when to add meat cultures

ursula
Passionate
Passionate
Posts: 317
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 04:38
Location: country victoria

when to add meat cultures

Post by ursula » Tue May 07, 2013 01:00

Hi all,
I've searched the site high and low, but can't find the answer to my question, which is: I've been researching fermented sausages for a few days, but I'm getting conflicting information about when to add the starter cultures. Some recipes say to add them with the salt, cures and spices, others to add the cultures first, then everything else before stuffing, yet others the spices, cure and salt first, then the culture.
Is this important or are they all ways to the same goal?
I'm off to make my first teewurst, inspired by Rudy, and will follow the recipe he posted.
Warm regards Ursula
User avatar
redzed
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3205
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 06:29
Location: Vancouver Island

Post by redzed » Tue May 07, 2013 02:34

Because the starter culture is always dissolved in a bit of distilled water (I usually also add a pinch of dextrose to it, an let it stand for a couple a of hours), I add it during the final mix, often with other liquid. So if you are adding the spices after the last grind and then stuffing and immediately fermenting, then you can add the culture at the same time. But if you are seasoning and then refrigerating the farce for a period of time, wait until you stuff.
User avatar
Chuckwagon
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 4494
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 04:51
Location: Rocky Mountains

Post by Chuckwagon » Tue Jul 16, 2013 06:47

This "wake-up" period (when the bacteria thaw and become active), is also part of what is called the "lag phase". To bolster the beneficial bacteria, a pinch of dextrose is always a good idea. It`s best to allow it to develop a little before coming in contact with salt. A couple of hours is usually an ideal lag phase.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
IdaKraut
Passionate
Passionate
Posts: 262
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 21:49
Location: No. Idaho

Post by IdaKraut » Tue Jul 16, 2013 17:36

Ursula,

I was going to reply but Red and CW beat me to it. They are spot on with their recommendations. Be sure to use water that does not have chlorine (I'm on a well so no problem here) and definitely add some dextrose to the water when rehydrating the starter culture. I try to give the rehydrated culture/water dextrose mix an hour but have added it as soon as 20 minutes after hydrating with good results. It should be the last thing you add to the meat/spice mix and right before running it through the food processor (or whatever you plan to use to emulsify the mix).
Rudy
ursula
Passionate
Passionate
Posts: 317
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 04:38
Location: country victoria

Post by ursula » Thu Jul 18, 2013 06:14

Thanks Rudy, Redzed and CW,
All is clear. Much appreciated.
Ursula
Igor Duńczyk
Passionate
Passionate
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 23:41
Location: Croatia

Post by Igor Duńczyk » Sat Aug 10, 2013 01:33

Hi Ursula

I have just joined in today on the english version of this great homepage (if you master Polish I may guide you to some recipes that I´ve had uploaded on the polish page) and I would like to kick in a comment if not tooo late:

True, there are many, sometimes conflicting advice on how to apply cultures, so I´ll try to state some "because" (and curious about the response from other participants :grin: )

1) After taking the culture out of the freezer, leave for a while before opening to avoid stressing the bacteria with a temperature-chock once you open the sachet.

2) Rehydrating the bacteria into clorine free water to make them "wake up" is an option which I sometimes use myself. Just make sure that the temperature of the water is correlating more or less with the working temperature of the meat. Because, as in 1) we don´t want expose the bacteria to a temperature chock.

Anyway, overall temperature should always be low, VERY low. I personally prefer to work with frozen or semi frozen meat, and back fat that has been pre-chopped or pre-grinded to the desired size and then re-frozen stone hard for at least 24 hours.

3) There is also the option of dry mixing the desired amount of culture with the spice blend & the fermentable sugars shortly before applying it to the meat.
That´s the method I use most often and I can´t think of any sideeffects, because I haven´t experienced any.
Use a plastic bag into which you pour spices, sugars and culture and don´t squeeze it but let it be filled with air like a baloon, close it tightly with your hand, and shake the "baloon" wigorously for at least 30 seconds. The method works best when you have a somewhat larger amount of ingredients.

4) Don´t mix starter cultures for salami with salt. Salt should only be mixed with cure for adding in the last phase of blending of the meat. Even if some bacteria have a high salt tolerance there is no need to stress them by exposing them to a downrigh salt chock.

5) Add the rehydrated culture or the dry culture/spice blend to the LEAN part of the meat and ALWAYS at the beginning of the blending process.
Why? Because the bacteria should be worked into and around the meat fibres quickly and effectively. Even if there´s a lag phase before the bacteria become truely active it´s important that they are distributed as thoroughly as possible into the lean part which contains an important part of their nutrition. If you mix in the fat elements too early you´ll just disturb their efforts.

