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Question about Semi-Dry Landjager - Marianski Book

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 19:04
by checkerfred
I have the book The Art of Making Fermented Sausages. On page 181, for Landjager, at the bottom of the page it says "To make a semi-dry version of the sausage, add total of 1% dextrose and ferment at 24 deg C for 24 hours."

To do this, will I need a different culture? The recommended fermenting time for T-SPX is 48 hours at 20 deg C. I have LHP culture.

Will I use cure #1 instead of 2 since I won't be dry curing?

Also, will the processing methods change? Will I hot smoke and then cook or just cook? Page 62 says to cook semi-dry sausages

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 02:01
by uwanna61
I will go out on a limb here and try to help out. 1st I have used LHP culture probably more than any other culture. LHP is the preferred culture for small diameter fast fermented sausages like a pepperoni, and yes, the fermentation stage will vary from 1 culture to another. I would recommend reading the culture instruction and I have mentioned this before, the instruction can be downloaded for the home sausage maker, from the in a PDF file, it is well worth the review!
As for what cure to use, cure#1 or #2? Wedliny Domowe recipe does call for cure#2 when making a fermented sausage. I have made a sausage (pepperoni) using cure#1 with the LHP culture while following the fermentation process letting the product hang for 24 hours at the required temperature and humidity, then finishing off the product in the smoker at a temperature to finish cooking the sausage.
Recently I made 12lbs of pepperoni, which was fermented at 70 degrees for a period of 48 hrs. Now the pepperoni has been hanging for 10 days in the fridge at 38 degrees, this weekend I will finish it off at 165 degrees until done, then hang for another 5 days. Long process but all looks good so far! I`m thinking if the neighbor`s dog won`t eat it, I will toss in the trash.


Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 01:41
by checkerfred
Thanks for reminding me about the info on the sausagemaker website. I'm still not sure about the culture though. On their site, it says,

"For slow-fermentation and large diameter salami, or products with diameters of >3". Slow culture targeted for fermentation temperatures 65°F-80°F. For traditional fermentation the temperature should not exceed 75°F. Typically sugar is used for these products. This culture is for products that take months to fully complete (includes drying), and can be used for slow fermented small diameter products as long as safety hurdles are overcome, i.e. Water Activity level (<0.91), curing with #2...etc)."

So to make a semi-dry Landjager, it wouldn't be curing for months. Which also makes me wonder about using cure #1 instead of #2.

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 06:15
by Chuckwagon
What is "Semi-Dry Cured" Sausage?
Depending on the amount of moisture that they contain, sausages are grouped as:
moist - 10% weight loss
semi-dry - 20% weight loss
dry - 30% weight loss
Semi-dry cured sausage may be made with or without cultures and may or may not be pre-cooked. However, due to modern health concerns, it is recommended that all semi-dry cured sausages be par-cooked. Commercially, this application is now required.

Semi-dry cured sausage is usually cured by fermenting the sausage at least 48 hours rendering an acidic content of pH 5.2 or lower, then by drying it to a point below Aw 0.89 or lower. This type of sausage is normally cured using Cure #1 (nitrite) as reservoirs of nitrate are not needed in short-term fermentation.

Refrigerated "fresh" sausages must be used up within three days or frozen for use later. If the same sausage however, contains a prescribed amount of sodium nitrite and is smoke-cooked, it becomes a delicious "smoke-cooked" type sausage. Can this sausage be further preserved?

1. What if we "bumped up" the sausage a little, by quickly fermenting it - that is, BY USING A PRELIMINARY CURING STEP in traditionally-made (no culture used) sausages, OR by using a culture to drop the pH level to 5.3 or less.

2. What if we "bumped up" the sausage a little, by drying it to a point below Aw 0.85, where most bacteria no longer had an effect upon it? We could then store it at around 45°; F. in 75% humidity and the sausage would be "ready to eat" for an extended period of time.

Unlike dry-cured sausages, the semi-dry variety is usually pre-cooked and par-cooked to about 140°F. after fermenting and smoking have taken place. By reaching and surpassing the temperature of 138° F., the threat of trichinella spiralis is eliminated. Often this cooking step is accomplished while the smoking is being done.

