Drying question

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Bob K
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Post by Bob K » Sat Dec 15, 2018 14:32

Like Stefan said more details will help a lot. Also humidity level and air movement - With 3 fans running in the chamber ( computer fan, dehumidifier, and the fan from the fridge/freezer) plus low 75% humidity level they are drying too fast which caused case hardening/dry rim.
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Post by Loco » Sat Dec 15, 2018 14:44

I used the dry cure pepperoni recipe from the Marianskl book "The Art of Making Fermented Sausages". I cut meat meat into cubes and refrigerated 3.5k pork butt,1.5k beef chuck, then while it was in refrierator I mixed all dry ingrediants and prepared grinder and stuffer, started fermenting chamber to 68 F and@90 RH, and added T-SPX starter to distilled water. I the ground meat, mixed all spices in then added starter and stuffed. I did not take temps or check ph on mince.

I will look for better casing before starting next batch.
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Post by Bob K » Sat Dec 15, 2018 14:56

How much T-SPX did you add? Why did you dry at 75% when they call for 80-85% in the instructions?
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Post by StefanS » Sat Dec 15, 2018 15:33

At this moment is more clearly what is going with your pepperoni. Practically we do not worry about fat smearing, process also is standard with some detailed changes in future. From myself - how much of dextrose and cone sugar you used? In Marianski's recipe sugars - 2g/kg dextrose and 3 g/kg sucrose. Did you used that amount? Also your pH value - you stated 5.2 after 72 hours - how do you measured it? because reading can be a little false - with T-SPX(it is slow, italian style starter) you should not reach that value - so mince will be softer than regular pepperoni.
Definitely you should change casings for next batch.
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Post by Loco » Sat Dec 15, 2018 22:21

Bob K wrote:How much T-SPX did you add? Why did you dry at 75% when they call for 80-85% in the instructions?
I used 1/2 teaspoon S-TPX culture mixed with 1/4 cup distilled water. My post wasn't real clear I did start the drying at 85% but if I'm not mistaken later in his book he states that as the dryng process continues it is ok for the RH to Go Down. so as it gradually fell I did not adjust to try to keep at 85. It is holding now at around 74-77%
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Post by Loco » Sat Dec 15, 2018 22:25

StefanS wrote:At this moment is more clearly what is going with your pepperoni. Practically we do not worry about fat smearing, process also is standard with some detailed changes in future. From myself - how much of dextrose and cone sugar you used? In Marianski's recipe sugars - 2g/kg dextrose and 3 g/kg sucrose. Did you used that amount? Also your pH value - you stated 5.2 after 72 hours - how do you measured it? because reading can be a little false - with T-SPX(it is slow, italian style starter) you should not reach that value - so mince will be softer than regular pepperoni.
Definitely you should change casings for next batch.
Yes I did use the same amount of sugar/dextrose as the formulation suggested. And I have a Hanna PH tester that I use, I also am careful to calibrate before each use to be sure it is correct.
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Post by Loco » Sat Dec 15, 2018 22:50

Also I have a hard time finding "back fat".. can i substitue pork belly? Or does anyone have a place to get "back fat"?
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Post by Bob K » Sun Dec 16, 2018 13:32

Loco wrote:Also I have a hard time finding "back fat".. can i substitute pork belly? Or does anyone have a place to get "back fat"?
No. Belly fat is a soft fat and back fat is a hard fat, The fat cap on Butts and Loins are also a hard fat and can be used. If you can buy pork fat (trim) it would be a substitute that would work. Salt pork is also made from Back fat.

Just a thought on your drying.....if you live at a higher altitude water evaporates faster, you may have to run a higher humidity level to slow it down.

