Successful Summer Sausage- Got the tang!

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by jsk53, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    After a number of attempts to find that “just right” taste in my beef summer sausage, I asked for some advice from forum members. I got a number of great responses that led me to my latest summer sausage adventure.  See the thread below:

    Anyway, one of the responses gave me a link to a seasoning mix, using Bactofirm F-LC instead of ECA or Fermento. It also had a process that I had never tried as the Bactofirm needs a fermenting period. Here’s the link to the recipe and process:

    One part of the process calls for fermenting the stuffed sausage for 24 hours at 86 degrees and a high humidity. I thought about this for a while and tried a number of ways to do that. Then I thought about proofing bread and the low constant temp needed for the dough to rise. I tried my oven but couldn’t get it down to th 86 degree range so I looked on  for a bread proofer and found a folding bread proofer that had a temp control from about 70 degrees to 120 degrees. Since my wife likes to bake fresh bread, she got an early Christmas present which of course I had to use to make sure it held temperature!  

    After getting the proofer and a package of Bactofirm  F-LC,  I made the spice mix, 

    After mixing the meat, spices and Bactofirm,  I just did a small 3 pound batch,  I ended up with 2 1.2 sausages and after warming up the proofer, placed them in with the water tray filled to add humidity. Here in Arizona it was impossible to get the humidity in the proofer up to the 95% in the recipe, but adding the water tray did help some.

    After about 24 hours in an 86 degree sauna, I pulled the sausages out, inserted the probe for my  Maverick remote thermometer set, and into the smoker they went.

    From there, I followed the normal process of 120 degrees for an hour, then starting to add smoke and bring the temp up over time to 160 degrees. About  12 hours later, with an IT of 152 degrees, out they came. After a cold water bath bringing these sausages down to 100 degrees, on the hangers they went for an hour or so of “blooming”. Then into the fridge overnight.

    After a thorough trial of the small sausage I finally got the good ol’ summer sausage tang I’m used to from Wisconsin. In my opinion, the taste is right up there with Usingers!  Their next stop, Thanksgiving cheese and sausage plate……

    My thanks to everyone that helped get me to this point!!!
    crazymoon likes this.
  2. Very nice!
    Looks great!

    ~Martin :smile:
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    jsk........ GENIUS !!!!!!!! ..... and the sausage looks perfect ....... I'd eat some if I was there........

  4. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That looks great - nice job!! 

  5. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I too love that tang and can't replicate it, thanks for the tips on achieving it. Wife won't go for any new toys for me right now ![​IMG]
  6. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Glad it worked out for you. My biggest holdup on using the FL-C was not having a curing chamber. I may look into getting one of those proofers. Wonder if it will hold a full batch (10lbs.)  [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  7. Looks great, something I would like to try soon!

    I have a PID, wondering if a guy couldn't build the curing chamber using a incandescent light bulb in a plywood box with a water pan?

    I too live in Arizona, achieving the 90* even in winter shouldn't be a problem.
  8. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

     Thanks azbohunter,

    I thought about making a box with a bulb as well, but wasn't sure how to keep a constant 86 degree temp. I'm also not sure how critical the 86 degrees is to get the bactofirm working it's magic so I didn't want to second guess the process. Even with the water tray in the proofer, I only got to 28% humidity in the tank. I occasionally used a sprayer to spray water into the tank. Don't know  if it did much, but the sausages did not appear to have dried out any during the 24 hours in the proofer.

  9. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Hi Chewmeister,

    Thanks. I had a lot of extra room with 2 1/2 twelve inch sausages. I only did a 3 pound batch as a trial. I should easily handle a 5 pound batch and probably more, but I generally only do 5 pounds at a time as I have a 5 pound capacity stuffer.

    chewmeister likes this.
  10. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Jeff. I too have a 5 pound stuffer, but like to make a 'double' batch when I like the recipe. Ordered one of those proofers and have some FL-C in the freezer. You're a bad influence on my wallet.

    Actually, I like to bake also and have been thinking about getting one anyway. Now it can perform double duty.

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  11. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    SS Looks fabulous!!!!!!!!!!. Just ordered me some bactoferm f-lc from the sausage maker.... Want to use it in my snack sticks. Havent had the tang I was looking for. This is probably it....

    Thanks Jeff
  12. donr

    donr Smoking Fanatic

    Looks wonderful.

    How did you manage to measure out .34 grams of bactoFerm?  Apparently a much better scale than I have.  I suppose I could use my gunpowder scale, since .1 grain is .006 grams

    I know it would be a pain for them, but they should sell that in a package for 5 lbs of meat.

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
  13. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Thanks Don,

    I have a Salter digital scale that read in grams with a zero out feature. Pretty nice little scale. I ended up converting the measurements into tsp equivalent and then figured out the right measure for 1 pound of meat so I could just multiply by however much meat I wanted to use. Normally 5 pounds at a time.

  14. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

    I've used Bactoferm quite a bit for sticks and summer for that "tang" but never really got it to where I liked it. Being from Wisconsin myself I really like that as well! Sounds like maybe the "proofing box" might be the key. How much was the proofer?
  15. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Hi Stayhot,

    I got the proofer from It was $148.00 with free shipping. Here the link to it.

    Can't say for sure if that is the key as I've not used bactofirm before so I have no other process to compare it with. It might be a combination of the spice mix and the fermenting process. All I can say is the result was pretty darn close to Usingers, Meisfield and other local Wisconsin summer sausages. I'm a happy guy!

  16. donr

    donr Smoking Fanatic

    What wood(s) did you use?

  17. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Hi Don,

    I used hickory for this. I tend to use that for any of the meat sticks or sausage I do. One of these days I'll experiment with a pecan or apple just for fun. The main thing was getting the tang and the spice mix right.

  18. jsk53,

    I had to say thank you for the post! I followed your process to a T and the end result was amazing. The Bactoferm F-LC was the ticket.The only thing I did different was instead of a bread proofer, I put an electric skillet in the oven with a water pan...Next weekend venison snack sticks. I am going to try the hot water bath method next using my electric oven roaster. Thank you sir!
  19. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the note zendez. I've had a lot of fun learning and that's what is great about this forum. There is so much knowledge that is willingly shared, it's nice to contribute a success. Glad it worked for you. I'll be making more right after the holidays so I'll see if I can duplicate it. The hot water bath is an interesting idea as it should be somewhat easier to keep the constant temp during fermentation.

  20. I took a about half of the 3lb test to work, nothing but compliments. Can't wait to get the snack sticks rolling.....I will most likely ferment in the oven with the electric skillet for 22-24 hours, into the smoker for 1-2 hour dry (no smoke), 2-3 hours of smoke, then the hot water bath....cant wait :).


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