Now to wrap this post up!
I tried again with the sheep casings, this time with a full three days of soaking. One problem that I had was that the casings (TSM) were in a gordian knot! Even three days of soaking doesn't do much good if no water can get to the inside of the knot! I spent hours untangling that mess and still had to cut three casings to final get everything free. They've soaked an additional three days and some are still very skinny and may not be usable.
The first two casings that I stuffed were horribly inconsistent with regard to the amount of meat/thickness. This had to do with how tight the casings were on the stuffing tube. When I was struggling to put the third casing on the tube, I had an epiphany - I used a spare stuffing tube as a funnel and poured a small amount of olive oil through the casing. Then it slid on to the tube quite easily and the casing slipped off the tube smoothly as I was stuffing them. I was able to achieve a much higher consistency.
The casings were far more flexible and I had no difficulty linking them.
I put them all in the sous vide bath (without bags, which was a problem - the circulator clogged up a couple times). The nicer looking links I vacuum sealed after the sous vide. The inconsistent ones I smoked. I didn't get as much smoke as I'd like because my darned biscuit feeder doesn't always drop the biscuit down far enough to get pushed into the chamber. I'm going to have to contact Bradley about this...
The smoked links are on the right. Not much color, but I had to go out for the evening so it was what it was...
Here's a closeup...
Summary & lessons learned...
* The Korean-style and the jalapeño/cheddar were VERY good and I will definitely do them again!
* I liked the SW style, but didn't love it. I might mess with that recipe a bit.
* I doubt that I will bother smoking the breakfast sausage in the future. I could've used a bit more sage in that and maybe some heat - they were a bit dull.
* I don't think that I will sous vide without bags anymore - too much frothy stuff comes out of the sausages.
* I definitely will soak my sheep casings for at least three days. (And I don't think I'll buy them from TSM ever again...)
Thanks for joining me on this ride!