First Attempt at salami. Advice welcome

robduca
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First Attempt at salami. Advice welcome

Post by robduca » Wed Sep 21, 2016 04:06

Hey guys,

So I have finally had a go at making a salami. Recipe was a bit made up, so not sure what it will turn out like.
Only a small batch to test the curing fridge out first.
1.8kg Pork Scotch
450g Pork Backfat
7g Salami Cure
56g Salt
0.57g Bactoferm T-SPX
28g Sugar
20g Fennel seeds
10g Paprika
12g Pepper
15g Crushed Garlic
5g Smoked Cayenne (Home Made)
125ml Red Wine

Anyone see a problem with the recipe?

Hung them in the fridge on Saturday, but am having trouble keeping humidity down. I can't really get it below 85 most of the time. Temperature is around 15c. The fridge hasn't had to turn on yet due to temperature here.
Is runing this humidity OK for the majority of the drying? Or any suggestions on how to lower humidity? At the moment, I have the fridge door slightly cracked open.
Here are a couple of pics. This is the day I put them in (Saturday)
Image

This is today (Wednesday) so 4 days in.
Image

Look normal to everyone?
I got a weight of one of them to be able to tell when they are done. I read they lose 30% weight when done.

Thanks
Rob
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Re: First Attempt at salami. Advice welcome

Post by BriCan » Wed Sep 21, 2016 09:32

robduca wrote: I got a weight of one of them to be able to tell when they are done. I read they lose 30% weight when done.

Thanks
Rob
Suggestion ..... one should take weight of each one because not all will lose weight equally at the same time

Once they have reached 35% weight loss they should be ready but will still be on the soft side -- most do not start cutting them until they have reached 38% weight loss and some higher up to 45% as they like them drier

A good way to test if they are ready to cut is to do the squeeze test -- that is squeeze the salame in the center to see how firm they are

I usually cut mine when they are good and firm -- on weight loss equivalent it is between 38% to 40%
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Post by MatterOne » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:20

I can't tell from the picture, what is that against the back wall at the top of the fridge?

Is there no freezer portion to that fridge?

The reason I ask is that if the freezer isn't auto-defrosting, then there won't be any exchange of air, which would explain why you can't get the humidity down.

If that's the case, you'll need to add either an exhaust fan or a dehumidifier. Or just leave the door open a crack until you get down to where you want to be.
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Post by LOUSANTELLO » Wed Sep 21, 2016 13:16

Air exchange is crucial, but you don't need a lot of it. Secondly, 85% in the first few weeks is not problem. In Fact, you don't want them to dry much faster because the outer surface will dry and the inner won't. In time the humidity will drop, but I never let it drop much lower than 75% anyway. In most cases, I've had to induce humidity to keep the level higher. Don't rush the drying process by trying to decrease the humidity.
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Post by LOUSANTELLO » Wed Sep 21, 2016 13:18

Also, you should weigh them individually. I have found I prefer them more firm. I always wait to at least 41-45%. The 30's is still way too soft and mushy in the middle.
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Post by robduca » Wed Sep 21, 2016 14:04

Thanks for the replies guys. Good to get feedback and knowledge from people that do this all the time.
Next time, I will weigh them all and record weights so I know when they are all done.
The fridge doesnt have a freezer section. What you can see in the picture is the cooling system for the fridge.
Glad to hear that the higher humidity won't be too much of a problem at the start. I have just left the door cracked on the fridge for now and open it up a couple times a day. I think I will have to look into either modifying to extract air or see what people use to reduce humidity if I put much more than this in the fridge.

Cheers
Rob
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Post by MatterOne » Wed Sep 21, 2016 15:32

I thought that's what that was. If the cooling coils are inside, then thats a pretty sure sign that a freezer or fridge won't have any way to exchange air.

Some people add a dehumidifier, but that requires another controller. A cheaper solution is to add a filtered intake hole in one side of the fridge and a small exhaust fan on the opposite side. A very low cfm fan is all you need. You will probably want to just run it intermittently, otherwise your humidifier will have to run much more to try and keep the humidity up.

