Making Salami in Thailand

Doc Barrington
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Post by Doc Barrington » Tue Oct 28, 2014 04:20

Hi everyone,
a great topic and interesting information. I am a retired Australian living in Thailand on the beautiful Island of Phuket where I have lived for the past 5 years. With the warm weather and high humidity it is going to be a challenge to make Fermented Salami, but I have made plenty of Salami using Cure#2 and air drying in my large commercial glass door fridge which is set on 3.5c.

My first batch of 4.5kg Hot Italian Cacciatore all Pork Salami is now hanging to ferment. I have used Yoghurt as a Starter Culture as commercial Starter Cultures are not available here. As for the Yoghurt who knows what is in it it says LIVE ACTIVE LACTIC ACID BACTERIA CULTURE on the tub. I have emailed the manufacturer for more details but have had no reply to date. Well so far so good no idea of any PH drop but will monitor to see changes. The sausage is hanging in my spare bedroom with a Humidity of 70 that is now at 10AM in the morning and it will rise during the day to 80 if the sun comes out, very cool here current temp in hanging room 23C with mild air flow. In four hours they will have been fermenting for one day. As getting mold culture to spray on the sausage is also a problem I scraped some nice white mold off a commercial Salami added it to some warm water with sugar and let it sit for one day,a nice cover of new mold was growing on the surface so I just painted some of the solution on the fresh Salami and it is looking good there is growth already and in another 28 hours I think it will be well on its way.. Will keep you informed as to the end results if no good back to the drawing board and start again
PS I make my own Cures #1 & 2 as they are not available here either and also colour them pink so no one mistakes them for salt. I have 1kg of pure 100% Potassium Nitrate( pure Salt Petre) and 750g o f food grade Sodium Nitrite enough Raw ingredients to last me out.
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Post by redzed » Wed Oct 29, 2014 08:18

Hey Doc! Nice to have you join us! Welcome to WD forum, we're ready and willing to help you hone your charcuterie skills. And you are one lucky guy to be living in Phuket! Ten years ago I spent eight days there, staying at Karon and Kata. Also did a couple of dives around Raja Yai. Magical place! I was in Thailand again more recently but did not visit your beautiful island.

You are indeed challenged in trying to make fermented dry cured sausage in that climate and not being able to purchase the appropriate cultures. We have a member here from Penang Malaysia who makes sausages there and has overcome many obstacles. Maybe you guys can meet halfway in Langkawi and exchange ideas!

Now to your cacciatore. I have successfully fermented salami with yogourt, but prefer to use commercial bacteria starters since they are more reliable, produce consistent results and that nice red colour. Since you have already undertaken to ferment your salami with yogourt, you must also understand the risks, especially since probiotic cultures do not provide protection from listeria and e. coli. And as you have read in this thread, not all strains of bacteria found in yogourt will survive with the high salt and nitrite content. If no commercial bacteria is available, a better choice would be cultures found in probiotic supplements.

You also note that the high humidity and warm temperatures in Thailand is a problem. Well the temp. definitely is a problem but high humidity is actually what is needed when making dry cured sausages. During the fermentation process you should have the humidity at 90% or higher. In one of my experiments I was also able to document thet the yogourt cultures need to be fermented at temps of over 25, with 30 being the best.

Drying in a temp. of 3.5° is really too cold. Bacteria continues to thrive after the fermentation process, and the cold temp will shut it down. Nitrates also work more effectively in warm temps. And if your fridge is a frost free type, your sausage will dry from the outside rather than from the inside if the humidity is higher. My curing chamber runs at 12° and 75-85% RH.

I'm really interested how you cacciatore turns out, so please keep us informed. In the meantime, have a look at Stanley Marianski's information here:
http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage ... ed-sausage
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Post by Doc Barrington » Fri Oct 31, 2014 07:59

Hi Redzed,
thanks for the welcome.
I live in Bangtao Beach about 26k North from Kata Karon on same side of the Island, a few minutes from the Laguna Complex. Bangtao Bay is the biggest Bay on Phuket, 6kl (4 miles) long from tip to tip beautiful sandy beach with lots of shade early in the day which is great for walking or for picnics as up to 1pm there is shade on half the sand then as the sun goes to the West you get cooked. A group of my mates and I picnic on a regular basis, cool boxes, Ice, Beers, cold Chicken, my Salami, Pancetta, Dill Cucumbers, Garlic Pickled green New Zealand Mussels, and the latest from my kitchen Chicken Liver Pate made with Cognac and Marsala wine, green and black Pepper Corns topped with a Orange, Marsala, and Red Wine Jelly all get a show. Great times with great mates cold Beers, the Ocean and not to forget our beautiful Thai Girlfriends we have a ball to say the least. God I love this place!!!!

