Fermentation Chamber

Rick
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Fermentation Chamber

Post by Rick » Fri Jan 17, 2014 18:58

I was at a restaurant supply store yesterday looking for an Oliver bread slicer. This store buys, refurbishes and resells equipment from "restaurants" that go out of "business". I bought a 20 qt. Hobart mixer from them several years ago and it has been meeting my needs and working like a champ.

Walking through the store I came onto some proofers. If anyone is familiar with a proofer at all, you know they have a proof range and a holding range. This one in particular had a proof range up to 115 F and 95% humidity. The holding range went up to 200 F with 30% humidity, insulated and on casters for ease of moving. I should also mention that these units have a circulating fan in the bottom for moving the heat and humidity.

Now I got to thinking that since I like to bake a lot of bread and the house is never that warm in the winter, it would be nice to proof my bread. Also, at the proofing range, one could hang some sausage to ferment using cultures. The holding range could be used to finish sausage to the 154 F area.

So I can find many reasons to justify the purchase, but thought I'd ask you folks to see if anyone has any experience with a commercial proofer and sausage making.
Last edited by Rick on Sun Jan 19, 2014 18:42, edited 1 time in total.
Rick
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Post by Rick » Sat Jan 18, 2014 00:51

Don't know what happened above, but that first paragraph should have read, I was at a restaurant supply store yesterday looking for an Oliver bread slicer. This store buys, refurbishes and resells equipment from restaurants that go out of business. I bought a 20 qt. Hobart mixer from them several years ago and it has been meeting my needs and working like a champ.
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Post by harleykids » Sat Jan 09, 2016 00:42

I believe the owner of the Craft Butcher Pantry does all his fermenting in used bakery/bread proofers. They allow you to hang full length (when all bread trays are removed), have a resevior for distilled water in the bottom, and will hold a heat/humidity setting for weeks if needed. 85degF at 95% RH is easy as pie for proofers!

That's one reason I use the SafePro B-LC-007....I can ferment at a much lower temp, and can pretty much use my main curing chamber for a nice 48 hour fermentation, while not disturbing other products that are already curing.

I simply bump my chamber from 13degC @ 82% humidity (my standard curing temp and humidity for everything) to 19deg C at 85% humidity, and the B-LC-007 works perfectly every time!

Spray M-600 mold at the 24 hour fermentation mark, then after the 48 hour fermentation I drop my settings back down to 13degC and 82% for dry curing.

Perfect!

Doesnt affect anything curing at that time, except maybe a few grams difference on each day the chamber is at fermenting setting. For example, if I am losing 6-8 grams every 48 hours on normal curing setting, when I ferment I only lose 3-4 grams over the same 48 hours, until I return the setting to curing at 13degC@82%RH.

But if I ever come across a used proofer for $200 or so, I will be snapping it up just on principle! I saw one on our local CL sell for $200 about 6 months ago, and have seen others sell used for $300-$500 all the time.
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Post by Bob K » Sat Jan 09, 2016 01:28

Jason-
Welcome to the Forum!

19c or 66f is a bit too low for fermentation, even with a culture like B-LC-007.
What is the final Ph after your fermentation step?
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Post by harleykids » Sat Jan 09, 2016 03:19

Thanks Bob.

Not quite sure, I would hope around 4.9 but I don't have a meter to test it very accurately.
So I use a PH strip which I know is not very reliable. PH strip in slurry says 4.9-5.0

19degC is only 2 degrees F lower than the min 20C fermentation suggested, so I figure it is fairly close. 66.2F versus 68 F recommended.

Do you think that 1.8 deg F is enough to hurt anything?
Sausage looks good, tastes good, and no issues yet.
Do u think that could be an issue in the future?
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Post by Bob K » Sat Jan 09, 2016 14:49

harleykids wrote:So I use a PH strip which I know is not very reliable. PH strip in slurry says 4.9-5.0
Ph strips are accurate as long as you are good with colors. The low range strips should get you within .3 accuracy. The meters are more precise and are much easier to read.


Used 1.3% dextrose and 0.15% demerara for sugars, and used both hot and sweet Coluccio pepper paste, as well as hot and sweet Calabrian pepper powders.

I saved a small amount of the meat in a small cup, to use to test the PH, and put it in the fermenting chamber with the sopressata.
24 hours later and my general purpose PH test strip is showing a PH of 6.0

I was hoping it would be closer to 5.3 or 5.0, etc. after 24 hours.


The lower temp would extend the fermenting time to reach the safety hurdle of 5.3 Ph. At those temps probably 72+ hours

What is in your favor is the HIGH amount of fermentable sugar that you added (1.3% dextrose) which would usually produce a sour (acidic) flavor at higher temps.
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Post by harleykids » Sat Jan 09, 2016 17:12

Thanks Bob. Sounds like I need to invest in a good PH meter and raise my fermenting temp up.
I am assuming that the higher temp, the shorter the fermentation to reach the safe level of 5.3?
For example, fermenting at 20C versus 24C would take longer.
And as long as it reaches 5.3, or lower, the culture is considered to have done its job and it is safe?