6) The culture can also be mixed with the meat chunks before grinding, providing that you are using meat which is only chilled or very lightly frozen.

7) After thorough blending of meat, spices and culture, add the very cold (preferably frozen) back fat and simultaneously (or shortly afterwards) the salt and the cure.
Why salt only now? Because salt slightly lowers the temperature. Thus lessening the risk of fat smearing. Smearing of fat around the meat fibres is one of the worst killers: once it has take over you may order a coffin for your salami. Or call in your dogs for a feast.

Personally I am not too convinced about the advantage of adding additional dextrose to the water when rehydrating. Many producers of starter cultures have already blended the freeze dried bacteria with some dextrose.
Also you have to observe that the amount of dextrose you add to the water is taken from the total amount of dextrose prescribed in your recipe to avoid overfeeding the bacteria.

Generally: treat the cultures as if they were your pets, they are just mute and invisible.

Best regards
Igor The Dane
ssorllih
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 4331
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 19:32
Location: maryland

Post by ssorllih » Sat Aug 10, 2013 02:33

Igor, It is never too late to provide good knowledge to the sausage making efforts. Some of us are quite experienced and some of us are still trying to understand the most basic terminology. Your wisdom and experience is wonderful. thank you.
Ross- tightwad home cook
ursula
Passionate
Passionate
Posts: 317
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 04:38
Location: country victoria

Post by ursula » Sat Aug 10, 2013 07:57

Yes thank you Igor,
What a comprehensive answer. Really appreciate your input. I can see that you are going to be a valuable contributor to this site.
Best wishes Ursula
crustyo44
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 1089
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 06:21
Location: Brisbane

Post by crustyo44 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 09:00

Hej Igor danskeren,
Don't be surprised if your experience and expertise will be requested by lots of our members, especially the ones from Down-Under and especially ME!!!!
Thank you for the post on culture usage, you certainly cleared up a lot of questions I had in one foul swoop.
Thank you again,
Jan.
Brisbane.
Australia
Cabonaia
Forum Enthusiast
Forum Enthusiast
Posts: 593
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 02:07
Location: Morgan Hill, CA

Post by Cabonaia » Sat Aug 10, 2013 16:32

Hi Igor - this is really useful guidance that I have bookmarked. Do you have any recommendations for testing a culture to find out if it is still active? That's something I've always wanted to know.

Thanks!
Jeff
Igor Duńczyk
Passionate
Passionate
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 23:41
Location: Croatia

Post by Igor Duńczyk » Sun Aug 11, 2013 02:09

Hi Everybody!
Thank you SO much for your appreciative words :grin:

I don´t want to sound as on a mission to show you "the right way" because there are so many individual and local factors contributing to the process of making fermented sausages, that sometimes one has to deviate radically from "the way things ought to be done" :???:

I also tend to regard things from a professional angle as I once upon a time worked for Chr. Hansen whose products I still hold in high regard, though nowadays I´m associated with another producer of starter cultures. It may not be the best of manners to use an independent non-profit forum as billboard :oops: but you´ll get a clue on the thread:
http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=6630

Also as I mentioned: Please don´t restrain yourself to write back if there´points where you disagree with me or if you have some doubts. It might well be that you hold the missing link to my chain :mrgreen:

My work, mainly in Poland, has frequently granted the opportunity to carry out test productions at small, often workshop-like producers where conditions for making fermented salami would seem nil, mostly because of lack of a climate chamber. But by sticking closely to the basic parameters (of which I mentioned a few in my entry above) and improvising when necessary, it is possible to achieve really fine results.

Anyway I will do my best to "scale down" knowing that on this site most of you will be dealing within a domestic frame. I don´t expect any of you to have a 500 lb. bowl cutter in the back room, but if there should be enough sausage-enthusiasts in your neighborhood you could consider joining forces and buy a used 80 lb. bowl cutter - and you will enter a new and fantastic dimension :grin:

For Jeff :shock:
That´s a question I´ll pass on to the laboratory as I don´t know of any do-it-yourself method. It may depend a. o. on the sturdiness of the individual bacteria strain, on the total cell count in the starter culture (which can be VERY different from one producer to another) etc.
Usually a factory sealed culture will, when stored continuously at or below -0,4 Fahrenheit (-18c) and not exposed to occasional thawing, have 12 months shelf life, with small probability of a noticable decrease in activity even after 18 months.
The problem of opening a sachet, using some of the culture, sealing it and placing it back in the freezer is that a slight thawing may take place. If the carrier (the freeze dried grounded bacteria strains are usually mixed with a dry matter to create some volume) is a. e. dextrose or another kind of fermentable sugar, then you can´t exclude the risk that the thawing will initiate some kind of degradation process.
However, considering that many recipes prescribe half or a quarter sachet for only 10 or 20 lb. of meat there is a large cell count surplus before the many become too few.
Still, try to use opened sachets within one to two months.