I would love to get in contact with the Malaysian member what is his profile name?

Well the Cacciatore with the yogurt as starter was fermented for 48 hours at 70% humidity and a temperature of 25-28C (77-82F) the skins were still nice and soft at 48 hours later with a slight darkening of the initial color the Paprika coming through, and a little oil appeared on the surface of some on the second day. There was also a good cover of white mold from the white mold I grew in sugar and water after scraping some mold off a commercial bought Salami I had in one of my fridges, I painted it onto the sausage straight after they were hung not much to see at that time but in 24 and 48 hours there was a Fungi forest appearing on the surface. Wonderful to see for the first time! There was no odors that were unpleasant only than nice smell of fresh sausage. Now they are in a fridge alone I thought it better that way as I don't want white mold on everything I cure. The current temp in that fridge is currently 4.5C (40f) with humidity in fridge at 70%. To give you an idea in my Lounge Room at present with Windows and Doors open so air can circulate, no fan and no Air Con running, and with a commercial large two door fridge, two medium sized domestic fridges and a Chest type deep freezer all running the temp is 30C (86F) and the humidity is 100% as it is about to rain inside the house ha ha.

I have noticed that the mold has ground to a halt or very little activity since they were introduced to the fridge but it will get going once the drying is done, then I will do as they do in Australia in the specialty delis, hang them and leave them out to dry and let the mold grow some more. When dry enough I will vacuum seal them in small quantities or as individuals.

I read somewhere that Sauerkraut brine or Dill pickle brine might work as a starter, do you have any comments or know of articles I could read as I cannot find the article I read.

Well I will keep you informed how things go over the coming weeks.

I was nice to meet you!

regards
Barry
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Post by redzed » Sat Nov 01, 2014 16:24

Well Doc looks like you are quite a grand life! A never ending vacation in a beautiful part of the world. The name of our member from Penang is Thewitt and you can can locate him on the memberlist and send him a PM.

Your process of making dry cured products is, to say the least, rather unconventional. Most of us hobbyists here who make fermented sausages have constructed curing/drying chambers where the temp is 12-14° and humidity at 70-85. That way we reduce the amount of case hardening, lessen risks of nasty bacteria and have a more consistent product. But I'm very interested to see how that cacciatore will turn out so I hope you can keep us informed and will post pictures.

And as to your question about using brine from fermented cabbage or pickles I would not recommend it. I looked looked into this a while ago and learned that sauerkraut usually does contain L. Brevis, L. plantarum and pediococcus pentosaceus, they are naturally occuring and you don't know the what the amounts or numbers of the bacteria would be in a 200ml of the brine that you would add to the sausage. And sauerkraut also contains other wild bacteria and yeasts. The yeasts are evident as that "scum" that forms on the top of the brine while you are fermenting the cabbage. They can spoil the sauerkraut, soften the cabbage and result in off-tastes. Having said that, plantarum is used in commercial cultures to lower the pH and pediococcus pentosaceus is used to fight listeria. But using sauerkraut brine it to ferment sausages is truly a hit or miss effort and I would not try it. On your next trip to Australia you can pick up some commercial cultures, pack them in dry ice and bring them home. They are pricey, but spoiled meat or even a case of food poisoning are not cheap either. Your second best bet is to use probiotic supplements found in capsules sold at health food stores that contain cultures like lactobacillus curvatus, l. farciminis, l. rhamnosus, l. casei/paracasei, l. plantarum and bifidobacterium lactis. Take a look here at Stanley Marianski's summary of the different cultures and how they work.
http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage ... e/cultures

I did a post on backslopping mould, and used a method that is a little easier than what you did. http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=7194

Hope this helps.
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Post by Doc Barrington » Sun Nov 02, 2014 02:26

Hi Redzed,
I read your mold backslopping process I will give that a try next time a bit easier than my first attempt and what a nice coverage you got.

