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New Iberico Batch

indaswamp

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Could be a failed fermentation....or a very slow fermentation. It can happen....and many things can cause it. If you mix the starter culture too soon after adding the salt, the pockets of high salt can kill off some of the culture. If that particular pig still had some antibiotics in it, that can affect the culture. There are numerous other reasons why a failed fermentation can occur....

If you leave the culture in the hydration water too long prior to mixing into the meat, that can affect the microbes too. 20 minutes tops from hydration to mixing is recommended.

If you used a different salt- impurities in the salt can kill off the culture......
 

SCBBQ

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So I grind the meat and add the salt and cure the night before and put it in the walk in fridge. Next day I add the other stuff and usually the culture and water aren’t more than 20-30 min tops . It’s just such a small amount of culture , I don’t think I’m giving myself any wiggle room re getting it perfectly distributed .

Appreciate the feedback, I’ll check it again tomorrow .

Any idea how long this could conceivably be left out before moving to the chamber ? Not sure it would help anyways at this point..
 

SCBBQ

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Oh and bought the big tub of salt from the sausage maker and used for the first time so hopefully that wasn’t the cause...
 

Mmmm Meat

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So I grind the meat and add the salt and cure the night before and put it in the walk in fridge. Next day I add the other stuff and usually the culture and water aren’t more than 20-30 min tops . It’s just such a small amount of culture , I don’t think I’m giving myself any wiggle room re getting it perfectly distributed .

Appreciate the feedback, I’ll check it again tomorrow .

Any idea how long this could conceivably be left out before moving to the chamber ? Not sure it would help anyways at this point..
If you're re-mixing the meat on day two with spices and culture at that time I think you would get adequate distribution of the culture - at least if you're using mechanical mixing. Mixing by hand might be a little more dicey ensuring adequate distribution.

I'm curious why you grind and mix salt and cure the evening before and then finish with spices and culture in the morning. I'm not saying it's wrong, but I don't see any advantage. I'm guessing that it is done around a work schedule, which would then make perfect sense. I'm still learning, so I'm always looking for different or better ways to do things. What makes more sense to me would be to grind, add cure, culture, and spices in the evening then salt the next day. That eliminates the possibility of salt affecting the culture early on. Even with the refrigeration, the culture will already be well distributed and starting to work on the sugars well before the salt is added. In bread making, such as using sourdough starter or use of a biga or sponge, lactobacillus and yeasts do very well at slowly multiplying at temperatures just above freezing. I presume that these lactic acid producing bugs when in meat do exactly the same.

Regarding the question about how long it could be left out before going into the chamber - that is when my heart sunk a bit this afternoon when I checked that out. At 75 degrees, I believe the number was 80 hours max. You weren't at 75 degrees the entire time so it is a bit more than that, but if you went 96 hours, then I think you should calculate it yourself. Page 113 is the start of the discussion in "The Art of...". Discussions of variable temperature fermentation for US standards and Canadian standards are included as well. I would get the chubs cooled asap then do the numbers to see where you ended up. Also, don't miss the discussion of "Disposition of lots which have not met degree-hour limits" on page 118. Enterotoxin is bad juju.

Edit #16 =/- Pg. 237 of Marianski Bros. - troubleshooting provides an extended list of possible reasons why insufficient acidification occurred. Invaluable for situations such as yours. Good luck!
 
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SCBBQ

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Putting in fridge overnight - According to what I read it helps develop myosin which helps create a better bind when you stuff it..
 

indaswamp

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Oh and bought the big tub of salt from the sausage maker and used for the first time so hopefully that wasn’t the cause...
I have not used sausagemaker salt. I do not know where they source it from. Is it a sea salt or mined salt? I always use pure sea salt when I make salami.

As far as fermentation times, look up degree hours formula in the Marianski book..the yellow one.

Max. degree hours is 1200...
Take your ferment temp and subtract 60 from it. that is 1 degree hour. Multiply that number by how many hours you ferment and it should stay below 1200.

So for 70*F, that is 10 degree hours per hour. 1200 / 10 is 120 hours you can safely ferment at that temp.

If you bump the temp up, figure out degree hours at both temps and add them together....
 

SCBBQ

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It’s in the cooler as of first thing this morning - I’ll check PH sometime end of day again.

Thanks again for all the feedback and help.
 

Mmmm Meat

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Putting in fridge overnight - According to what I read it helps develop myosin which helps create a better bind when you stuff it..
I see that statement here: https://honest-food.net/basic-salami-recipe/ Sounds reasonable.
My understanding (though it may be wrong) is that the salt in contact with the meat begins to denature the proteins freeing up (or developing) myosin. In this recipe - he does not grind the night before but instead only dices the meat (and fat), adds the salt and puts in the fridge. I don't think grinding the night before is an issue, especially if you work very clean and add cure at that point as well.

