Fermento/Buttermilk Questions

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by checkerfred, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    I'm trying to make some venison summer sausage from Rytek's book...I tried a small test batch the other night....it calls for Fermento.....I've been reading about it on here and have a few questions.

    First off, does this stuff work by actually going through a fermentation process? I haven't been able to find a definite answer on this...I even called sausagemaker.com and they didn't know

    The reason I ask is because in Nepas's thread on smokies here:http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/110217/smokies

    he uses cultured buttermilk (liquid) and refrigerates overnight...says to let the lactic acid work....then Rytek's recipe for Sausage Snack Sticks, he holds them in the smoker at 90-110* for 8 hrs and says for more tang, hold for 12 hours.  But the summer sausage recipe, he just holds at room temp for 4-5 hours.

    Last, is cultured buttermilk powder the same thing?  I read it was but it didn't work the first time I tried it.  The ingredients look like what is in Fermento.
  2. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    Fermento/cultured butter milk are used IN PLACE of the fermentation process.

    They are products that look to replicate the 'tang' or taste fermentation has on aged sausage.

    Fermento is a dairy-base product.
  3. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    Thanks Cougar!
  4. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sorry I can't help but I am interested in the sausage you are making!!  Look forward to see some qview!!  I was hoping to try out Nepas from the same post.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  5. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    You could also try using encapsulated citric acid to get the tang.
  6. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    I have some on the way so will try it when it comes in....will post some qview when done!
  7. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Fermento is on the same lines as powdered buttermilk you can buy in the stores. Fermento will not give you the really tangy taste you find in store bough slim jims because it does not lower the ph enough like ECA or the BactoFerms do. Fermento and ECA will let you mix stuff smoke right away as the BactoFerms will require time to reduce the ph level in the meat thus creating the tang which work with the corn syrup solids.

    Liquid Buttermilk has the lactic acid in it already and will work fairly quick with just an overnight stay in the fridge. If you dont have any of the BactoFerms just go to the store and get some buttermilk. Really you wont taste the dairy in your sticks.

    NOTE: Using to much Fermento and ECA will make your mix mushy and not worth smoking.

    ECA has a small capsule of maltodexrine around the CA. The capsule melts away at 135* to release the CA into the meat thus lowering the ph.

    So if you really want the super TANG you need to use BacotFerms which will require dextrose or sucrose. The more of these two you use the sharper the TANG which is a ph of 6.5 to 7.0

    Ok back to my corner now. Sorry for any typo's
  8. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    Thanks Nepas...I bought some Saco cultured buttermilk powder at walmart and have used 5% of a 2.5 lb batch of summer sausage...I think I figured about 7 TB worth of the powder....Ryteks conversion was 1oz = 4 TB...I calculated that 5% of 2.5 lbs of meat would be 2oz, or 8TB, and I used 7 just to be safe and not get the mush

    His venison summer sausage recipe calls for holding at room temp for about 4-5 hours which is what I have going on now.  Only thing that concerns me is that I fried a test patty from the leftover, and it didn't have a tangy taste at all....I could almost taste a milk like taste in it too.....the package says it has lactic acid in it....should I go the liquid route?

    Also, do I need to hold it in the fridge instead of at room temp?  I'm still kind of confused since everything I read says what you said above about being able to stuff and smoke right away...but you held yours overnight?  Hopefully I'll get some tang

    I have some Bactoferm LHP coming as well....My oven with light on ranges from 95-108 and I can add a wet towel soaked in white vinegar and get a humidity of about 80-90% so I can ferment in there
  9. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    I think you will find using cultured buttermilk from a carton will actually give you MORE tang than the dry powdered buttermilk sold for baking. The liquid buttermilk has more active lactic acid. Try mixing about a half cup of cultured buttermilk to 5 pounds of meat and let it sit in the fridge a few days so it can do it's thing with the spices. If you have to use the powdered form of buttermilk add water and let it sit for a few days so the lactic acid will more more active then add it to the sausage.

    PS If you have access to raw milk you can also put a few cups in a clean sterile jar and let it sit lightly covered for a few days to acidify. Yogurt will also add lactic acid to your sausage a few teaspoons in a cup of raw milk will multiply like crazy in just a few days.
  10. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    Thanks Debi!  I will try the liquid next time....I made some summer sausage using the powder, and I let the powder sit for an hour, then stuffed my sausages and held at room temp for 6 hours.....they had just a very slight hint of tang....not enough for me though

    When you use the liquid, do you add the spices/cure after you've held the meat and buttermilk for a few days or before?  If before, I've seen where lots of people say that the meat mixture sets up like cement making it hard to stuff, so what do you do for that?

    I've heard of using yogurt but I don't have access to raw milk...is there anything else I can add it to? 

    Have you ever tried acidophilus?  I've seen where some people use it and it's readily available at health food stores.
  11. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    You can add the spices to the buttermilk if you want and mix them up and stuff it right away - just don't cook or smoke the meat for a few days. You will never get a pepperoni that tastes as tangy as the store or deli stuff with a simple lactic acid - for that you need to dry cure/ ferment. Oddly enough the flavor is there when used for cooking in things like stews and soups but not when you bite into it. There's more to a good pepperoni than just the tang, the texture and dryness, and .firmness of the meat plays a key role. Cooking just can't do it. Sorry.

    I don't know where you are from but if you have cold winters and a cold attic or basement you can ferment sausages there. I use my oven for the first 24 hours then an unheated room the the remaining few weeks/months for aging meats.

    I have never used acidophilus. I have heard it said that it is as good as fermento which I don't like so I never invested the $$$ on it. I actually only bought fermento do do a side by side comparison between it, citric acid, cultured buttermilk (real buttermilk) and home made yogurt. They were all very very close.
  12. checkerfred

    checkerfred Smoke Blower

    Thanks Debbie! 

    I live in North-Central Alabama so we don't really have harsh winters.  Our winters are usually around 30-35 deg....sometimes the temps drop in the teens and 20's but not for a real long time.  I can ferment in my oven but will prob have to make a curing chamber to dry cure in.....my inlaws do have a basement so I may have to test the temp/humidity this winter
  13. jhend

    jhend Smoke Blower


    "You will never get a pepperoni that tastes as tangy as the store or deli stuff with a simple lactic acid - for that you need to dry cure/ ferment."

    Is the dry cure/ ferment an uncooked process ie raw hung to dry loosing 30% of raw weight?

    Thanks John

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