For Ursula :cool:
I noticed with interest your entry about Teewurst and guess that you stayed with T-SPX (which I really liked to work with way back then).
Or did you have a go with the F-1 or F-RM 7?
Both are "quickies" from which you can´t expect the same profound aroma formation as with T-SPX but I could imagine that F-RM 7 will provide some welcome tanginess to a Teewurst if you want it in the Rügenwalder style. Though the quick pH drop leaves a risk that you may get a sliceable rather than spreadable Teewurst if too much sugar/dextrose is added. Anyway: I´m curious to know more about your result. Any pictures??


Hej Jan :lol:
Hyggeligt at der ogsaa er en halv-landsmand paa banen! Er vi mon de eneste dansker brugere af sitet ? ( ... perhaps better stick to english so that the guys around don´t think we are Marsians )
Wishing you a Good Day!
Igor The Dane
crustyo44
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 1089
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 06:21
Location: Brisbane

Post by crustyo44 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 06:50

Hi Igor,
When you was born, I emigrated to Australia, the best thing I ever done. I am a Dutchman by birth so we were virtual neighbours then.
Keep all this advise coming, Please!!!!!!!!
Best Regards,
Jan.
ursula
Passionate
Passionate
Posts: 317
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 04:38
Location: country victoria

Post by ursula » Sun Aug 11, 2013 07:41

Image
Hi Igor,
This was my teewurst, which was spreadable but is now more sliceable! I did use T-SPX,as it is the only culture I can get here in Oz. I also made a mettwurst, and both are really tasty, but again, a bit hard to spread. So I slice!
If you do a search under teewurst, you will find a blog by Rudi whose teewurst looks sensational and clearly easy to spread. I think he is the master. I can only aspire.....
Ursula
Igor Duńczyk
Passionate
Passionate
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 23:41
Location: Croatia

Post by Igor Duńczyk » Sun Aug 11, 2013 08:58

Hi Ursula

Now I´w looked at Rudis recipe and it is one of the better in all respects!

If I should propose some troubleshooting for you next time it could be:

1) Grind the fatty parts and the lean parts separately and freeze them individually - adding the ingredients + starter culture to the lean part. Remember to use, if you have access, meat from mature animals - not young ones! We want meat with a reasonably low start pH.

2) When you blend in the food processor start with the fatty parts and gradually blend in the lean part. By that you´ll have fat smearing around the meat fibres (a bit the reverse process of making salami where we want the two to be as separate as possible!).
It will reduce the risc of meat emulsifying with the fat - which can be one reason for the reduced spreadability.

3) If you have acess to pH measuring it could be interesting to know the reading after maturing and smoking.
A too low drop in pH causes the structure of the meat to harden and while T-SPX is not mean in that respect, it is primarely a salami culture.
You could also try to reduce the added dextrose by half. The culture will start growing anyway, just at a slower pace.

4) Another possibility is to use a culture that that won´t cause a drastic pH drop, but primarely help you with the color formation and add bio protection against spoilage bacteria.
That could be the SACCO Lyocarni BXH-12 or WBL-45.
I know some germans would disagree with me because they prescribe a certain pH drop, but as long as it gets below 5,5 and you don´t reduce on the salt and cure, safety ought to be OK.
Wishing you a Good Day!
Igor The Dane
Igor Duńczyk
Passionate
Passionate
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 23:41
Location: Croatia

Post by Igor Duńczyk » Mon Aug 12, 2013 14:51

Ursula!

I am intrigued to know: Which are the other kinds of sausages on the "soldiers" on your plate?
"Soldiers" being a hungarian nickname for finger snacks with meat topping.
The light one resembles a "Raw Polish" while the paprika-one looks like a Kolbasz (?)

If you should like to give your soldiers a real hungarian twist, then I recommend that you bake some Tepertő Pogácsa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pog%C3%A1csa & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sYt_n_gouA) as base for the Kolbasz slices... Yummy yummy :razz:
Wishing you a Good Day!
Igor The Dane
Post Reply