Well it is now 6 days into the drying, the skins are still soft and pliable, and the sausage is starting to firm up quite nicely. The White Mold activity has stopped as far as I can tell which is a pity, all the small blooms that were present at fermentation stage have halted or gone the larger ones are still there and look healthy this is most probably due to the temperature in my fridge which is at 4.5C - (40F) and 75% Humidity.

I am keeping a photographic record as well as this report, not sure how to upload photos on this forum, help required please!

Off this subject I thought you might be interested in what else I am curing, there are two other products on the go at present in my Commercial fridge are Dry Cured Bacon and Dry Aged Beef.

I'm dry aging a nice 2.5Kg piece of Rib Eye Steak at the moment, this is my first go at this process and so far I am very pleased with the results. It is now into the 10th day and it looks good, no sign of mold of any description, and the meat is drying nicely and starting to darken in color to a nice deep red, there is no sign of moisture on the meat and no more liquid is dripping from it.

The Bacon which I am well accustomed to making has been curing for 4 days now in a large Ziploc bag, I am trying a new cure I thought up, Salt, Dark Brown Sugar, Cure#1, and the addition liquid smoke which I found for the first time here in Thailand a few weeks back. I am using 2.5Kg Belly Pork and 1.5Kg of Pork Loin both are a staple for Thai People and available every where and cheap at $3.87USD a Kg. As I don't have a smoke house at present I thought why not try Liquid Smoke to add that smoked flavor. As I like a more salty Bacon I will leave it maybe for another 3-4 days and I will keep you posted on the results.

Another thing I have tried and it works well is After the Bacon is made especially with the Loin Bacon. After the cure is complete and the Bacon has been soaked in water then is aged in the fridge I trim it down to fit on my slicer there is sometimes small end pieces left over that is to small to slice so I put it into a container full of salt and cover it then let it just dry out for weeks it turns out like Pork Jerky or dry Pancetta with a nice flavor. Cut into bite sized pieces and not to thick so you can't chew it really is great with a cold Beer.

Any ideas on hard woods for smoking that are available in Thailand? Is Cold smoking in a temperature of 23C-30C (73-86F) possible?
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Post by Bob K » Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:32

Doc
Info on uploading photos here http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=5230
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Post by Doc Barrington » Mon Nov 03, 2014 05:53

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Post by Doc Barrington » Mon Nov 03, 2014 06:22

Hi everyone, the experiment proceeds with a Local commercial Yogurt as a starter culture with the unknown yogurt bacteria. So far no hangups, the Salami smells great with a hint of that nice white mold and the Garlic and Pepper smell are present I think I might be on a winner at this stage. The Pictures are: Pic 1 and 2 are on Day 1 just finished making my first batch of Hot Cacciatore Salami, links are tied off and ready to hang, Sausage hanging after they painted with white mold I grew from a commercially made Salami. Pic 3 the mold growth after 24 hours. Pic 4 & 5 mold growth after 48 hours before hanging in fridge. Pic 6 was taken today Salami hanging in fridge on Day 7 temp is 4.5C and 65% Humidity mold has slowed down now but drying is going well, casing are still soft and pliable.

I will keep you informed as to the progress if more Pics are useful let me know I will take them on a regular basis until the final tasting in 4 weeks. Wish me luck this is the first time I have made Air Dried Fermented Salami and doing so in Phuket Thailand where we are only 8 degrees from the Equator it is a challenge. For interest sake here in my Lounge Room in Phuket Thailand it is currently 29C with Humidity of 92% windows are open and so is the front door no fan and no Air Con running just to give you an idea, now there are rain clouds are forming over my Computer as I type.
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Post by Bob K » Mon Nov 03, 2014 18:56

Doc
Thanks for posting the pics!
I really like your method of linking and hanging the the sausage...never have seen that before.

I realise you are multitasking with your fridge but 4.5C is really too cool to give the culture a chance to work. Also, the little dots of mold look like the right type but the larger blotchy areas almost looks like yeast or some other type of mold.

If this helps here are some pics of new mold 600 growth and some older growth

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Post by redzed » Wed Nov 05, 2014 06:17

Hi Barry,

Bob is right, those large white blotchy formations don't look right, are they soft or hard?

