coloration of dry-cured salami

charcutebrew
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coloration of dry-cured salami

Post by charcutebrew » Sun Mar 25, 2012 23:27

Hi, all-

Turns out dry-cured salami really is kinda tricky. Drat.

Most of my first batch went in the trash, cuz it stayed mushy and weird. Seems like I heard/read somewhere that a thinner sausage would cure/dry easier than a biggie, so I made this batch in ~32/35mm hog casings.

The salami look and feel ready to eat, but:

<a href="http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/220/p5180326l.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/4607 ... 26l.th.jpg" border="0"/></a>


But they're partly to mostly brown inside. It was a small batch, I only did 5 or 6 pounds of meat. Kept the meat near frozen before & after grinding, stuffing was quick through my fancy new vertical stuffer.

Used bactoferm f-lc this time instead of frm 52; I didn't like the taste of the 52, butcher packer recommended I try the f-lc. Used a quarter of the packet.

Almost as soon as I mixed the culture into the meat, the meat all turned grey-ish/brown-ish. I think I remember that happening with my prior batch, too, but the end product of that batch was nice and red inside.

I really went to town pricking the cases all over, so kind of wondering if I screwed things up that way?

Or was it just far too little meat for a powerful bacterial culture?

In terms of eating, I don't particularly care what it looks like... I'd love to eat this salami, it smells great, and the definition and everything else looks pretty good, but the color is weird. But does the brown-ish color mean the meat isn't safe? Or is the discoloration just a cosmetic thing?
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pics?

Post by charcutebrew » Sun Mar 25, 2012 23:32

I can't seem to get the right pic uploaded... Sorry!

I tried both the forum codes from image shack, but neither linked to the right photo, so I tried using the website coding above instead.

One more try here...

Image

I deleted all the photos I had but the one I wanted, so hope it loads!
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Post by ssorllih » Mon Mar 26, 2012 01:02

Those look a lot like the ones I got on my first attempt. The fox in the back yard liked them. I believe that we decided that I had lost control of the humidity and suffered case hardening.
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Post by uwanna61 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 02:24

charcutebrew
I believe that mixing a quarter of the bactofim package to the mix, maybe the problem. Here are the instruction found at the sausagemaker.com
Use:
After seasonings and spices have been effectively mixed into minced meat the culture is introduced and also thoroughly mixed. For every 10 lbs. of meat: dilute &frac12; tsp. of culture in &frac12; cup distilled water (or chlorine free tap water). Let sit for 15-20 minutes for bacteria to "wake-up" then pour over mixed meat and re-mix thoroughly. Make sure meat stays cold through mixing process. Use InstaCure#1 or #1 and #2 mixed with this culture.
Hope this helps
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Post by nepas » Mon Mar 26, 2012 02:31

Yeah dont mix 1/4 the package. You only need 1/4 tsp for a 5 lbs batch.

Few weeks back i made up 2 chubs of salami to put in my cure cabinet. Tonight i needed to slice one and look. Here is what i seen.

When i tied the chubs they were tied tight. Notice the shrinkage.
Image

Sorry i didnt have the flash on

The casing used is protein lined.
Image



Im happy with how they are progressing. They do need a few more weeks as they are still soft in the middle.
Image


Going to re hang and let them go. Next time i will make smaller length chubs.
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Post by uwanna61 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 02:44

Definitely use &frac14; tsp per 5lbs of meat, follow the instructions. I will also add a pinch of dextrose, but no table sugar.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Mon Mar 26, 2012 05:13

Nepas, you wrote:
Next time i will make smaller length chubs.
Uhh.... Won`t work. You may wish to try a smaller diameter sausage instead. Shortening the sausage won`t help it dry sooner. (See conclusions at bottom of page 353 in "Home Production Of Quality Meats And Sausages"... by Stan and Adam Marianski. )

The factors that will help it dry sooner include:
1. smaller diameters
2. elevated fat content
3. lower pH - increasing acidity
4. larger meat particle size
5. casings with larger pores
6. higher air speed (not always recommended due to imbalance of equilibrium).

Shucks, the best solution is just have patience and wait it out... but have plenty of refreshing liquid libation on hand to reduce the pain. :wink:

Best Wishes,
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Post by Butterbean » Mon Mar 26, 2012 15:18

I do like uwanna suggested and make a solution with water and dextrose and pitch the stuff in there to allow it to awaken and start multiplying just as you would do for yeast in wine. I do this in the beginning and allow it to sit while I'm getting the mince ready then I pitch it in at the last and mix it well. So far this has worked well and have had good pH drops and no problems.

