Add a quarter-packet of culture? Whoooa!

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Dave Zac
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Post by Dave Zac » Sun Oct 23, 2011 19:19

Chuckwagon wrote:Use 1/4 of a packet in any production under 50 pounds of meat.
Really? When I made a dry and a semi dry, I used something like 1/2 tsp. You mean I should have use 1/4 of the entire package?
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Post by Chuckwagon » Mon Oct 24, 2011 05:45

Yes, I know that sounds strange, but it is recommended.
Like you, I've only used the minimum amount and I've noticed that Stan's recipes all call for the minimum amount also. The first time I ever read the recommendation, I about fell over. I'll be darned if I can tell you the reason why. Perhaps I should shoot 'em an email and find out.
I'll let you know what I find out.

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
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Post by Chuckwagon » Wed Nov 02, 2011 14:14

Ok guys, I got down to the bottom of it. It seems that the recommendation is not from the manufacturer Chr. Hansen, rather Polcyn and Ruhlman - the authors of "Charcuterie". The suggestion is printed in the second paragraph under Lactic Acid And Live Cultures on page 179 of the book "Charcuterie". The author says, "small batches must contain at least a quarter of the package to ensure that enough of the live culture gets into the sausage".

Me? I'm sticking with Stan and I'm following the recipes he has published. I'm sure if it was meant that we use a quarter package, Chr. Hansen would specifically write it on the package. :mrgreen:

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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
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Post by ssorllih » Wed Nov 02, 2011 18:46

If we know how fast a bacterium replicates itself we can determine how long it will take to completely affect the entire mix.
The problem arises when you can't distribute the inocculation uniformly. This is where mixing becomes crucial.
I use less than a tablespoonful of yeast for any size batch of bread. For some of my preferments I use what will lay on the handle of a teaspoon. It is mixed with water and then with the flour and in 12 hours the entire batch is full of bubbles. It just has to incubate until the count is high enough.
Ross- tightwad home cook
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Post by Baconologist » Thu Apr 26, 2012 05:20

Butcher & Packer is the original source of the 1/4 packet nonsense.
Ruhlman & Polcyn parroted their recommendation.





Bob
Godspeed!

Bob
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Post by JoeNewbie » Fri Mar 28, 2014 22:36

I believe a lot of people are OVER adding cultures. I have see some ridiculous amounts quoted to be used both in print recipes and in online forums. More is NOT better. When you add too much culture, which most recipes have you do, you are adding more bacteria at one time which speeds up the process, this is not what the manufacturer designed the culture to do, which is not always what you want to do, especially if you are making tradition slow fermented sausages.
What I have NOT seen is anybody post the correct information on how much culture you ARE supposed to use. That is what I will now do. The correct amount of culture is what the manufacturer OF the culture recommends to be added. Not one bit more.
I have used most of cultures Hansen makes. The amount to use varies from product to product. I currently have 6 different cultures in my deep freezer (-30F) and each one calls for a different amount. DON'T GUESS! READ the label! Ask for the TDS when you buy the culture.
I have been currently using B-LC-007 SafePro for 2 years now. I will quote the TDS for that product: 125g for 500kg or .025%
I always work in percentages and weights when cooking (or curing) It is the easiest and most accurate way. I can make a 1 kg batch or a 100 kg batch and they will come out exactly the same. Invest in a sub-gram digital scale, they are cheap.
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Post by Igor Duńczyk » Sat May 17, 2014 00:07

Is it too late to catch up on this thread...? Because I need to make a statement
JoeNewbie wrote:I believe a lot of people are OVER adding cultures. I have see some ridiculous amounts quoted to be used both in print recipes and in online forums

Some of the way I agree with you Joe: More is NOT better - but the again, not necessarely WORSE. Above all it´s badly spent money - estpecially when looking at the grotesquely overpriced starter cultures that large scale industrial producers are able to buy at prices that would make you go beserk if I mentioned them on this forum.

By adding more bacteria you don´t really speed up the process, you just get an (in most cases) unnecessary overdomination of the starter culture strains. Which can be an advantage if you are sloppy with hygiene (...but then I guess you wouldn´t be a member of this high-standard forum :wink: ).
Overdosage of Staphylococcus may actually be an advantage depending on parametres: a.e. if you of some wierd reason want to cure with nitrate alone you simply need larger-than-normal amounts of Staphylococcus (prefreably Xylosus) to have a high activity from the outset. And the reason may actually not be so wierd for those who want be bio-trendy, using a.e. hydrated celery juice or another nitrate rich vegetable compound instead of nitrite in order to be able to "cure without the use of E-numbers" (Who is fooling who :oops: ?)

The only true way of speeding up the bacteria is by raising temperature. And just to repeat myself from previous threads: Adding more fermentable sugar will NOT contribute to the speed of the culture - it just makes the pH drop even more (...aaaacidity galore! May be good for summer sausage, but please keep that US-stuff to yourselves guys :cool: )

Why I only follow you some of the way Joe is because there is always a large proportion of carrier present in a pouch of starter culture regardless of manifacturer.
The strains itself doesn´t make up more than a few grams out of the 25 gr present and would be difficult to distrubute evenly into the meat blend if it wasn´t "diluted" with another dry matter.

This dry matter is usually dextrose or another carrier that is only blended with the culture and the risk of "deblending" (meaning that the carrier may separate from the culture inside the pouch) is therefore feasible allthough it ain´t necessarily bound to happen...

That is why a certain overdosing (I say 100% when you are down on 10 kg batches or less) is safer than just proportionally "scaling down" when you make smaller portions than the 100 kg which the 25 grams is destined for. However, with serious producers like Chr.Hansen you are always sure of a reasonably high total cell count -so that even if a deblending did take place and the proportions between culture and carrier should be a bit uneven in that tiny teaspoon-portion that you are using, the number of bacteria will still be just high enough to secure a stable fermentation process.
Wishing you a Good Day!
Igor The Dane
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