Your sausages do look like they were crafted with a lot of experience and you obviously like making and sharing your creations. You really gotta think about using starter cultures and make yourself a curing chamber.

Take a few minutes and read this thread on our forum:

http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=6634
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Post by Doc Barrington » Fri Nov 21, 2014 04:07

Hi Bobk and Redzed, thanks for the observations they are appreciated the large white spots were larger pieces of the original mold scraped from the donor Salami, they did not dissolve in the sugar solution and I just left them as they were. The small pin prick sized mold spots are the new mold spores growing from the sugar solution with the donor mold dissolved in it I am sure they are not yeast, they feel hard to the touch and look like the donor mold.

I finally got a reply back from the manufacturer of the commercial Yogurt I used as the starter the live active bacteria strains in their Yogurt are Lactobacillus Bulgaricus and Streptococcus Thermophiles and the count is well above the FDA requirements here in Thailand. I am not sure of these strains or if they were of any benefit to my Salami.

Well today I have tested one of the Hot Cacciatore now at day 25, they are looking very nice, the smell is great that of fresh Salami with a hint of Pepper and Garlic. The taste is there just a little sour like commercial produced Salami, the Carraway seeds, Garlic, Black Pepper, Paprika, and Chili have blended nicely they are firm to the touch and drying nicely right through. At this stage I would say Success but I want to dry further and see if there is an improvement in the taste. If you don't hear back with further updates I am probably dead or in hospital ha ha.

Seriously I try to monitor everything as it progresses, and as previously said have my difficulties here in Thailand getting ingredients. Redzed I cannot get starter cultures here so yogurt is the next best thing if it is working that is. I have ordered a PH meter so in the future I can monitor the PH fall if any, it will be a few weeks before it arrives so any new batches I will just do as before. I will look out for an old fridge to make a curing chamber but at this stage it looks like my method is working.

I am always concerned when making any sausage, my meat is frozen at -18c for a minimum of 6 weeks, I purchase it from a giant Restaurant supply chain already minced and vacuum sealed in 1kg packets and store it for the required time. As a caution I always use Cures #1 and #2 which I make myself I have 1kg of 100% pure Potassium Nitrate (saltpeter) enough to clear a block if you know what I mean, and 700g of 100% pure Sodium Nitrite, mixed as required enough cures to last me a lifetime.

I have been away for 12 days in Northern Thailand so I was excited to see how the Salamis had progressed while I was absent. The constant temperature of 5.5c and humidity of 60% seems to be working mold growth has increased a little and new healthy mold blooms are visible, no nasty ones at this stage.

I know of the horrible things that are in uncooked meat but if you live here in Thailand there are things you eat and don't think of the consequences because they are delicious. While I was away I shared lots of uncooked raw meat both Beef and Pork with my Thai friends while drinking ice cold beer. They are some of my favorites both recipes are similar raw Tenderloin Beef and or pork chopped with a cleaver until the consistency of being course ground, the Beef also has raw thinly sliced Tripe mixed into the meat. The meat is then mixed with soy sauce, fish sauce, fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped small red Onions, Garlic, chopped shallots, chopped fresh red and green chilies, roasted chili powder, coarse ground toasted rice and then mixed with chopped basil leaves and or mint leaves. this is shared out of the same bowl with three spoons for 13 people, they also have a Pigs Blood with minced pork dish I have refrained to eat just to much blood. No one I know of has died from eating there dishes maybe all the ingredients kill off the bad things. :roll:


Weather update: in my lounge as I type 30c and 90% humidity, todays weather for Phuket 28c humidity 79%, cloudy with chance of rain 63% approx 5mm rain fall expected.
There is always something to learn, don't be afraid to ask questions there are no stupid questions only stupid answers that are given by some. Enjoy what time you have live life to to max.
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Post by redzed » Sat Nov 22, 2014 07:57

Hi Doc,
Glad to see that your Cacciatore is progressing, but I'm still concerned about your unconventional technique. L. Bulgaricus and Streptococcus Thermophilus are not a bacteria found in meat products, neither in starter cultures or naturally occuring. And the temperature in your drying fridge is just to cold for bacteria to grow and too cold for the nitrates to convert to nitrites.