And another question. When the temp is lowered, let's say after a 48 hour insufficient fermentation, down to 13C, do the B-LC-007 bacteria go fully dormant? I would suspect that they slow down to a creep due to temp, but if there is still dextrose or other sugars to eat I would assume that they continue to turn sugar into lactic acid, just at a much, much slower pace during curing temps.
Is that correct?

Thx
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Post by Bob K » Sat Jan 09, 2016 17:42

Jason
The info in these two links should answer your questions better than I can.

http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage ... e/cultures

http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage ... ty-hurdles

For comparison purposes use FLC to compare the properties of B-LC-007
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Post by harleykids » Sat Jan 09, 2016 17:48

As for the dextrose, I used the same ratio that Ruhlman uses in his book for the Sopressatta recipe, which is 30g dextrose for 2,268g of total meat weight.
That is 1.3%
I added another 0.15% of demarara for caramel color.
Plus whatever sugar was in the wine (Ruhlman also uses wine in that sopressatta recipe)

So my dextrose % is what is normal for sopressatta, at least according to the recipes (Ruhlman's and others) that I have read.

Should I be using less dextrose?

And on my new batch of chorizo, I only used 0.4% dextrose, 0.3% demarara, 5.0% dry white wine (has sugar of course) and 2% pimenton de la Vera dulcet (sweet)
And fermented at the same temp and RH as the sopressatta (19@85%RH) for 48 hours. Used B-LC-007 at 0.022% as directed (same as I did on my earlier sopressatta that turned out great)
Then dropped temp/RH down to 13C@82%RH for long term curing.
Didn't take any PH readings. Sprayed with M600 mold @ 24 hour mark.
Chorizo is developing good white mold coverage and smelled great during fermentation (no off odors)
Do you think it will be safe to eat, given the above info?

Now you've got me worried that due to being off 1C on my fermentation temp (19c versus 20C) and only fermenting for 48 hours, that my chorizo will be unsafe to eat.

Thx
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Post by Bob K » Sat Jan 09, 2016 18:08

The Chorizo amounts are ok.

For a traditional flavor you want to keep the total sugars ( dextrose +sucrose +lactose ) .6% or below.

Ruhlman has a different recipe in his second book you can read about that here on page 2:
http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=7716
Last edited by Bob K on Sat Jan 09, 2016 23:49, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by harleykids » Sat Jan 09, 2016 18:20

Thanks Bob, got it. I see the lower dextrose listed in his Roman style sopressatta recipe in his Salumi book.

But he never did correct his sopressatta recipe in his revised and updated version of his Charcuterie book. Still says 30g dextrose for 5lbs of meat. Wonder why he has such inconsistencies between books, even with the chance to correct it in 2013 when the revised and updated Charcuterie book was republished? And Salumi was written the year before (2012) the updated Charcuterie was republished.

Curious....
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Post by Bob K » Sat Jan 09, 2016 18:35

I believe Ruhlman has a Blog. You could ask him
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Post by redzed » Mon Jan 11, 2016 08:20

Hi Jason,

I also use B-LC-007, in fact I applied it to three different products this weekend. I ferment at 21-22C. From my experience with it, it seems to ferment very slowly and then really takes off after 18 hours or so. And even though 007 is made for low acid and mild tasting products, based on my experience it seems to acidify faster (lower the pH) than T-SPX. Two of my salami had a starting pH of 6.12 and at 22C it took only 36 hours to drop it to 5.3. For sugar I used 4g dextrose and 3g. corn syrup solids. I also used 25ml/kg white wine, but in reality, unless you are using a sweet desert wine, the amount of sugar in there is probably negligible. Here I actually used more sugar than I normally do since the pH was higher than usual. Most of the time I get a starting pH of around 5.85.

According to Chr. Hansen the low end of temp range is 18C, so you are in ballpark, although just barely. Culture contains 3 bacteria that will acidify the meat and 2 that are there for flavour and aroma. Each probably has a different optimum temp and when I get a bit of time I am going to determine what the best temp actually is.

And I also think that 13g/kg of sugar is a bit high, and in fairness to Ruhlman that amount is recommended for use with F-RM-52, a fast acting culture designed for fermentation at higher temps and for a pH of 4.8 or lower. So if you have a starting pH of 6, 13g may be reasonable.

In one of my responses regarding the amount of sugar we should add, I wrote that Fidel Toldra indicated that each gram of sugar can drop the pH by .3. I actually took that out of context because he wrote that that in high quality sausages fermented over a long period of time, the addition of sugar may be as low as 1-3g/kg.

