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Can my salami be saved?

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 01:10
by adrian078
Hi from Australia.

So this is my first batch of salami. It's something I've been wanting to do forever. Not too long ago a neighbor moved out and left a full sized fridge in their driveway with a "free" sign on it. I took that as a sign that the time was right to build my cabinet :)

Fast forward a few weeks. I've been drying my salamis for about 4 weeks now and they have lost 37% of their weight and still feel squishy in the middle. I cut one open and it seems to be cured on the outside and soft in the middle. See pics below. They also don't smell the best - well nice like salami. Sour sort of smell but not a make you gag smell like off meat.

I'm suspecting case hardening? Is it gone?

Here's the recipe and my method:

1.8kg/4lbs pork shoulder
about 5-6 tablespoons of red wine
2 tablespoons of fennel plus pepper
a bit over 2% premixed salt/cure #1
starter culture as per instructions on pack (Lactobacillus)
natural hog casings (I think they are size 40/42)

I used very cold meat which was almost frozen before mincing and stuffing. Meat was mixed well and went very sticky.

After the meat was mixed, I stuffed them in natural hog casing - I did this quite slowly and let the pressure build a little to try and avoid air pockets. I then pricked and hung them in my chamber at 21c/70f for about 48 hrs @ 90% humidity.

I then lowered temp to 13c/55f and humidity to 85%. I've had them at these settings for 5 days. I just lowered the temp again today to 10c/50f and humidity to 80%. Also I've had a computer fan blowing on them for 20 mins on/20 mins off.

Can it be saved? Where did I go wrong?

Here's some images. If they don't appear in the post check them out here:

Re: Can my salami be saved?

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:49
by Bob K
Greetings Adrian!
It definitely looks like dry rim.
Possible cause could be the fan blowing directly on the product, you want the air to just mix /circulate.
Also total salt and cure should be in the 2.5 -3 % range so the salt amount was too low at 2% for dry cured.
You should have added some sugar for the lacto bacteria to feed on...without measuring the final Ph after fermenting you don't know if it fermented properly.

Re: Can my salami be saved?

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 20:55
by adrian078
Bob K wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:49
Greetings Adrian!
It definitely looks like dry rim.
That's great. Thanks for confirming.

Noted about the other issues - actually I think there was sugar in the recipe now that you mention it. That was from memory.

OK for the fan then, it's spring here in Australia and the fridge does come on several times a day. Is that enough air flow? Do I need the fan?

I have started reading "home production of quality meats" and have seen he mentions an air speed measurement. Do I need to measure it and adjust accordingly?

Re: Can my salami be saved?

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 20:56
by adrian078
I should also ask the question, can the salami be saved or should I cut my losses now?

It definitely doesn't smell good like the pancetta you may have noticed.

Re: Can my salami be saved?

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:43
by Bob K
Air flow in our small refrigerator/freezer chambers using fans usually causes more harm than good. The fan in your unit is sufficient. Air exchange can be accomplished by just opening the door a few times a day.

As far as saving it you could vac-seal and refrigerate for several weeks and that will help to even out the moisture. After that let your nose be your guide on whether to chuck it or not, that's your call.

The low salt content is a red flag though.

Pancetta looks awesome!

Re: Can my salami be saved?

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 20:44
by adrian078
It's settled then. Next batch I won't use the fan.

Thanks for the tips.