To get an idea how your current batch is drying, cut off a piece a couple inches from the end, you will know right away if it is dying too fast. Take a pic and post it. You can the just re hang the chub to continue drying, the end will crust over and it will be fine.
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Post by Loco » Sun Dec 16, 2018 21:14

Very good point I never thought about the altitude affecting the humidity, yes we live at about 5200 ft. so defiantly something to keep in mind for future batches, I have raised the humidity back up. Image[/img] Image[/img]

So Salt pork would work for fat back?
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Post by jrittvo » Sun Dec 16, 2018 22:26

I have been buying pork from "Colorado Meat Company" in Avon. It is a small butcher shop that sells locally sourced meats. They butcher whole hogs and cut butts (for instance) with a lot of hard fat still left on. They also sell back fat, which I freeze, and it seems to keep just about forever, but for most recipes, their cut up butts end up with a good proportion of hard fat by themselves. I found that out the hard way, adding 20% hard fat to my first salami mix and ending up with what looks like over 50% fat overall in the finished product. This butcher also makes salami and dry cured whole muscles for retail, so they know what they are doing and are happy to cut a coppa for me out of the butt and then cube the rest, if I call ahead.

On the humidity in Colorado, there is none, unless you keep a humidifier running in your house. Except on rare rainy days, my house is under 20% humidity. My chamber has in and out openings cut in the door with a small computer fan that runs 10% of the time on the intake opening. The humidifier inside the chamber runs a lot because of the outside air exchange when the fan runs. I have it set for 76% humidity and have not had any case hardening, but it does seem to dry faster than I'd really want in the first few days. Balances out in the full run, and a week at the end in a vac sealed bag in the fridge seems to make it all happy.

I owe you a PM. Spot me a day or two, please.
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Post by StefanS » Mon Dec 17, 2018 19:37

Why it is looks like double casing?
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Post by Loco » Mon Dec 17, 2018 22:49

It looks like 2 casing but inner one is casing outer is mold separating from casing.

You can see darker ring on outside, but inside still not set as firm.
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Post by StefanS » Tue Dec 18, 2018 02:31

I'm ready to set up my theory on your problem with pepperoni.
First at all - recipe and process, starter culture is practically reserved for south European salami. Because it is called "pepperoni" it is in most minds " american" style salami. Firm, tangy, nicely sliced pieces of little spicy and hot that we see in pizzas. Recipe is using T-SPX starter culture so it was a little surprise that you get pH 5.2.
Second - recipe is called for beef, and also mince is grind by small plate (it is connected with drying rate from center). So one of problems with your drying ring is directly connected with meat and small particles of meat (finely grind).
Using not recommended casing is giving additional problem with drying because they are not holding external ring of meat tightly enough(faster rate of drying outside than inside) . On pictures visible pockets of air under casing. (good thing that mold is not growing there yet but is is connected with casings too). Your casings are taking humidity very well and transfer it to outside mold but not allowing for "roots" of mold anchor to surface. Mold is growing well on casing so your humidity and temperature are ok ( maybe temperature was little above required level). It is also connected with circulation. Because mold is very dense I can suspect that a little more circulation, and lower temp. can be required.
At this salami - do not wait for it will be "stiff" - that kind should be a little "spongy".
What I can do? - let it dry to about 35% of weight loss, then remove mold with casings, vac pack, put back to your chamber and forget for a few months. Then taste it and return here with you smile - you definitely making a salami for connoisseur not for pizza. It is my personal opinion.
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Post by Bob K » Tue Dec 18, 2018 14:43

Did you forget the Paprica? :sad: IMHO The mold had gotten well established in the beginning when the humidity was higher. As the chubs started to dry and the humidity level was decreased combined with the high amount of air movement dry rim developed slowing the moisture to the exterior of the chubs, both the casing and mold layer dried out and separate.

There is a pepperoni string here that discusses casings to recipes along with a good video of the process that is full of useful info.. http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=8505
StefanS wrote:What I can do? - let it dry to about 35% of weight loss, then remove mold with casings, vac pack, put back to your chamber and forget for a few months. Then taste it and return here with you smile - you definitely making a salami for connoisseur not for pizza. It is my personal opinion.
I would do the same but maybe keep in fridge after vac-sealing
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Post by Loco » Tue Dec 18, 2018 15:54

Thank you guys for all the information, you have been very helpful, I and disappointed in this try but not discouraged, I have ordered the proper casings and am looking forward to another try. Any suggestions on a type of salami to try that would help a newbie gain some confidence?
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