The following is from Fidel Toldra Dry-Cured Meat Products 2004, pp66-67

Carbohydrates
The glucose content of postrigor meat is very low and does not allow for
significant pH reduction (Lucke 1985). The major function of added
carbohydrates is to provide a substrate for the biological acidulation by lactic
acid bacteria. The rate and extent of lactic acid formation, pH drop and
evolution of the microflora will depend on the amount and type of carbohydrates
added to the mix. So, if large amounts (e.g., 2%) of a highly metabolizable
sugar like glucose are added, the pH will drop very fast and reach values as low
as 4.5, inhibiting nitrate reductase and some of the most important enzymes
responsible for the generation of flavor compounds. On the other hand, the
addition of low amounts or long chain carbohydrates (low metabolizable sugars)
may result in a deficient pH reduction that will allow the growth of undesirable
microorganisms. In general, the amount of sugar may vary between 0.5 and 1 %
but may reach 2% in some semi-dry fermented sausages. Glucose and
saccharose are metabolized quickly and ensure a rapid acidification. Lactose
follows at a slower rate than glucose. Dextrines or starch are metabolized slowly
and their use is recommended for long ripening sausages. Lactic acid is the main
compound resulting from the stoichiometry of homofermentation. Other
compounds like ethanol, acetic acid, CO,, etc., may appear in minor
concentrations through the heterofermentative pathway. Higher amounts may
cause flavor or textural problems. For instance, an excess of carbon dioxide gas
production can produce pinholes within the sausage and even break the casing
by product expansion (Bacus 1984).

In high-quality dry-fermented sausages ripened at mild temperatures for
long periods of time, the amount of saccharose or glucose may be as low as
0.1-0.3%. In some artisanal sausages no carbohydrates are added.


And more pp.92-93

Sugar Metabolism
Sugar metabolism involves its transport into the cell and its further
metabolism. Lactic acid is the main product resulting from carbohydrate
fermentation. The generation and ratio of L and D lactic acid enantiomers in the
final product will depend on the species of lactic acid bacteria present, and
specifically on the action of L and D lactate dehydrogenase, respectively. The
presence of lactate racemase may also affect the ratio of the enantiomers in the
racemic mixture.
Once the carbohydrate has been transported into the cell, sugar metabolization
occurs via the glycolytic or Embden-Meyerhof pathway. The homofermentative
lactic acid fermentation involves consecutive reaction steps catalyzed
by several enzymes. Several important compounds are sequentially formed
through the action of key enzymes: glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate by aldolases
with the generation of NADH, pyruvate (the central intermediate in fermentation)
from phosphoethanol pyruvate by pyruvate kinase, and lactic acid from
pyruvate by lactate dehydrogenase with the oxidation of the NADH originated
during the hydrolysis of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate.
Most of glucose is decomposed in a homofermentative way. However, trace
amounts of other end products such as acetate, formate, ethanol, acetoin, etc.,
may appear from the heterofermentative pathway. The quantity of sugar needed
will depend on the type of sugar added, the curing agents present in the mixture
and the process followed. The type of carbohydrate must be carefully chosen,
since it affects the rate of pH drop. It must be chosen based on the temperature
of fermentation, the ability of the strain to ferment it (Table 5.1) and the total
time of processing. The amount of carbohydrate added will affect the extent of
pH drop. Approximately 1% sugar will yield a reduction of about 1 pH unit
during fermentation. The rate and extent of pH decrease, as a consequence of
lactic acid accumulation, is very important for preventing the growth of
undesirable microorganisms. As pH decreases and approaches the isoelectric
point of most of the meat proteins, they coagulate and the consistency of the
product increases. The redox potential is reduced during the lactic acid
fermentation, keeping the anaerobic environment inside the sausage.


I hope this helps, since as you can see it's never just black and white. :grin: And I think that your chorizo will be fine.
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Post by harleykids » Mon Jan 11, 2016 19:30

Thanks RedZed, VERY helpful!!

I really need to get a good PH meter designed to test meat products (like the Hanna 99163) then I can see what is specifically going on inside my salumi.

Without one, I am just guessing and ballparking what recipes I read.
And I like to develop my own recipes, so I really need to know what is happing inside with the PH to ensure that my product reaches the safe zone of <5.3 in the correct amount of time.

Everything that has come out of my chamber had been pretty much spot on perfect, so I know my chamber is capable of handling pretty much anything I can throw at it.

I think that will be my next substantial purchase, a Hanna 99163.
If I add up all the $$$ that I put into the hobby (meat, spices, grinder, stuffer, chamber, and most importantly my time!) then $400 for a nice PH meter that will help make my end product safe and more refined over time, isn't that expensive in the short or long term!
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Post by redzed » Mon Jan 11, 2016 22:07

Still cheaper than golf!

I also should have mentioned in earlier post, that while the sugar in the wine is negligible, the acid in it will lower the pH. Most reds have a pH of around 3.5 and the fruity aromatic whites can be as low as 3. You also have been using a larger than usual amount of wine in your salami, so it will be a factor.
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