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Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 16:26
Not sure what to do at this point. They are in the chamber. I already threw the extra cups of meat away that I used for PH monitoring. My parents always made it and they used to wrap the soppressata's in a cloth lined bushel basket and left in the garage overnight before they hung it. It was always between xmas and new years, so I would imagine the garage wasn't any warmer than 55F. Not sure why they did this, but it looks like no fermentation process was ever done. Does this sound right? In fact, my brother still does it the same way. Doesn't make it right,,I'm just curious.

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 18:20
by redzed ... raditional

I know that you already read this, but read it again.

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 19:35
I slit a soppressata and pulled a wad of meat out of it and re-tied it. The ph was 5.68 when I transferred it to the chanber. The ph is 5.65

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 20:54
Yes, I`ve read it numerous times. Were they not fermenting meat when they stored them in a basket at 55F for 24 hours before they hung them? I know they never used sugars. And I know for sure they never backslopped, so what`s the deal? Is it that it will work, but questionable? Am I better off to toss it? How do you know if it is bad?

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 08:05
by redzed
Many of the traditionally made sausages are not fermented down to 5.3 or lower. The lactic acid bacteria growth is slow and the pH drop might not be llower than 5.5. With the added sugar I think your pH will drop lower than that, even while it is in the curing chamber. So don't think about tossing the sopressata at this stage. Look at the concept of the hurdle technology. Fermentation is only one of the hurdles in making the product safe, so as long as you cleared most the other hurdles you will be fine.

Monitor the sausages and keep us informed.

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 22:46
Testing daily now. Yesterday at the same time was 5.68. 24 hours later, 5.54, but it varies depending on where I poke it.

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 16:25
Update: After 54 hours, my PH wasn't moving below 5.5, and I was getting paranoid, LOL, so I transferred them to the chamber. I have 3 variables with this batch. #1) I used 60-65mm casings instead of the 55-60mm, so they are definitely larger. 2) I had some larger whole muscles in the chamber that I felt were going too fast, so I decreased the temp from 54F to 52F. 3) I didn't use a starter culture. Other than that, the recipe is identical with 2.5% salt, 0.25% cure and the same amount of dextrose. They were transferred to the chamber on 12/10. The one thing I noticed is the Salami's are still very soft after 17 days, yet if you squeeze them into an oval, they will hold shape, But I'm quite surprised how soft they still are. They are losing about 1% per day, and I'm sure that will slow down. Does this sound good?

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 18:21
by redzed
More than likely the pH dropped a couple of points after you transferred it to the chamber, so unless there was some contamination you should be fine. As long as there is a form of sugar present lactic acid continues to be made at a cooler temp, albeit much slower. It just does not stop altogether. And in traditional salami a pH of 5.5 - 5.3 is the norm.

As to the softness of the salami you have to to take into account that it hardens over time as the water evaporates . So as long as you mixed the batter adequately to extract the myosins and there was no fat smearing it should dry to a good sliceability. But there is also the gellification that occurs only when the pH is taken down to 5.2. This is something that we feel in the salami when we ferment it using starter cultures. It definitely feels firm when we squeeze it after 36-72 hours. This is how Gerhard Feiner describes it:

Impact on sliceability. Another important aspect of a decreasing pH
value is that a move towards the isoelectric point (IEP) of myosin
increases the possibility of removing moisture from the product as
WHC is reduced at lower pH levels close
to the IEP. As a result, large amounts of moisture can be removed from
the salami during the decline in pH value from around 5.7 to 5.2.
The viscous sol, obtained during cutting in the bowl cutter or during mixing,
is transformed into a solid gel at a pH of 5.2. At a pH value of 5.2,
activated protein within the sol coagulates owing to acidification and the
salami becomes sliceable. Subsequent drying increases sliceability even
further. Crumbly products with poor slice coherency commonly result
from the fact that insufficient levels of sol form during cutting or the fact
that the temperature during mixing of the sausage mass is too cold with
water present as ice. The latter means that little sol transforms into a gel
via acidification.

Gerhard Feiner, Meat products handbook: Practical science and technology, 2006. pp. 348-349

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 04:42
Thank you. I mixed it no different than all the other successes, so I`m thinking I am OK there. I`m thinking maybe it`s the combination of larger casings and 3 degrees cooler that`s slowingthe process. The color definitely changed and everything else seems to be right on track. Most likely just more time. I`ll keep you posted.