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Fermento substitute


Fire Starter
Joined Jan 11, 2006
Anyone who is familiar with the Sausage Maker and their catalog knows about a product they sell called Fermento. It creates the tartness in home made beef or venison sticks which makes the flavor similar to a Slim Jim. So call me cheap or an overly frugal Yankee but I really have a hard time having to pay 3 dollars handling charge then a 15 dollar shipping charge for a product that only cost 12 dollars and change to begin with! Does anyone of you know of a decent substitute for this product, something that maybe can be purchased in a local market or the paint dept. of the local neighborhood hardware store or someplace like that? ;-)


Legendary Pitmaster
Joined Nov 18, 2006
A fine gentleman whom I have been following for quite some time has done a lot of research on the fermento vs citric acid arguements.

He claims fermento is nothing more than buttermilk powder which can be bought in a small tub from a grocery store.

This giy is no idiot he makes his own beer, cheese, and sausage many of which use citric acid.

For dry and semi dry sausages you should always use a starter culture to get that authentic "tang." You can use encapsulated citric acid for dry and semi dry sausages and if you search you can even find encapsulated lactic acid. Lactic acid is the thing that naturally gives sausages that tang we crave. Lactic acid produced by the fermentation provides the sausage with an additional weapon against spoilage.

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Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 27, 2005
I never thought of that DJ. I use powdered buttermilk all the time making biscuits and even buttermilk pound cakes, but never thought about using it in summer sausage, etc.


Meat Mopper
Joined Apr 30, 2007
Last weekend i made what i would call a "mock" pepperoni style sausage. It basically used lean ground beef and pepperoni spices along with some tenderquick, rolled into a log shape and then was dried in the oven at a low temp for 6-8 hours.

If fermento is in fact merely buttermilk powder, i would be curious to know what this recipe tastes like with the traditional tangy flavor.

The sausage was ok, but the lean meat and 200 degree oven temp renders the remaining fat out leaving a pretty dry sausage. I did dry it in the smoker though to get real smoke flavor instead of the liquid smoke the recipe called for.

Maybe with some buttermilk powder, fattier beef and some long cool smoke you could get a pepperoni-in-a-rush-esq sausage!?!

Sorry if my response ends up in a hijack....i have not heard of a fermento substitute though.

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