So, after asking for some advice from those in the know about all things sausage, I made my first kielbasa Sunday. Thanks for all of the help Boykjo, nepas, chefJJ, GrayStratCat and anyone else I might have missed. It was a solo attempt, so there are only a couple of pics. Kinda hard to take very many when your hands are covered in ground pork. I ended up using GrayStratCat's recipe, but I backed off on the garlic a little bit. They came out really good. I am not upset at all with the results. here are the pics I do have.
10 lbs of fresh ground butt ready for the seasoning
After an hour and a half at 130*. Just adding the AMNS for some smoke and bumping to 165*. The little pieces of wood are small pieces of quarter round trim. I slid them between the links to keep the from touching.
This is them hanging in the spare bedroom on my wife's sweater hanger to bloom for 45 minutes. Had to get them away from the dogs, who were out in the hall drooling. This is where I hung them to dry before going in the smoker as well. This room still smells like sausage. LOL!
My total timeline went like this. Got them stuffed and ready to hang dry at about 1:00 PM and then onto the rack to air dry for about 30 min with a box fan on low blowing on them. Into the smoker at 2:00 PM at 130* for an hour and a half. Bumped the temp up to 165* at 3:30 PM and added maple smoke with the AMNS. Probed with the thermometer at about 5:00 PM and let them go until they hit 152* at around 10:00 PM. Pulled them out and into an ice bath to cool off and stop the cook and then onto the rack to bloom for about 45 more minutes, then into the fridge till morning. It was a long day, but with football, beer, and some good friends, it was a good time. Did a taste test Monday morning for breakfast and was very happy. Got it all vacuum sealed and in the freezer.
Thanks again for all of the advice guys.
Oh, and whenever I do a longer smoke and my buddies are over, we tend to spend our time drinking beer and shooting guns. It was drizzling outside, so we couldn't shoot clay pigeons, so we plinked at cans and other items with a couple of pistols and a .22 rifle from the patio under the porch. This is what a sparkler looks like when hit with a .22. lol
The results after being hit twice