Because the coils are internal, I think you SHOULD be fine to cut holes in the sides without having to worry about cutting anything other than insulation.
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Post by Bob K » Wed Sep 21, 2016 17:02

robduca wrote:1.8kg Pork Scotch
450g Pork Backfat
7g Salami Cure
56g Salt
0.57g Bactoferm T-SPX
28g Sugar
20g Fennel seeds
10g Paprika
12g Pepper
15g Crushed Garlic
5g Smoked Cayenne (Home Made)
125ml Red Wine

Anyone see a problem with the recipe?
Most important stuff:
Salt = 2.5% √
Cure = .31% If using cure #2 a bit high , should be .25% for 156 ppm
Sugar = 1.2% High, sausage will probably be quite tangy. While TSPX will ferment sugar a dextrose + sugar combo totaling about .4 to .6% would be better.
TSPX- Probably want to start at a minimum of 2 grams. Ensures a viable amount of culture. Over dosing culture is better than too little and will cause no harm.
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Post by Bob K » Wed Sep 21, 2016 17:13

MatterOne wrote:Because the coils are internal, I think you SHOULD be fine to cut holes in the sides without having to worry about cutting anything other than insulation
The heat dispersing coils usually run through the sides and top, both Lou and myself found out the hard way. Safest place is the door. If the sides of the unit feel warm when running they are there.

85% will only slow drying time and the mold will love it. It will keep decreasing...unless you add more product.

While anything past 30-35% meets the safety hurdles, as stated above its a matter of personal taste, I go 40-45% but rarely weigh and rely on the squeeze test
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Post by MatterOne » Wed Sep 21, 2016 17:43

Bob K wrote:
MatterOne wrote:Because the coils are internal, I think you SHOULD be fine to cut holes in the sides without having to worry about cutting anything other than insulation
The heat dispersing coils usually run through the sides and top, both Lou and myself found out the hard way. Safest place is the door. If the sides of the unit feel warm when running they are there.
I stand corrected. Good info.

I read somewhere (possibly here) that if you have lines going through the sides of your freezer or fridge and you want to find where they are, you should make a mixture of corn starch and water and apply it the sides. The heat from the lines will dry the mixture faster where the lines are, so you'll know where not to drill.
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Post by robduca » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:22

Thanks for the replies guys. Its raining here at the moment and I can't keep the humidity below 95% in the garage, so the fridge has been moved inside.
I will look at putting a vent and fan on the door for next time.

What does everyone aim for when drying? If I understand correctly, you want it gigh for the first 3 days (85-90%) and then between 70-80% for the remainder? Does this sound about right? 15-18c for temp?
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Post by LOUSANTELLO » Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:23

If you are really worried about it, buy an Auber Instruments HD-200. This will monitor and control your humidity and de-humification. You can set a high and low point and install a small humidifier and de-humidifier and the controller will keep your chamber within that area. You can buy small demidifiers at Walmart. Ivation IVAGDM20 DehumMini Powerful Small-Size Thermo-Electric Dehumidifier
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Post by robduca » Thu Sep 22, 2016 14:14

LOUSANTELLO wrote:If you are really worried about it, buy an Auber Instruments HD-200. This will monitor and control your humidity and de-humification. You can set a high and low point and install a small humidifier and de-humidifier and the controller will keep your chamber within that area. You can buy small demidifiers at Walmart. Ivation IVAGDM20 DehumMini Powerful Small-Size Thermo-Electric Dehumidifier
The fridge is run off controllers already. Temp controller to turn fridge on/heat on and humidifier/dehumidifier when required. I just don't have a dehumidifier. It seems to be running a lot better inside. Sitting at 80% and 16c
I'll have a look at what dehumidifiers we have available over here in West Oz. no Walmart unfortunately
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Post by LOUSANTELLO » Thu Sep 22, 2016 14:20

16c seems high. I am running at 54F
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Post by robduca » Thu Sep 29, 2016 04:58

So they have been in the fridge for 12 days now. The one I got the weight of I reweighed and it has lost 34.6% already.
They still feel softish. How long does it typically take for them to dry? I thought it would take a bit longer to lose so much weight.
As this is my first go at it, I wouldn't mind trying some soft and harder. Just want to make sure It is safe to eat when I try the softer stuff.

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