember to mix the cultures using ONLY distilled water? F-RM-52 is a freeze-dried culture well suited for all fermented sausages where a relatively medium to fast acidification is desired reaching 5.0 in about 4 days. The culture is recommended for the production of traditional Northern European (cured faster and using mold rather than smoking) types of fermented, dry sausages with a sourly flavor note.

As you probably know, cultures have a shelf life of only 6 months when frozen. If not frozen, you can expect it to last merely 14 days. It MUST be mixed with distilled water as chlorine and water purification ingredients can kill the good bacteria pediococcus acidilactici, lactobacillus curvatus, and staphylococcus xylosus.

For those who are just investigating its use, note that each 25-gram packet of Bactoferm™ F-RM-52 will treat 220 pounds (100 kilo) of meat. You can use the whole packet in 100 pounds of meat or use half of the packet and refreeze remaining culture. Again, it must be stored in a freezer for 6 months shelf life. Un-refrigerated, the shelf life is only 14 days. A 25-gram packet of Bactoferm™ T-SPX will treat 440 pounds (200 kilo) of meat while a 25-gram packet of Bactoferm™ F-LC will treat 220 pounds (100 kilo) of meat.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by Rand » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:51

Thanks Chuck wagon for the info. In response to your questions. First , I did not smoke the pepperoni and I used the right amount of wine that the recipe called for. The bactoferm is frozen and only several months old from the time I recieved it, so I don't know how long the supplier has had it. I did use distilled water when mixing the bactoferm.

You gave me some new info but now I am thinking that I don't have the right equipment to properly dry my sausages. I grew up Italian and I hear the old stories how the old timers made soppressatta and just hung it their basement to dry and ruhlman gives almost the same advice. When I started this process I didn't think it would be that diffucult.

I will have to check out Stan's recipes.

Rand
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Post by Chuckwagon » Tue Jun 07, 2011 07:14

Hi Rand,
Thanks for the PM and the email too. After having a few batches go south on you, it is understandable why you may become discouraged. I would hate to think that you have become disenchanted with sausage making and toss in the towel, thinking that making fermented sausage is too difficult. You mentioned also tossin` a batch of sopressata out. That stuff contains so much diced fat, that certain special measures must be taken in processing it. When you`re ready, I`ve got a good recipe for you to try. Fermented sausage is something a sausagemaker generally works up to little-by-little. There are lots of little things to learn before taking the leap. The biggest tool in your "fermented sausage tool box" is a basic understanding of three microorganisms (yeasts, molds, and bacteria) and the three types of bacteria and knowing what several of their "strains" do. Also a little background in how fermentation works is pretty much fundamental. It doesn`t really require a huge investment in equipment, but it does take a few specialized items. In the long run, your initial investment will pay for your equipment many times over just in savings at the meat counter at your grocery store.

Rand, you`ve got a lot of folks pulling for you on this board. Why not take my ol` pappy`s advice? "Back up and hit it again!" (Shucks, I`ll bet you thought they didn`t even have cars way back then). :roll: How about reading my little article at the following link?: http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=4903

Heck, why not start at the beginning and read Stan Marianski`s and possibly even Rytek Kutas` books. They contain a wealth of information. Next, be sure to read all you can at Stan`s site http://WedlinyDomowe.com , especially his tutorial on fermented sausage. Be sure to move the cursor all over the page to find several other links for additional information. Here is a direct link: http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/sausage-ty ... ed-sausage. He has many recipes in this section also. Stan Marianski is "Seminole" on this board. I know him and I trust him. He shares his hard-earned information with the world, which makes him quite unique.

With the right information under your belt, along with a few special items, you`ll be making first class fermented sausages in no time at all. Please don`t think it is difficult to learn how to make good sausage of any type. The good folks on this board will help you along and I`ll help you with anything I possibly can too. Let`s make your next batch together! We`ll take it step-by-step so you don`t end up throwin` any out this time. How `bout it? :wink:

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
Rand
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Post by Rand » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:33

Hey Chuckwagon, I'm game. I do not like giving up. I will take some time and read up the info you suggested. I am a personal chef and have some parties to take care of in the next few weeks but will be touch again.