Great idea eh? The sausage we are talking about has been prep-cooked to destroy any possible trichinella spiralis, and it has been cured with nitrite to prevent the development of any possible clostridium botulinum. The drawback is a loss of 20% of its original weight. (In fully dry-cured the loss is nearly 35% of its original weight). On the other hand, we would have the ultimate snack stick to take along hunting or hiking for a quick, lightweight, high-protein bite to eat. It surely beats high-sugar or high-carbohydrate snacks or candy. Sure, it would probably develop a little "white" mold, but we could always safely wipe it off before eating it. Better yet, we could prolong its preservation by vacuum-packing it in plastic or glass and not have to even worry about mold.

Semi-dry cured sausages are usually ground a little more coarsely and are made safe by an acidification level reaching pH 5.3 (or less) as mentioned. If a "fast" culture such as LHP is used, this may be accomplished in as little as two days. A "medium" culture such as F-RM-52 requires about 4 days. If these quick-acting cultures are used, it should be understood that the sausage will be "tangy" as staphylococcus and micrococcus "flavor and color-forming" bacteria simply do not have time to develop. The recipe for this type of sausage will almost always contain some additional sugar for the lactic acid bacteria to work on quickly to more effectively raise the acidity. Applying smoke during the fermentation stage is not recommended as smoke contains substances which may impede reactions between meat and beneficial bacteria, especially in the surface area.

Note: Some old recipes have no requirements for cooking semi-dry cured sausage. If no heat treatment is planned in making a semi-dry cured sausage, it is now recommended that home sausage makers use a culture. Commercial suppliers are now being required to cook semi-dry cured products until the internal meat temperature reaches 160°F. This cooking step provides additional safety in sausage production whether the meat is smoked or not.

Before starter cultures were widely available to hobbyist home sausage makers, it was not uncommon to see "semi-dry cured" sausages made without prep-cooking. Today, the cooking step is strongly recommended as an additional measure of safety.

Depending upon the type of sausage being made, the temperature may be boosted as high as 115°F., the humidity elevated to 95%, with an air exchange speed of about two miles per hour (0.8 m per sec.) as fermentation begins inside a special variable "fermentation chamber". Several hours later, these conditions have normally decreased substantially. We may say that fermentation is the controlled production of lactic acid under conditions of consistently monitored and frequently adjusted humidity, temperature, and air flow. Until the fermentation process begins, the only protection against pathogenic bacteria is the sausage`s salt content, the addition of nitrite, and the initially low bacteria count of the meat. Following 48 hours of fermentation, the sugar-fed lactobacilli and pediococci have usually metabolized enough sugar to produce a sufficient quantity of lactic acid to render the sausage safely acidic.

More details:
For a discussion about using Cure #1 in an LHP cured product, see this link: ... ht=project

Best Wishes,

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 14:36
by nepas
I have some cure #2 LJ hanging right now. Getting pretty dark and hard.


Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 15:36
by IdaKraut
NePaSmoker, those LJ's are looking good. What recipe and starter culture did you use?


Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 16:07
by nepas
IdaKraut wrote:NePaSmoker, those LJ's are looking good. What recipe and starter culture did you use?

Recipe is from Charcuterie book page 153. He uses fermento. This is my 4th batch of LJ. The other 3 i used f-rm-52 so will see how the fermento tatses compaired to the f-rm.

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 17:18
by IdaKraut
Let me know how the fermento works out for you. I haven't used it in over 20 years. I thought it was a gimmick and to me it tasted nothing like LAB (lactic acid) cultured LJ's. But, I am open to trying it again if you think it tastes as good.

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 00:11
by checkerfred
Hey Chuckwagon! Thanks for that detailed post on my question about the Landjager.

I've used the LHP several times for summer sausage and it seems to drop the PH down to around 4.4 in about 16 hours for me. This is using the recommended 1% dextrose. I just made some summer sausage and it had a final Ph of around 4.1. I have a slim jim clone and they ended up around 4.4. I'm using Ph test strips so this might be off some. I am ordering me a Ph meter.

Based on the Marianski book, the acidity below 4.6 is enough of a hurdle to make it shelf stable. So I assume I can vacuum pack my summer sausage and not have to refrigerate it?

