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Tried My Summer Sausage Tonite And.....

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Its a definate improvement from my past works lol!!! That being said it still lacks the tang i wanted and i added citrc acid as recommended.The water bath took care of most of the shrinkage ,adding the binder made a big improvement much more moist and nice texture.Using the pork belly helped give it a nice white flecked appearance which i like.One thing i did notice kinda curious right after i water bathed it i sampled it while it was still warm the warm sausage had the tang but the one i am eating tonite doesnt seem as tangy it is cold tho ? perhaps i didnt mix well enuff but i am pretty sure i did .Any thoughts???Overall i am pleased tho the sausage does have some tang not just as much as i wanted.
post #2 of 28
I like the tang too Dave, I will watch your post to see what comes up. I did add buttermilk to my last sausage, that is very good, but I could use more tang too. smile.gif
post #3 of 28
I use the Hi Mountain summer sausage kits and they are real good. To kick it up some I add fresh cracked black pepper to the mix. I have added some red pepper flakes in the past also. This year I think I'm going with red pepper flakes in half the batch.
post #4 of 28
terry you beat me to it......i was going to mention buttermilk.........

but will be following this thread closely.......this is my next foray into the unkown
post #5 of 28
If your summersausage lacks the expected tang (or sourness) and you have added citric acid, try Lactic Acid or Meta-Phosphoric Acid.

The reason is this: while it is a fundamental property of acids to taste sour, different acids have different flavor profiles. The naturally occurring fermentation that would occur favors/produces Lactic Acid.

I can't tell you how much to add because I don't add the stuff.

Another option is to seed the meat with a lactid acid producing culture. That would mean leaving it to cure for 4 or 5 days at a little warmer temperature than one uses with fast cures. It would also mean using a cure that had at least some Salt Petre (Potassium Nitrate) in it. Morton's TenderQuick has both nitrate and nitrite in it and can be used, as can the correct version of Prague Powder(#2) or Instacure(#2), or a mixture of both. It is a matter of science. Fermenting this way produces an elegant product, but is more art than science and good results are sometimes not as easily come by as when using the fast cures. (That's why I use the mixture products).

BTW, it is not necessary to seed the meat with culture, either, as the meat contains naturally occurring bacteria that will accomplish this action. However, it is a little more touch-and-go to get reliable results. One can add a product like Fermento that feeds the naturally occurring bacteria to get things off to a good start on a slow cure.
post #6 of 28
Nailed the way to get what you are looking for with sausage. Grinding, mixing and procedure are all important. But giving it all takes time to settle in is as important. I tend to rush it myself wanting to be done; but practice and patience will bring you a better product.

Take your time with sausage; it is just waiting there for you. You might as well take your time and make it right. (Wish I could follow that philosophy.....)
post #7 of 28
Give it a week and it may get better.
post #8 of 28
When I used to make summer sausage professionally, we always used a lactic acid starter culture. It was freeze dried, and very concentrated. It only took about 1/2 tsp. for a 100 pound batch of sausage.

There are a few different types available, from different suppliers. I was researching some, and there are different temp ranges, and time frames, for proper use. Fermento is one, Bactoferm, which comes in several different styles. Others are listed just as lactic acid starter culture. Some are concentrated, some are encapsulated. So there are quite a few factors that need to be addressed when buying some.
post #9 of 28
I'll follow this thread closely as well. I have my very first batch (15#) in the smoker now. For this one I used the High Mountain kit. I have some supplies (cures #1 and #2, Bactoferm starter culture) on order. Next batch will be from scratch, using cure #2 and the starter culture.

Still a bit unsure of the aging process and setting up suitable conditions for humidity and temp, but gonna jump in and see what happens.

Please let us know how your sausage ages.

post #10 of 28
Any sausage that has that real mouth watering tang is a fermented sausage. You can get some tang with the citric acid and buttermilk but to get the real thing you need the real thing. I have tried! Butter milk tastes closer because it is lactic acid but it's still not fermenting.