Rand
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Post by Seminole » Tue Jun 07, 2011 20:50

Rand
Yes, old timers were drying fermented sausages in basements, but....they had done it many times. And they placed wet towels on basement windows and water filled pans on the floor. In some locations sausages turned out fine and the guy became a hero. In other places sausages were never right. It can be a lottery game if one does not use a thermometer or humidity tester.
Some eight years ago I stopped at the real Italian deli and saw a great variety of salamis. The owner proudly announced that the family makes all those sausages right on the premises. She even took me inside the kitchen where sausages were hanging in all over the kitchen and the oscillating fan was blasting air at them.
I bought different salamis to find out how a real home-made salami compares with sausages I knew. Well, they were really bad, putrefied and all my friends agreed with me. They were simply not edible, too much spoilage. At that time I had a little knowledge about making fermented products and the above incident gave me plenty of motivation to study fermented products in more detail.
I did not go to the store again, but the moral of the story is that even native Italians can screw up making salami.
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Post by Rand » Tue Jun 07, 2011 21:52

Thanks for the heads up Seminole. I am glad to come across this blog site. I feel confident that I have some people really wanting to help me out.

Rand
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Project "P"

Post by Rand » Sun Jun 19, 2011 13:20

Chuck Wagon,
I received my materials to start a batch of pepperoni that you offered to help me put together. Let me know when you what to begin.
Last edited by Rand on Mon Jun 27, 2011 04:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Mon Jun 20, 2011 03:08

Hi Rand, OK will do. Let me put some material together and we'll get started with "Project P".
Is anyone else out there interested in joining us in making a fermented (3 mo.) pepperoni using Bactoferm T-SPX and Mold-600? We will craft ten pounds TOGETHER if you are interested, just as several folks did making Alysanndra Salami in Project A.
Give us a shout. We'll start this weekend.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
Last edited by Chuckwagon on Thu Jun 23, 2011 07:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ssorllih » Mon Jun 20, 2011 03:36

I just posted on Project "A" that I am being a contrarian and making 2 kilos each of salami, longaniza, and pepperoni. instead of five kilos of salami. ;)
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Project "P" Pepperoni

Post by Chuckwagon » Mon Jun 20, 2011 08:46

Sausage makers... if you have had experience making fresh sausage, cured-cooked-smoked sausage, and perhaps a few others... and you feel that you have the skills to venture into making "fermented sausages", then join us in this project. Get a real jump on the project by reading, "The Art Of Making Fermented Sausages"... by Stan and Adam Marianski. It's available from Bookmagic.com.
To build your own "curing chamber", read the material in "Project A" (salami). It's in the Microbiology Of Meats forum. The specifications for the curing chamber are exactly the same for this project.


- Project "P" Pepperoni -
Dry-Cured Italian Pepperoni (Using T-SPX)

In a dry-cured sausage like pepperoni, we are going to purposely spoil the meat... but it will be controlled spoilage - (fermentation). In the meat, we`ll use lactobacillus and pediococcus, feeding on sugar (carbohydrates) to produce lactic acid. This beneficial bacteria competes for nutrition with undesirable spoilage bacteria and pathogenic bacteria of several varieties. Of greatest concern are staphylococcus aureus, clostridium botulinum, listeria monocytogenes, escherichia coli, salmonella, clostridium perfringens, campylobacter jejuni, shigella, and bacillus cereus.

The acidity produced by the lactobacilli renders the meat safe to consume as it increases to a point between 3.8 and 5.5 on the pH scale. Bacteria simply do not do well in an acidic environment. As the lactobacilli increases the acidity in meat, the pH drops to a point and becomes safe to consume.

The acidity of a sausage is determined by the amount and the type of sugar placed into the recipe. The speed of the fermentation period is increased as the temperature is increased inside the chamber. It ceases when no more lactic acid is produced. This happens when there is no more sugar available to the lactobacilli. It will also stop when the temperature is lowered below 53°; F., or heated beyond 120°; F. Fermentation will also discontinue when there is no longer free water available to the lactobacilli. In other words, if the sausage dries too quickly due to either (a.) low humidity, or (b.) too fast an air speed, while in our fermentation chambers, fermentation will cease. We must also remember to use a specific amount of nitrate/nitrite to combat any possible clostridium botulinum. The toxins of the spores are deadly. Measure carefully.

While the lactobacilli go to work increasing the acidity, we must contain the growth of the pathogenic and spoilage bacteria somehow. The most convenient method is to simply lock up or "bind" their water supply. This is accomplished by the use of salt, and a prescribed amount will bind their reserve. As the "water activity" drops to a point below Aw 0.86, a meat product has dried enough to consume safely.

You may be wondering why the salt doesn`t affect the lactic acid-producing bacteria also. Well, it does... but not to the same degree. Lactobacilli and pediococci are somewhat resistant to salt. Not only that, but they perform rather well having a limited water supply.

