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Mixing (big?) Mistake

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 23:24
by Agoracritus
To make a long story shorter: A few weeks ago I made up a batch of Landjaegers, exactly how I usually make them, except that when I took the bowl of freshly ground meat out of the fridge to mix in the culture and dry ingredients, I didn’t notice that some of the ground meat had become partially frozen (that was closest to the cold air circulator) until I was actually mixing it.

At first there were some grape-sized bits of semi-solid clumps that I managed to break down into just a few pea-sized bits. At that point, I didn’t really want to leave the bowl out at room temp, or return it to the fridge (to allow the few small bits to thaw better and remix), and I figured it would “all come out in the wash”, and went ahead and loaded the stuffer and made sausages...

Three days later, when I took them out of the fermentation chamber, it was fairly obvious that I had screwed up. Instead of being uniformly pink, there were noticeable grey spots in the meat.

I thought about just tossing them out, basically because I knew right away that some parts of the sausages weren’t properly fermented/cured, but I went ahead and cold smoked them and added them to my curing chamber anyway, just as an experiment to satisfy my curiosity.

After about three weeks of dry-curing, they are still spotty. Other than that, they look and smell exactly like they should.

I’m not really inquiring about whether or not they will be safe to eat (I’m pretty sure the answer is “no”). The most important initial safety hurdle wasn’t properly overcome (uniform drop in PH), so even if they develop a balanced salt/cure content and proper moisture loss, over time, I’d rather err on the side of caution, and just toss them.

I am curious enough, however, to throw caution to the wind sometimes. Therefore, I am actually still considering sampling them in a few more weeks. Is that a really bad idea?

Re: Mixing (big?) Mistake

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 06:00
by redzed
Did you measure the pH? I think that as long you had enough curing salt in there, the sausage should be safe.

Re: Mixing (big?) Mistake

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 08:31
by Agoracritus
Good question Zed. Yes I did measure the pH. Post fermentation pH was about 4.8-4.9. (but I have no idea what the pH in the spots were). The salt and cure are good.

Re: Mixing (big?) Mistake

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 17:10
by redzed
I wouldn't throw it out.

Re: Mixing (big?) Mistake

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 06:45
After hundreds of pounds of soppressata, I decided to be the nice guy and offer a buddy of mine to mix a whole batch and use the chamber. Of course, this is exactly what happened to about 10% of the batch. I had some brown lines that were very noticeable after fermentation along with some brown spotting. At first I thought it was due to them possibly touching each other in the fermentation process. After 2 weeks, they were loaded with white mold and I didn't see the brown spots anymore. LOL After 6-7 weeks, I pulled them from the chamber and cleaned off the casings, sure enough the brown spots were still there. I cut into some of them and the brown was very apparent on the inside also. They also created some interior cracking and air pockets. There is no sign of foul odor and I offered to make him a whole new batch. He insisted on bringing them home and I just warned him if there was any sign of interior brown cracking, just throw it away. It only happened on 1 of the 3 mixes. The culture and dextrose, salt amounts were all identical. I have to assume bad mix. I'm sure they will be fine, but after making hundreds of pounds successfully, it threw me for a loop and it's really unpleasant looking........but nobody got sick. I tossed 6 pieces of 60 that were very obvious before he picked them up.