I'm pretty sure that at some point in one of his videos, he states that the mixing process after the grind is what develops the myosin and actin. Whatever the case, I think the way you're processing the meat is fine. I don't think that was the source of your stuck fermentation.
 

Mmmm Meat

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Thanks for the explanation..
That explanation was more for me than for you.... (and anybody else interested enough to read it). I know you have reasons for doing what you do. I have no desire to change your processes. It does seem to me that you might possibly still have a fermentation problem that needs examination. Maybe not. How to decide? Hope that Iberico turns out OK.
 
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SCBBQ

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Well, here's the PH in the tester as of today.. A week later and 3 days after putting in the 55 degree chamber.



IMG_2781.jpg
 

Mmmm Meat

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Perfect. The next test will be when it's time to cut one open.

Really weird how long the lag phase was before the pH started to drop. Hard to explain - one can only postulate as to the cause. Assuming that you used at least a 1/2 tsp of culture/10 lbs meat ( I didn't do the calculations recommended for your culture but it appears to be twice that of T-SPX), then it makes me guess that somehow you had low numbers of vital starter bacteria in the culture. The lower than normal number of live bugs that were inoculated into the meat would then take much longer (several days) to multiply to the point that they had sufficient numbers to really get the pH dropping.

If it were me, I think I would grind just a pound or so of meat and inoculate it with a proportionally lower (but adequate) amount of starter, then check the pH on that test mix for the next few days. I believe that if it is a problem with the starter, then the problem will repeat itself. (as always, ignore any and all if this as you wish)
 

SCBBQ

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It's interesting - in reflection I think I was too stingy on the culture this time - I don't think I put half a teaspoon in the batch.
In times past I just put a lot more than prescribed but there appears to be conflicting opinions on the subject - Indy quotes some wisdom that you can use too much, the article you supplied a link to says you can't put too much. I believe a shortage of culture was the culprit and it just took time to get through all the sugar and drop the PH.
 

indaswamp

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It's interesting - in reflection I think I was too stingy on the culture this time - I don't think I put half a teaspoon in the batch.
In times past I just put a lot more than prescribed but there appears to be conflicting opinions on the subject - Indy quotes some wisdom that you can use too much, the article you supplied a link to says you can't put too much. I believe a shortage of culture was the culprit and it just took time to get through all the sugar and drop the PH.
Glad to see that your pH in that batch finally dropped. <thumbs up>

In the future, I highly suggest you buy scale accurate to 0.01 grams that will weigh up to about 500 grams. Take all the guess work out of it and weigh the culture....and spices...

and as mentioned, there are many variables that can affect the speed of fermentation of a culture. Max. mL of wine (50mL)nwill introduce max. alcohol and some cultures are sensitive to ethyl alcohol. This will slow culture growth too...
 
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Mmmm Meat

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It's interesting - in reflection I think I was too stingy on the culture this time - I don't think I put half a teaspoon in the batch.
In times past I just put a lot more than prescribed but there appears to be conflicting opinions on the subject - Indy quotes some wisdom that you can use too much, the article you supplied a link to says you can't put too much. I believe a shortage of culture was the culprit and it just took time to get through all the sugar and drop the PH.
After reading all that, I think I agree with your original thinking - too much can't hurt. Lack of sugar to metabolize or a low pH inhibiting further metabolism must all end up in pretty much the same spot - somewhere between pH 5.0 - pH 4.6 or so if allowed to run to completion. The amount of starter is just one variable in the mix that affects the speed at which that occurs (I believe ). The cheapskate in me always tries to maximize the use of consumables that go into this sport. Sometimes it's just better to throw a bit more money at it and make sure that everything goes in the desired manner.
Enjoy your Sunday evening.
 

SCBBQ

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Thanks - probably some wisdom in making sure I do have a great scale - I’ve got 3 scales but not sure off band how many decimal points they go to.. and probably a little over is ok - but I was using 12 grams per 20 pound batch in the past - half of one of those packets- probably overkill .

Last, ordered another 10 pounds from white pastures farms for next weekend so let the fun continue !

Would love to try a killer pepperoni recipe - I’ve got tons of fennel and fennel pollen left and some encapsulated citric acid if it makes sense to use .
 

indaswamp

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Would love to try a killer pepperoni recipe - I’ve got tons of fennel and fennel pollen left and some encapsulated citric acid if it makes sense to use .
The recipe for dry cured pepperoni in the yellow Marianski book is awesome! No need for the ECA though...
 

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