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Interesting Twist - Summer Sausage

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I finally decided to try a sample log of summer sausage and have done a lot of reading about how to get that "tang" we all want. I didn't want to wait for mail order to receive either the Bactoform or Fermento or Encapsulated citric acid so decided to take a couple of people's advice and use cultured buttermilk powder. I'm making a 3 LB stick, so used 1.5 ounces. As I was preparing my cure/spice slurry, I realized that I didn't have any non-chlorinated water. All I could come up with was a bottle of O'Doule's Amber, so in went a half cup. After I ground the lean and fat and turned to get the slurry to mix in, lo and behold the thing was foamy and working hard. I'd read some folks say that powdered buttermilk would only flavor the sausage, but I swear this thing was active. My plan was to space this process out over 4 days - grind/mix, rest in fridge overnight. Grind finer, rest in fridge overnight. Stuff, rest in fridge overnight then smoke until done. I'll let you know if I can get enough cultures to make a good tang. Anyone else try this type of cycle with the same ingredients?
post #2 of 13
Sounds like an interesting twist. Did you take any pics of the process so far? You know, we like picsbiggrin.gif.
Keep us updated. I will be following your progress on this one.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Still low tech

No, I'm sorry that I didn't yet. I'll try to get on the ball and get some photos.
BTW, I'm fiddling with the idea of letting the stuffed sausage hang in a cool part of the basement instead of the fridge that last night. With cure in it, I can't imagine that 70 degree temp would hurt it. What say you?
post #4 of 13
Personally, I'd refrigerate it if it's not yet cooked.

Just my .02
post #5 of 13
I'm with Jerry on this one too. I wouldn't take a chance with something happening. There are just some things you cann't mess with. But i do want to see the end of the story too. Keep the Qview cause you know:
"We Are The Kids and You Have The Candy"
post #6 of 13
Holy moley your basement is 70°? The process sounds interesting but I personally would keep it in a cooler climate. I'll be looking forward to your final results
post #7 of 13
Gotta agree, just ta be on the safe side, I'd keep it under 42° cause the cure ain't gonna cure allPDT_Armataz_01_12.gif. It will develope it's flavours just fine in the ice box.

There are some drycured salamies an such, but they use a different cure then what ya use fer summer sausage.
post #8 of 13
I'd keep it cool too. Even without the buttermilk, it should be at refrigerator temps til smoking time. I've heard of using regular buttermilk for this effect. Sounds interesting. I'm anxious to hear how it turns out.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Tail between my legs!

Back with an update - I have to admit that my experiment may have been a dud! The first grind went great, but the second grind Thursday night after the mix rested for 24 hours in the fridge was less so. For some reason, the fat/sinews totally clogged up my plates. I finally managed the regrind, but not with a smaller plate as I'd intended. 5/8" plate used for both grinds. On Friday I mixed a slurry of 1/3 C beer, 2 TBSP buttermilk powder and a TBSP of hot sauce to smooth the flow of meat through the stuffer. It was no longer a deep red color but had turned to a light brown. That didn't bother me too much, as we'll see what it looks like after smoking. The consistency was not what I wanted, as it varied from the acceptably coarse to almost an emulsion. Probably, my .2 horse grinder/stuffer isn't up to that job. Battery problems have limited a photo so far, but I'll load a couple of the sausages in the smoker today as well as the finished product. I am disappointed, though.
Resolutions: One grind only, with a fine grind on the fat and a 3/8" on the lean. Grind, mix and stuff the same day, then hold for as long as I like in the fridge. The jury is out until the tasting, but buttermilk powder will not give me the hearty tang I'm seeking. Buy Bactoferm and set up a fermentation chamber if I want real summer sausage.
This sausage will probably taste OK, but I'm really doubtful that it can be called summer sausage. Live and learn, I humbly submit.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Update - Photos

My sausage is finished. It turned out to be a very nice lean and tender smoked beef sausage - but definitely NOT summer sausage. Smoked in my MES for 10 hours with my special blend of apple, maple, oak and hickory.
post #11 of 13
best of luck on that, ive been stuck on 140* it for the last three hours. shooting for 154* might be a long night.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Dave, I finally hit 154 after 10 hours of smoke, almost on the dot!
post #13 of 13
14 hrs for me,man the 140 to 154 takes forever.
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