Salami done too fast?

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jcovey713
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Salami done too fast?

Post by jcovey713 » Sun Jun 29, 2014 01:30

Hello Salami Experts,

I have learned so much from this forum, website and books. Thank you very much for all of your insight and advice that I have gleaned from these posts.

I currently have 2.8 kg of pepperoni, 2.9 kg of sopresatta and 4.0 kg of smoked paprika salami curing in my homemade curing chamber.

I am now 13 days into the process and weighed all of them for the first time since day 1. They all have lost 29-34% of their weight.

That seems incredibly fast to lose that much water. Here is my setup:

My chamber is a converted refrigerator with this temp/RH sensor

I have a ceramic heating element wired to a dimmer switch that provides heat and then a cold mist humidifier to provide humidity.

I followed these recipes for the salamis:

-Pepperoni
-Sopressata
-Smoked Paprika (minus wine, split smoked paprika / hot paprika)

I followed the recipes to the letter. I ground my own meat, stuffed in 2" fibrous casings. Fermented for 72 hrs at 68 deg F/90%RH. Then dropped to 55 deg F/85% RH for the past 10 days.

Can you please give me any advice on why they would have lost that much weight so fast? Are they done? Is this bad?

Can you also tell me if there is a way that I can test them to make sure 100% that they are safe to eat? Ph strip test?

You all know the amount of work this is, so I hope I am on the right track.

Thank you very much.
jcovey713
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Post by jcovey713 » Sun Jun 29, 2014 02:11

I looked at the other drying time post and it looks like waiting is still a good idea. I did use Mold 600 and they have a nice white covering.

At this point are they safe to eat? Does waiting longer make them safer to eat or just develop more flavor? Should I expect them to continue losing weight? Is there such thing as too much weight loss?

Thank you very much for any advice.
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redzed
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Post by redzed » Sun Jun 29, 2014 02:14

Hey Mr. Covey, welcome to the forum! From reading your description, you seem to have all your ducks in a row. A 30% weight loss in a couple of weeks is not that unusual. (I'm referring to salami and not to some yo-yo diet :lol: ). The weight or water loss is the highest during the first 3 to 6 days. At least that has been my experience. I assume you used TSP-X to ferment the salami. I would have fermented it at 70 or 72, especially since you are not checking the pH. 68 is probably the lowest you can go with that culture, so I would have given myself a bit of room if the controller erred. Having said that, I would have been more concerned if the salami did not drop in weight than if the opposite. You have kept your RH high during the early stages and that is good, giving it a lessened likelihood of dry rim or case hardening. You can probably lower the humidity now by 5 or 8 degrees, especially if you have a nice coat of mould on the chubs. Your weight loss will now slow down considerably and the salami will ripen nicely.

I usually cut into mine after three weeks, but using 50-60mm casings they are best after 4 to six weeks. Be patient!

BTW, that is a great controller, I am green with envy! Wish that it was around when I was was buying these things a couple of years ago. Have to give Kudos to the Auber folks, they have a keen sense of the market and respond to the needs of the people in Sausageland.
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Post by Bob K » Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:04

Red has given you real sound advice.

I would also add that you can go by feel to test for doneness. If with a gentle squeeze they feel soft...let them age longer untill they feel firm. Thats hard to judge on your first batch..but it works.
jcovey713
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Post by jcovey713 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 16:10

Red,

Thank you very much for the advice. I am relieved to know that I am somewhat on track. I am interested to see your comment about the TSP-X culture. I did use that and followed all of the recipe temperatures. I will remember to go a little warmer next time. Thankfully I set my controller to kick the fridge on at 70 deg F, so I was consistently between 68-70 deg F.

When I squeeze the chubs they do feel a little squishy, so I will continue to try that to dial in the "feel".

I have dropped my RH setting to 80% as you recommended. Thank you.

I have an interesting thing happening with my mold growth. The chubs in the back have a solid white layer of mold, while the ones in the front seem to be less solid. I resprayed the less solid ones a few days ago...and they actually seem to be losing some mold. Is that possible? Could I have killed the mold? Does the location of my humidifier/heating element effect mold growth?

Thank you very much for all of your help!!

Jason
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Post by Igor Duńczyk » Sun Sep 07, 2014 23:11

Hi Jason!
How did your salami venture end up?
And did you solve the situation with the uneven mold?
Well ...just guessin´about a possible cause :roll: I assume that the location of the humidifier/heating element could play a part if there is a fan involved which could (unintentionally) lower the humidity in its nearest vicinity thus creating a slightly drier surface on the salami´s nearest to it that on the ones are placed a bit further away.
Wishing you a Good Day!
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Post by jcovey713 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 07:40

After 8 weeks of curing, I tasted my salami and it was extremely salty. To the point of being inedible. I followed recipes the best I could. Pretty disappointing. I guess I'll just have to try again.
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Post by Igor Duńczyk » Mon Sep 08, 2014 09:14

How much salt (in percentage) did the recipes prescribe and what was the final weight loss?
Wishing you a Good Day!
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Re: Salami done too fast?

Post by Johnny_Calab » Fri Jun 28, 2019 00:06

Hi there,
My family are from Calabria, the birth place of Soppressata. There have been times where salsiccia and soppressata have prematurely began to form a hard skin meaning that the outside dries while the inside becomes hollow. Soppressata is named so because it is pressed under weight for a time. I cure the old fashioned way without nitrates and curing chamber here in Australia during winter. There have been times where I've had the same problem because of unusually warm winter days and near freezing nights. What I've found is if after a week the sausage is forming a hard outer layer, is to lay down a tablecloth on a hard surface placing your 'hard work' on it with a few inches of space between them and covering with another cloth. Then place a strong board big enough to cover the entire batch on top and depending on how much you have made place, very gently on top some weight. 4-6 cement or large sand bags work well. If it's a small batch a few bricks or larger stones should work (ensure even weight distribution). Leave under weight for two days (if the sausages have that hard outer) then re hang and you should find that the moisture in the centre has softened the outer crust and it should be fine. Good luck with it.
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