Summing it all up, we allow the sausage to ferment as lactic acid microorganisms go to work producing acid. This is where we get the "tang". When it reaches proper acidity, it become safe to consume. While this is happening, we also start drying the sausage to achieve a point below .86 Aw. All this takes time... time in which pathogenic and spoilage bacteria may also grow in number by competing with the food supply. As we "bind" their supply of water, they start to die and the beneficial bacteria eventually take over. So... in essence, there are TWO things going for us. Acidity and dehydration. Both work! They`ve worked for thousands of years. But they MUST be controlled.

Let`s make a traditional air-dried, fermented, pepperoni made from 70% pork and 30% beef. Pepperoni is lean and Stan Marianski`s recipe contains less than 30% fat. This is a "slow" fermenting sausage with more subtle flavor and less "tang" than a quickly fermented pepperoni. Italian pepperoni is not smoked.

Stan Marianski`s Dry-Cured Italian Pepperoni
(11 lb. formula)

140 g. salt
12 g. cure #2 (do not use cure #1 in this recipe)
10 g. powdered dextrose
30 g. sugar
15 g. black pepper (freshly ground - coarse)
30 g. paprika
13 g. anise seeds (cracked) OR 15 g. fennel seeds
15 g. cayenne pepper
0.6 g. (1/4 tspn.) Bactoferm™ T-SPX culture
----- Bactoferm Mold-600

Directions:

Preliminary steps: Keep a logbook! Record everything you do. Write down dates, times, measurements, etc. Believe me, you`ll refer back to it several times during the process. Save your notes for the next batch. They will be invaluable. Don`t ignore this step. It only takes a few seconds to write down the information you may really need later on.

Thaw the Bactoferm™ T-SPX and Mold-600 following the directions on the package. Measure .6 gram (1/4 teaspoon) of the culture and mix it with a little warm, distilled water. Follow the directions and allow 12 hours for the "lag phase" - the time necessary for the penicillium nalgiovense bacteria to "wake up".

Follow these steps carefully. There is no room for compromise. Stick to the recipe!

1. Grind the pork and beef through a 3/16" plate.
2. Mix all ingredients with the meat.
3. Stuff the meat firmly into beef middles or 2" fibrous casing.
4. Weigh the sausages (green weight) and record it in a notebook. Spray or dip sausages using Bactoferm Mold-600
5. Ferment the sausage at 68°; F. in 90% humidity for 72 hours.
5. Dry the sausage at 55°; F. in 85% humidity, decreasing to 80% humidity in 6 to 8 weeks.
6. Weigh the sausages after the 6th week. A yield of 70% should be achieved with a shrink of 30%.
7. Store pepperoni at 50-59°; F. in 75% humidity.

OK pepperoni lovers... start grindin` and stuffin`! And for goodness sakes, WASH YOUR HANDS! :mrgreen:

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by Chuckwagon » Thu Jun 23, 2011 08:01

Hi sausage makers... if you have had experience making fresh sausage, cured-cooked-smoked sausage, and perhaps a few others... and you feel that you have the skills to venture into making "fermented sausages", then join us in this project.

Get a real jump on the project by reading, "The Art Of Making Fermented Sausages"... by Stan and Adam Marianski. It's available from Bookmagic.com.

To build your own "curing chamber", read the material in "Project A" (salami). It's in the Microbiology Of Meats forum. The specifications for the curing chamber are exactly the same for this project. Come along and join us in making some "real" pepperoni with a subtle, southern European flavor with less sour tang.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by uwanna61 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 03:01

Chuckwagon
Finished grinding, mixing and stuffing this evening. The pepperonis are hanging and fermenting for 72 hours. Yeah, I wanted to let the mix set over night before stuffing, but had to work with the weather here on the east coast. Humidity is up and more importantly the temps are down around 65 - 70 degrees here the next three days, then going up later in the weekend. Here is a picture of the project before hanging. I used the 1.5" mahogany casing, to use them up, and the other is a 2.25" casing, what the heck I like doing things a little different! All times and temps documented, as advised..
Last edited by uwanna61 on Fri Dec 08, 2017 21:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Fri Jun 24, 2011 05:35

Uwanna, that is absolutely gorgeous work! I just had a slice of some that finished about two weeks ago. It is maaaavelous in flavor and the texture is very firm, dark, and nice. I think you're going to like this recipe. It's a good one.
Keep up the great work pal.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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