Can you do me a favour and order a copy of Stanley Marianski and Adam Marianski, The Art of Making Fermented Sausages? It will be a great read while you are lounging on the beach and sipping from a bottle of cold Singha or Chang. While the Marianskis promote safety and therefore starter cultures, they also outline the steps in making salami with no starter cultures and that info would benefit you greatly.

Good luck,

Chris
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Post by Igor Duńczyk » Sun Nov 23, 2014 16:38

Hi Barry! (as I have now discovered is your real name!)

I love to hear these stories from real life that just totally defy ones conception about unbreakable food safety rules :mrgreen: but the facts (as I have experienced them on or rather inside my own body) is that after a certain time of "internal incubation" with the common bacteria of the ambience and local food you simply adat. Remenbering back on my first visits to Poland shortly after the fall of the iron curtain (gosh... those 25 years just passed with a glimpse of an eye it seems) I initially ended up with some grose quasi-food poisoning issue after the first week, especially after having visited food producers where sanitary norms were not quite up to western standards (to put it VERY diplomatically). For sure this would not happen to me today as both my internals have adapted and more so because of the much improved sanitary and vet situation in what used to be the old east block countries.

As for Chris last remark I am totally on par with him as regards to the temperature: Where low fermentation temperatures should be no problem when curing meat with common salt only, there may be an issue when using nitrate&nitrite. One reason I can think of is that the Staphylococcus activity that contributes to the reduction process will be really low at this temperature. and considering that you have no Staphylococcus added (at least not from the Yogurt) you have to rely on those that may (or may not) thrive in the ambience.
So I´ll also join in with the rest of the choir to say: Try to improve your process so much that you at least get up to some 12C. during the fermentation.
The average recommended 24C would probably be too much to wish for unless you build your own climate chamber.

As for the Yogurt you use I partially agree with Chris: Neither L. Bulgaricus or Streptococcus Thermophilus are strains that are normally connected with meat processing, however, both are healthy and safe, and providing that they are present in the mince with a cell count that might even dominate over whatever (non-preferable) indigenous bacteria there may also have crept in during the process, I would regard your Yogurt addition as a sound step towards a safer product, than if you hade made it without.

As for sourness: if you added sugar(s) of any kind just try next time to reduce their dosage by (say) 50% and see if that will make a positive difference. As you know, added sugars may also involuntarily help boosting the activity of (unwanted) indigenous bacteria, so some cautiousness here won´t hurt :wink:

I was also thinking of another way of solving your inability to acquire a proper substitute for starter cultures: Considering the vast popularity of various fermented foodstuffs in your region, I wonder if some of the local producers of a certain industrial stature might be using incubators "to be on the safe side" instead of relying solely on the natural bacteria of the ambience? Or it might be that they have their own stem culture which they regulary add to the matter, may this be vegetables, fish or whatever...
Could it be worth giving it a try to ask some of these producer guys?
I surely would :roll:
Wishing you a Good Day!
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Doc Barrington
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Post by Doc Barrington » Tue Nov 25, 2014 05:36

Hi Redzed,
thanks for the info every little bit helps me. There is improvement every day on the Cacciatore, I am air drying one link at room temp to see what happens, so far just some oil dripping and getting a little harder, the refrigerated ones are still firming up and there is a slight increase in the good white mold growth.
I did have a copy of The Art of Making Fermented Sausages in Australia I will try and pick up a copy when I go back to OZ for a visit in late December.
There is always something to learn, don't be afraid to ask questions there are no stupid questions only stupid answers that are given by some. Enjoy what time you have live life to to max.
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Post by Doc Barrington » Thu Nov 27, 2014 02:32

Hi Redzed, just ordered a new copy of The Art of Making Fermented Sausages from the Book Depository on line got it for $23 USD delivered to Thailand paid by Visa, much cheaper than on Ebay and in Australia.

I found a locally made commercial produced yogurt with Lactobacillus rhamnosus and 6 or more other live strains in it. I am going to contact the manufacturer who is Thai Lady with an Australian Husband who are only 6klm from me, I want to find out what other strains are present and their count per serve. Might be on a winner with this find, I will see if I can get some of the live strain from them or just use their plain yogurt with all the strains what do you think.
There is always something to learn, don't be afraid to ask questions there are no stupid questions only stupid answers that are given by some. Enjoy what time you have live life to to max.
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