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First Fermented Sausage Help

SenkaGoliath

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Hi, I'm currently fermenting my first batch of sausage. Its a spanish chorizo following this recipe (x2.5) and using an Umai dry sausage kit. My starter culture is the one from the Umai kit, bactoferm t-spx and I used 1/4 tsp. Its been fermenting for about 24 hours at about 63F and I've taken a pH reading with my deltatrak s2k712, it wouldn't read off just inserting into the meat so I prepared a slurry of 1:2 sausage to RODI water, and its reading 6.0. I calibrated the meter immediately before this test and its accurately reading the 7 and 4 buffer solutions. I'm confused because that reading is higher that what would typically be present in raw pork, much less after 24 hours of fermentation. I don't want to throw it all away so I'm going to give it another 12 hours before testing again and making a decision.

How much of a problem is this pH at 24 hours? Was this caused by bad technique? What should I do moving forward?
 

indaswamp

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63*F is a little low...I would bump the temp up a little if you can...about 67*F. Lower temps. slow fermentation down quite a bit. Increasing the temp. 5*F will double the acid production.

Also-what size casing did you use? hog casing?

What is RODI water? Did you check the pH of the water prior to mixing with the meat paste? Mixing the meat paste with that much water will dilute the acid 3 fold...

I am not familiar with that pH meter. Can you get a meat probe for it? A liquid probe is not optimal. You need to use the least amount of water possible for your sample if you use a liquid probe, but it still dilute your sample...
 

indaswamp

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How much of a problem is this pH at 24 hours? Was this caused by bad technique? What should I do moving forward?
You are allowed 1200 degree hours to ferment salami. @63*F, that is only 3 degrees every hour so you have a long time before the sausage would be considered unsafe.

Read this for a better understanding of the degree hours formula:
https://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-types/fermented-sausage/standards

You also changed the starter culture from Flavor of italy to tspx. Did you also increase the total salt from 2.5% to 3.0%? 2.5% is safe with flavor of Italy because it is a fast acting culture. Tspx on the other hand is a slow fermenting culture and 3.0% salt is recommended to use with all slow fermentation cultures. @63*F with tspx, fermentation will take 3 days or more...and it might not drop below 5.3.

Next time, follow the recipe to the letter until you have a better grasp of making salamis....I recommend The Art of Making Fermented Sausages by the Marianski Brothers. Best $20 bucks you will ever spend for your education on making fermented sausages safely.
 

SWFLsmkr1

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Your using the UMAi kit. Why worry about the pH
UMAi is not like traditional salumi making.

T-SPX need between 64*-75*
 

indaswamp

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Great point Rick....the fact he is using umai bags just went right by me.....
 

SenkaGoliath

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Your using the UMAi kit. Why worry about the pH
UMAi is not like traditional salumi making.

T-SPX need between 64*-75*
Is pH not important for food safety even with the umai stuff?
You are allowed 1200 degree hours to ferment salami. @63*F, that is only 3 degrees every hour so you have a long time before the sausage would be considered unsafe.

Read this for a better understanding of the degree hours formula:
https://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-types/fermented-sausage/standards

You also changed the starter culture from Flavor of italy to tspx. Did you also increase the total salt from 2.5% to 3.0%? 2.5% is safe with flavor of Italy because it is a fast acting culture. Tspx on the other hand is a slow fermenting culture and 3.0% salt is recommended to use with all slow fermentation cultures. @63*F with tspx, fermentation will take 3 days or more...and it might not drop below 5.3.

Next time, follow the recipe to the letter until you have a better grasp of making salamis....I recommend The Art of Making Fermented Sausages by the Marianski Brothers. Best $20 bucks you will ever spend for your education on making fermented sausages safely.
The time temp table is super helpful thank you. I hadn't considered that changing the starter would necessitate adjusting the salt.

I did raise temperature to about 68F. Is there cause for concern at this point or should I proceed?
 

indaswamp

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Proper sanitation practices, salt and cure are the only hurdles keeping the meat safe until pH drop occurs. With fast fermentation, the pH drop is significant and fast, so less salt can be used and still be safe. When using a slow fermentation culture, the acid drop is slow and not as low, so a higher salt concentration is recommended. I'll defer to SWFLsmkr1 (Rick) on 2.5% salt with umai bags in the refrigerator as he is more familiar with using them than I am.
 