I am going to try the Landjage recipe but use cure #1 and LHP. After fermenting, smoking and cooking, I'll then dry to 20% weight loss. Are you using an Aw meter or do you just weigh the sausage at the beginning and throughout the drying process?

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 04:15
by Chuckwagon
Hi Checkerfred,
You are most welcome pal. Please let us know how your project turns out using LHP. I`ll bet it has a tang in it! You asked:
So I assume I can vacuum pack my summer sausage and not have to refrigerate it?
The ONLY sausage safe without refrigeration is that with a water activity value of 0.85 or less or having a pH less than 5.0.
You also asked:
Are you using an Aw meter or do you just weigh the sausage at the beginning and throughout the drying process?
The last I checked, a "Pawkit" was over three hundred smackers. I simply use a super-duper sensitive scale costing far less to measure moisture loss. If I were in our fellow-member Jason Story`s shoes about now (opening a new charcuterie shop), I might invest in a Pawkit.

Here is a reference for some other favorite Bactoferm™ cultures:

Cultures for fermentation below 75°;F. (24°;C.)
T-RM-53......Slow (European style)

Cultures for fermentation from 70°;- 90°;F. (22°;- 32°;C.)
F-RM-52........Medium (American style)

Culture for fermentation from 80°;- 100°;F. (26°;- 38°;C.)
LHP...............Extra Fast

Culture for fermentation from 86°;- 115°;F. (30°;- 45°;C.)
CSB...............Extra Fast

Culture for fermentation from 90°;- 115°;F. (32°;- 45°;C.)
HPS...............Extra Fast

Some time ago I posted my Swiss family`s favorite Landjager recipe made with T-SPX. I`m reposting it here as long as we`re looking into the finer points of this great tastin` air-dried sausage.

[USA] Lone Peak Landjager
(Dry-Cured Swiss Landjager Sausage)
Made using Bactoferm T-SPX

Landjager was originally a Swiss-German fully dry-cured (air-dried) sausage only, requiring months of preparation. Flattened between two boards during the "lag phase" just prior to fermentation, they retained a rectangular shape. Today, the process is somewhat shorter using Bactoferm™ T-SPX, although this particular culture assists with sausages drying a month or more where relatively mild acidification is desired. T-SPX is particularly recommended for the production of Southern European type of sausages, low in acidity with an aromatic flavor regardless if smoked or molded. The Swiss prefer a few sweet spices in the recipe. However, some of the best I`ve tasted contained only salt and pepper with a bit of caraway.

3 lbs. "certified" pork butt (70% lean)
7 lbs. lean beef
7 tblspns. kosher salt
2 tspns. (level) Prague Powder #2
0.55 gr. Bactoferm™ T-SPX (see note * below)
1 tblspn. corn syrup solids
1 tblspn. powdered dextrose
1 tspn. white pepper (finely ground)
2 tspn. black pepper (finely ground)
1/2 tspn. cardamom
1/2 tspn. coriander
1/2 tspn. nutmeg
2 tspns. toasted and crushed caraway seeds

* Cultures may be stored in a freezer up to 6 months. Not frozen or un-refrigerated, it has a shelf life of merely 14 days.

Place the grinder knife and plate into the freezer while you separate the pork fat from the lean meat using a sharp knife. Cut the meat into 1" cubes and freeze the pork fat. Grind the pork using the 3/8" plate and the pork fat using a 3/16" plate. Place the fat back into the freezer. Grind the beef using a 3/16" plate and then place it back into the freezer until it is almost frozen. Re-grind the beef using a 1/8" plate. Re-grind the pork fat using the smaller 1/8" plate also. Be sure to use a sharp grinder blade.

Mix the T-SPX with distilled water only and distribute it evenly throughout the meat. Next, mix the meat with all the remaining ingredients except the fat, salt and the cure. Develop the primary bind ("sticky meat paste") by kneading the mixture to develop the proteins myosin and actin, but don`t over-mix the meat. Now, add the frozen, diced, fat and fold it evenly into the mixture with your hands. Work quickly at this point to avoid heating the fat and "smearing" it (when the mixture enters the casings). Finally, add the cure #2 (in a little water for even distribution) and the salt. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly and stuff the sausage loosely into 32-36 mm. hog casings, making links about 8" long.