BTW don't let the word "fermented" scare you - it's just like adding yeast to bread or beer for that matter add a tiny bit of bottled water and stir.

butcher packer sells the sausage cultures. They may look pricey $15 a pack but they go a long way - just keep it in the freezer until you use it and put it back if you don't use it all.

I have complied a good bit of data on this you can find it on my site under Curing and Fermenting Agents in the sausage section.
post #11 of 28
I used to run the summer sausage, overnight, at 98*, for 12 - 14 hours. This gave enough time for the starter culture to kick-in and do it's thing. Now, I smoked it at that point, but remember, with artificial casings, the smoke will not penetrate. So. the smoke is more for external smell, than anything. I point this out, so you won't go wasting alot of good wood, on unnecessary smoking. You're basically cooking it at this point.

In our professional house, I turned the temp up to115*, for an hour, and gave it some smoke at the same time. Then turned it up 10* every hour, until the we reached 155*, then we added in some humidity, to helpkeep things moist. The last temp we had the house at, was 165*. We kept it there until the IT of the sausage was reached. 142* - 145* for all beef product, and 148* - 152*, for items that had pork in them.

At this point we would shower the sausage down, with cold water, for 40 - 50 minutes, or until the IT dropped to 70* - 80*. I know this will be hard for us home smokers, but I remember putting my sausage in tubs, and letting cold water run over them for a while. This helps eliminate the shrinkage afterwards.
post #12 of 28
Do any of you use the fabic (cloth ) bags that the Mennonites use?
They seem to be quite porous ... the pieces I've bought had a real nice smoke flavor.
post #13 of 28
FIns a relatively warm spot and hang the sausage in a boc witha bowl of water in it for a few days - then you can transfer it to a cooler place.
post #14 of 28

Cures & Smoking Meats

I tried smoking some meat, but I couldn't find a large enough pipe!

(Just kidding...that is probably the oldest joke on this site.)

I am just getting into smoking and "charcouterie", and I did want to "chime in" on a safety aspect of the subject...especially since some people may try to avoid nitrite/nitrate cures.

When cold smoking meats, especially ground meats (sausages, etc) a cure must be used to prevent the growth of botulinum bacteria. Also, Cure #2 (Prague #2) is best because that formula will keep the level of cure high enough, for long enough, for its bacteriocidal properties to have a good effect. (Unfortunately, ascorbic acid, citric acid, etc, may preserve color but doesn't protect against botulism.)

R. Kutek, a noted sausage-maker/auther, states in no uncertain terms, "If you don't cure it, don't smoke it."

Sounds like good sense to me as the warm temps of cold smoking, lack of oxygen, the food itself...good way to create delicious, but poisonous products!
post #15 of 28

Wrong Spelling

Sorry...had the author's name wrong in a previous post...and, since his book is so comprehensive and great, it should be corrected:

Correct name is Rytek Kutas. Just died, I think, but his website (sausagemaker.com) and book is still available.

post #16 of 28
olen, kutas is a sausage makers bible........its discussed here ALL the time......
post #17 of 28
My sausage mix (I think it came from the Suasage Maker catalog) doesn't mention letting the mixed meat cure before smoking. It just says mix and smoke. I ordered a curing agent and the seasoning mix. I haven't smoked summer sausage for quite a while so I don't remember if I let the meat set. Do you guys in all cases allow the meat to set overnight to cure?
post #18 of 28
yes...........mossy mo, didn't..........smoked it, sent me samples..........molded in less that a week in the fridge after thawing.......it happend cause he didn't let it sit overnite........i believe he doesn't stuff till the over nite cure.......but others here, stuff......put in fridge overnite......then smoke
post #19 of 28
I'll be sure to do that. The grinder and stuffer are getting cranked up tomorrow.
post #20 of 28
I grind, mix, stuff, let sit at least overnight, then go to the smoker. The Sausage Makers Mixes don't have the greatest instructions. I think they assume you have their book (which truly is a "bible") and all of this is covered in good detail in there. I recommend it highly to anyone beginning making sausages. If you let the sausage sit overnight before stuffing, it will react with the salt, binders, etc. and get very stiff and difficult to stuff.
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