SWFLsmkr1

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UMAi salumi bags.
The material forms a bond with the proteins on the surface of the meat allowing moisture release and oxygen exchange while blocking odors and contamination. With UMAi Dry you can craft dry aged charcuterie or slow-fermented dry sausage in any well-ventilated cooler or refrigerator without risk of spoilage.

Do not spray mold 600 on the meat before the UMAi bag (meat will spoil)
Use UMAi in your regular household frost free fridge. A cure fridge will produce to much R/H and mold will grow inside the bag causing spoilage, mold on the inside of the UMAi bag will stop the drying process.

UMAi will dry faster than traditional made salumi in a dedicated cure fridge such as inda uses.

I'm not saying dont use your pH meter. If you feel safer by all means use it. But if you puncture the UMAi bag your inviting molds.

Secret to great salami in the UMAi is the 72 hour fermentation with the correct temp for the tspx. If you used a tad more tspx to your mix your fine, it wont hurt you.
 

SenkaGoliath

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UMAi salumi bags.
The material forms a bond with the proteins on the surface of the meat allowing moisture release and oxygen exchange while blocking odors and contamination. With UMAi Dry you can craft dry aged charcuterie or slow-fermented dry sausage in any well-ventilated cooler or refrigerator without risk of spoilage.

Do not spray mold 600 on the meat before the UMAi bag (meat will spoil)
Use UMAi in your regular household frost free fridge. A cure fridge will produce to much R/H and mold will grow inside the bag causing spoilage, mold on the inside of the UMAi bag will stop the drying process.

UMAi will dry faster than traditional made salumi in a dedicated cure fridge such as inda uses.

I'm not saying dont use your pH meter. If you feel safer by all means use it. But if you puncture the UMAi bag your inviting molds.

Secret to great salami in the UMAi is the 72 hour fermentation with the correct temp for the tspx. If you used a tad more tspx to your mix your fine, it wont hurt you.
No casings have been punctured, I have what was left in the stuffer wrapped in cling wrap to test from.

So tentatively move forward?
 

SWFLsmkr1

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Yup

Keep going.
 

SenkaGoliath

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So at 72 real hours I made a meat slurry at 5:1, 5:2, and 1:1 just to make sure my meter was getting a good reading and it's at 5.9. Last night at 60 hours I tested at 5 to 1 slurry and was reading 5.5, which makes me think that this meter is very bad on measuring pH of meat.

I have about 12 more real hours for food safety but I put it in the fridge for now. I have concerns that it hasn't seemed to have acidified that much at all over the entire process so far.
 
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SWFLsmkr1

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Where are you fermenting and what temp?

You will know when its fermenting because the color change and smell.
 

SenkaGoliath

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Where are you fermenting and what temp?

You will know when its fermenting because the color change and smell.
On a rack over a tray with some water at the bottom, while thing covered in cling wrap. It's on my counter, first 24 hours was at 63F and last 48 was at 67-68F.

I cant really see a color change because of all the paprika. The extra meat that I have been sampling from has firmed up a lot like it should, but since this is my first batch I'm not confident identifying smells.
 

SWFLsmkr1

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Your using the UMAi bags. UMAi dont need any humidity during fermenting.

Dont mean to hijack your post but this is what your looking for.

Fermenting
Day 1
day1.JPG


Day 2
day2.JPG


Day 3
day3.JPG
 

SenkaGoliath

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I don't think extra humidity would affect the fermentation process though?

Here's a picture of them right after stuffing. They're very dark already because of the spices. I'll take a picture tonight for comparison when I get home.
20210417_152817.jpg
 

indaswamp

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So at 72 real hours I made a meat slurry at 5:1, 5:2, and 1:1 just to make sure my meter was getting a good reading and it's at 5.9. Last night at 60 hours I tested at 5 to 1 slurry and was reading 5.5, which makes me think that this meter is very bad on measuring pH of meat.

I have about 12 more real hours for food safety but I put it in the fridge for now. I have concerns that it hasn't seemed to have acidified that much at all over the entire process so far.
Did you measure the pH of the water you are using?
 

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