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Bacon newbie...some late advice please! - Page 2

post #21 of 36
Thread Starter 

I've created an online calculator.  It's in debugging stages right now, and is programmed with the following information:

ppm = 120 equilibrium wet cure, 200 dry cure

volume of brine set at 500ml for wet cure

shows sweetness adjustment factor for a variety of sweeteners

the salt content in Insta Cure #1 is part of the salt basis, you add only the additional salt needed "Add kosher salt"

HOT TOPIC:  my research indicated that the rind does not absorb a significant amount of nitrite, so the rind is removed from calculations for brine.  If there is scientific evidence to the contrary, please point me to it!

 

For those with their own favorite calculators or spreadsheets or recipes, please take a few moments and run a test case or two.  If you find a variation, error, or bug, please let me know.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

http://mwc.mynetadmin.net/bacon.php

post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by vikkip View Post

I've created an online calculator.  It's in debugging stages right now, and is programmed with the following information:
ppm = 120 equilibrium wet cure, 200 dry cure
volume of brine set at 500ml for wet cure
shows sweetness adjustment factor for a variety of sweeteners
the salt content in Insta Cure #1 is part of the salt basis, you add only the additional salt needed "Add kosher salt"
HOT TOPIC:  my research indicated that the rind does not absorb a significant amount of nitrite, so the rind is removed from calculations for brine.  If there is scientific evidence to the contrary, please point me to it!

For those with their own favorite calculators or spreadsheets or recipes, please take a few moments and run a test case or two.  If you find a variation, error, or bug, please let me know.

Thanks in advance!

http://mwc.mynetadmin.net/bacon.php


For the bacon rind, subtract 10% of the weight of the belly... that's the FDA recommended amount....
post #23 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Dave.  I found that as well and accounted for that in the calculations.

 

Some of the fields showing now are for debugging purposes and will not appear in the final release.

post #24 of 36

Hi Vikkip - It is looking good and straightforward to use. You may want to add an option for selecting different strength cure mixes. You may also want to show underneath the formulas that you use for your calculations so that people do not have to blindly accept figures that appear in boxes.

 

The one I use is one I created in Excel. I will forward it to you in pm as you may find it of interest.

post #25 of 36

I would also be interested in seeing a "%nitrite in cure" I realize 6.25 is the norm, but all areas may not  have easy access to a standard mix. Just thinking out loud.

 

I like the simplicity of your setup.

post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bladebuilder View Post
 

I would also be interested in seeing a "%nitrite in cure" I realize 6.25 is the norm, but all areas may not  have easy access to a standard mix.

 

That was what I was getting at too. Not all cures you can buy are the same. Being able to specify the % Nitrite in cure (up to 100%) would make it very flexible - even if it did default to 6.25%. If it gets expanded to beyond just bacon and include Nitrate as well then that flexibility would be useful.

post #27 of 36
Thread Starter 

I would like do a revision and include Nitrates (the Hamulator?).  It would probably be a good idea to indicate minimum cure time when nitrate is selected, for safety.

 

As for cure nitrite/nitrate percentage, I wanted to do that but figured leaving it entirely open as a user entered field might lead to errors, and would certainly make it more complex.  Using a blended cure such as Insta Cure #2 with consistent percentages is much easier.  I'm not a programmer, this was my first attempt at a functional PHP application.  

 

It will be easy enough to modify the nitrites to a user entered with a default value, and also a great idea to document the calculations.  Thanks!

post #28 of 36
Thread Starter 

Baconator 2 is done, it allows for any percentage of nitrite in cure, and defaults to 6.25%.

 

I need to find someone knowledgeable in PHP to add form validation to make all fields required, and to set valid limits such as percentage of nitrite = 0-100.  But I think the functionality is pretty solid now, please test again.

post #29 of 36

The cure calculation looks right however I think the salt calculation may need looking at. When selecting 2.5% salt for a dry cure with no skin the calculation ends up giving you 4.5% salt.

 

for 1 Kg of pork it is saying that you need 41.8 g Salt + 3.2 g of cure = 45 g in total = 4.5%

 

 

A couple of other suggestions - sorry... I run an IT department as my day job and often have to give feedback to my developers :biggrin:

 

  • It does not tell you the Ppm that it is calculating or give you any place where this can be varied - we tend to have our own preferred Ppms and it varies from the USA to Europe. The ability to specify/override the Ppm would be good but you could make it initially default to a standard value.
  • You may want to dynamically substitute values in the calculation description below the table
    e.g.
    Add kosher salt:
    ((Weight of meat + water) * selected salt percentage) - salt contribution of cure.
    ((1000 + 0) * .025) - 3.2 = 15.4
  • From testing your form it is annoying that whenever you click "calculate" it resets all of the above form values.

 

These are just picky points though. Great work so far.


Edited by Wade - 12/31/14 at 1:43am
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by vikkip View Post

 

I need to find someone knowledgeable in PHP to add form validation to make all fields required

 

This may help http://www.toves.org/books/php/ch12-regex/

post #31 of 36
Thread Starter 
Great catches, all, thanks!

I tried form validation, several methods, several times. But as the form and script are on the same page, I seem to be having a challenge not blowing up the program, which I have done a coup,e hundred times by way of forgotten semicolon or misplaced curly bracket or missing closing parenthesis. I just can't seem to get isset() and isempty() to do what I expect them to.

The salt calc I will fix immediately, and I will comment out the variable resets that clear the values..

If I do change the ppm I will revise the description. For this one, to ensure a safe product, I would prefer a drop down box that would also describe the regulation source, like "FDA wet cure bacon - 2001" or "EU dry cure bacon - 2012". If anyone would care to share, I would be happy to oblige!
post #32 of 36
Thread Starter 

updated for user-input nitrites.  With this format, adding a second field for nitrates would be relatively easy.

 

Please validate, it gets to where I can't see the forest for the trees.

post #33 of 36
Thread Starter 

next rev ready for testing.

 

I find that if I don't reset the values to zero, the next calculation will retain unwanted values (such as if the type of cure is changed, if the new cure has no nitrates, the old cure's nitrates will hold over).

post #34 of 36
Thread Starter 

Okay...an entirely new version of "Baconator" is available.  After debugging, it should be valid for all whole-muscle curing.

 

One factor that I am not sure on is a working ratio of brine for wet curing.  I know that a smaller amount of water, yet enough to allow for salts and sugars to be fully dissolved, will provide a quicker cure and less chance of spoilage.  In order to accommodate pieces like belly and butt, I've selected an arbitrary number (30%) of meat weight.  I look to the more experienced members of this group to review your recipes where you have used a measured amount of water to make a brine, and share the results.

 

The output is now suitable for printing, although it rolls over to a second page with the outputs.  I'll work on that...

 

The library of commercial cures is ready for expansion.  If you have one not in this table and would like it added, please send a link to the manufacturer's published formula and I will be glad to add it.  This program uses the cure's nitrite, nitrate, salt and sugar content.  And you can use your own favorite cure recipe by entering the information in "Other".

 

Right now, it needs crowd-sourced help to ensure that the formulas work under all circumstances.

 

http://mwc.mynetadmin.net/bacon.php

 

post #35 of 36

A quick initial check - I think you have not subtracted the weight of the curing salt from the weight of added salt. For 2.5% salt you are showing to add 25 g of salt plus 3.2 g of cure which would give you a final salt concentration of 28.2%

post #36 of 36
Thread Starter 

I had a circular reference to resolve, thanks!  The number of variables is getting out of hand.  :-)

 

I think that everything is good now, I added two fields to simplify debugging.

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