I have a question though, while everyone seems to agree that 30% weight loss is the goal, I find this not to my liking and prefer to carry the drying much longer - sometimes even to 50% as I think this give salami a better taste and bite. Is it just me or do others share this opinion.
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Post by nepas » Mon Mar 26, 2012 19:58

Chuckwagon wrote:Nepas, you wrote:
Next time i will make smaller length chubs.
Uhh.... Won`t work. You may wish to try a smaller diameter sausage instead. Shortening the sausage won`t help it dry sooner. (See conclusions at bottom of page 353 in "Home Production Of Quality Meats And Sausages"... by Stan and Adam Marianski. )

The factors that will help it dry sooner include:
1. smaller diameters
2. elevated fat content
3. lower pH - increasing acidity
4. larger meat particle size
5. casings with larger pores
6. higher air speed (not always recommended due to imbalance of equilibrium).

Shucks, the best solution is just have patience and wait it out... but have plenty of refreshing liquid libation on hand to reduce the pain. :wink:

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
Making smaller diameter just wouldnt be salami. Guess i just gotta wait, drink more beer and smoke more ceegars......yikes
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Post by ssorllih » Mon Mar 26, 2012 20:10

Drying times for sausage of differing diameters is simple geometry; A two inch diameter sausage has four times the volume and only twice the surface area of a one inch diameter sausage.
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Post by Swallow » Mon Mar 26, 2012 20:59

Chuckwagon wrote:
Shucks, the best solution is just have patience and wait it out... but have plenty of refreshing liquid libation on hand to reduce the pain. :wink:

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
Yeah Patience is a virtue and all that crap, but when it comes to salami it's easier to have enough liquid libation to induce a coma, The little woman is happy, the dogs aren't yelled at fer baying at the moon and the sausage gets done in it's own sweet time. Works fer me. Now if'n I was a workin man instead of just a "lazy good fer NOTHING" (wifes as well as most of my closest friends description , not mine) sorta retired meat packin farmer it might not be so good but as I am it does.

But back to the question at hand ,charcutebrew the advice given is good, Use less and wait longer.

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Post by nepas » Mon Mar 26, 2012 21:42

Im one of the lucky ones and did my time and retired at 47. I gots all the time i need to wait.
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Post by charcutebrew » Mon Mar 26, 2012 23:57

Thanks, y'all-

I did lose humidity for 18-24 hours in the few days, but wiped the salami back down with saline solution, put in warm/humid, "just right" chamber the rest of the time. The case didn't feel hard and slick after this treatment.

The instructions that came w/the F-lc say "If you are making small batches, please use at least 1/4 of the packet," so, uh, well, I did :) I like the idea of using less of the stuff, tho-- man, it's spendy.

For fermentation, the same instructions read "Optimum growth at 95*F internal meat temperature." and said it normally takes at least 30 hours. Thinking about it, I think the humidity issue was in the first 24 hours, because I think I ended up going something like 60 hours at 90-ish, hoping to compensate for any activity I might have lost if the case had hardened.

If the brownness of the salami IS from too much bacterial culture, then it seems like it would have acidified too fast... and if it acidified too fast or too much, seems like this salami would be even less hospitable for bad nasties? So, looks funky, but safe to eat? Maybe an extra-strong tanginess?

What, if anything, would happen if the salami were initially hung at a higher temperature for "too long?" Would it just promote growth of the culture a bunch, or cause the stuff to keel over?

While I'm thinking about it, am I nuts, or have you seen meat super-quickly turn grey after adding the culture, then seen the final product come out nice and rosy?

In my head, this salami probably acidified too much and too fast, so it should be perfectly safe to eat, but might taste a little off. Thoughts?
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Post by ssorllih » Tue Mar 27, 2012 00:18

We CAN eat food that is SAFE but so terribly off flavor that it becomes a matter of "life is too short to eat lousy sausage".
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Post by uwanna61 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 02:43

charcutebrew
One of my first dry salamis (pepperoni) I made a 5lb batch. I added 1 tsp of the bactofim LHP which produces a fast dry salami. The pepperoni with in 12 days, it looked like a dryed out stogie cigar!
You are right, not sure why, but the package does say use a 1/4 of the package for smaller a mix. If I had to guess, I would assume the manufacture is probably thinking a smaller batch would be less than 50lbs.
You can down load the specific instructions for a small batch at the sausagemaker.com.
Hope this helps, give a 5lb batch another try, and remember to mix everything well...

Wally
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