Next, place the sausages tightly pressed together on a wide, clean (new) wooden board. Place another clean board on top of the sausages and add 20 or 30 pounds of weights to the top board, pressing the sausages into a thickness of only about half an inch. This procedure may take several hours. Don`t add too much weight and don`t rush the process.

Hang the sausages at 68°;F. (20°;C.) in 95% relative humidity for 48 hours. Reduce the relative humidity by 10% over the next 48 hours (4 days total). Dry the sausage at room temperature until they are dry to the touch. Cold-smoke the sausages at 68°; F. (20°; C.) in light smudge several hours. Dry the sausages at 57°; F. (14°; C.) in 82% relative humidity for about 1-1/2 months or until 30% shrink occurs (the water activity must drop below Aw 0.85). To store the Landjager sausages, place them in 75% relative humidity at as near 54°; F. (12°; C.) as possible.

Best Wishes,

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 17:37
by checkerfred
awesome thanks! I'm not quite ready for dry cured sausages which I why I want to make a semi-dry version of this one. I'm sure it won't taste the same, but will still be fun to make. I'll have to build a dry cure cabinet before I can do the dry cure version.

I may play with a different culture to make it less tangy. The summer sausage that I have made does come out tangy but I like it. Seems like I read in the book above that using less Dextrose will make it less tangy? I may try about 1/2% dextrose since it's recommended to use b/w 1/2-1%.

When I get proficient enough for dry cure I'm definitely gonna try your recipe!

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 15:05
by checkerfred
Chuck, I'm gonna try your version of this sausage... Can something be substituted for corn syrup solids?

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:47
by Chuckwagon
Chuck, I'm gonna try your version of this sausage... Can something be substituted for corn syrup solids?
Nope. Shucks pal, then it wouldn't be "my version" any longer. :wink: This stuff is very much worth ordering some corn syrup solids and waiting for them. It's the ideal bacterial nutrient.

Best Wishes,

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 18:34
by checkerfred
Chuckwagon wrote:
Chuck, I'm gonna try your version of this sausage... Can something be substituted for corn syrup solids?
Nope. Shucks pal, then it wouldn't be "my version" any longer. :wink: This stuff is very much worth ordering some corn syrup solids and waiting for them. It's the ideal bacterial nutrient.

Best Wishes,
Thanks Chuck, I realize it would be different and wouldn't be "your" original version. However, with shipping it wouldn't make sense to order only a bag or for solids off the Internet when you really don't need anything else and you don't hardly make anything using them. Same with that particular culture. It's too expensive per pack to get and use a little before the expiration. I wasn't sure if I could just use corn syrup or what. I understand changing a recipe makes it no longer the original.

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 19:29
by Igor Duńczyk
Hi Checkerfred,

I found this on the net: "Corn syrup solids, (C6H10O5)n●H2O, CAS Reg. No. 68131-37-3, are defined by the FDA as dried glucose syrup (21 CFR 168.121) in which the reducing sugar content is 20 DE or higher." (from: ... olids.html).

This means that the corn syrup solids contains at least one fifth´of the dextrose equivalent (which is 100).
So if you decide to use 0,5% dextrose together with 0,5% corn syrup solids it is not likely that tangyness will knock off your socks. I have often used T-SPX with as little as as 0,3% dextrose which is still enough to trigger the fermentation but will also give you a really mild acidification.

As corn syrup solids are almost identical to maltodextrin they will probably help to provide some fine mellow taste nuances if the fermentation is allowed to continue for a loooong time before the pH drops down below 5.0 and eventually puts the staphyloccocus out of action. And keep to the mentioned 68°;F. (20°;C.) cause you won´t gain more taste by raising temp - on the contrary!

However you should also know that many German producers of "Landjäger" instead of using starter cultures, add GdL (up to 0,8%) which will create a quick fermentation and a certain tangyness that goes well with the aroma of caraway (Please be generous with the caraway seeds! :razz: ).

Just remember to use Cure#1 if you opt for GdL as the fermentation will take place so fast that Cure#2 may not be able to keep pace! (...the nitrate to nitrite reduction process).