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what kind of sausage? cured cooked (hillshire farms), uncured raw (johnsonville brats), cured raw (Home made). The sausage temp should not go over 160. At 160 it is fully cooked. Sounds like your over cooking it and having fat out. When the fat is removed the sausage cools and shrinks. Need more info on what kind to answer directly
Uncured raw sausage (fresh) can be hot smoked at 180 degrees (smoker temp) or more. Closer to 180 will achieve a longer smoke time. At 180 the sausage will reach 140 degrees in 4 hrs (40 to 140 rule) for food safety with raw ground uncured pork.
If your smoker is running hotter to cook the brisket and butts I would pull the sausage off when they get to 160 degres in the smoker then serve and skip the beer and onion bath. If they get the beer and onion bath they will lose what smoke flavor you attained from hot smoking in the smoker. If you dont care to add smoke flavor to the sausage and are just trying to cook the sausage I would cook them to around 130 degrees then flash poach them in the beer and onions and take them to 160 tops. You dont want fat out........
My 2 coins