Sous Vide for fermented sausage?

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SUPPORT THE FORUM-- Go Ad-FREE!

zwiller

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Nov 16, 2016
3,588
2,244
Sandusky, OH
That's what I thought but could not find much to confirm. So that rules out the need for 02. Point team SV. I found a study that shows that fermenting meat under vacuum is actually SAFER than not.

I just sent an email to Chr Hansen US who makes the popular cultures...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dave in AZ

Dave in AZ

Meat Mopper
Oct 2, 2022
267
254
Phx, AZ
1.Several fast cultures are optimized for 100 to 115f. So the temp is fine. In fact, the "US style" of fast ferment with strong acidification is recommended by Chr. Hansen for 100-115f.
2. Chr Hansen also recommends removing as much oxygen as possible during the stuff and before ferment, even recommending vacuum stuffers to reduce o2 in the farce. This improves many aspects. Their 36 page manual, Bactoferm Meat Manual vol1, discusses desirability of removing o2 several places.
As indaswamp indaswamp says above, lactic ferment doesnt require o2. Some added flavor and color producing strains do, noted in the bactoferm manual, but chr Hansen goes on to note that sufficient o2 is generally embedded in the farce to allow flavor and color development.

3. Many folks, in fact most Ive seen, wrap their fermenting sausage in oxygen impermeable cling film. Eric at 2guysandaCooler dies this, with a tight seal. So lack of o2 is NOT an issue for short ferments.
4. Botulism in low O2 environment... that is an issue for every sausage, including ones low smoked for hours in normal casings, which is why we use sodium nitrite or nitrate in smoked sausages, or anything with long exposure to danger zone.
5. Sous vide use is on the rise. I've seen it used for fermentation temp control many times now. If you seal in a loose bag with some air/o2 in it, should work fine.
6. Ive got all 3 Marianski books and have read several times, I see no prohibitive comments for air tightness of the fermenting wrap.
7. I talked to chr Hansen, US office, on phone yesterday, two separate customer service. Second one confirmed sealed bag held in water for temp control was fine. They asked me to email their technical department so they could reply in writing to my specific culture requests, which I did.
8. I am awaiting written email reply from chr Hansen confirming our conversation.

In any case, short fast ferment using US style at 100 to 115f and appropriate culture, with nitrite or nitrate, using sealed bag and SV to hold temp, I would do and see no issues.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zwiller

Dave in AZ

Meat Mopper
Oct 2, 2022
267
254
Phx, AZ
Received a call back from Chr Hansen technical account manager Rachel today. We talked for 10 min of so, she was very nice. She confirmed that using sous vide and a sealed bag to hold temp for ferments was no issue, and would work well. She also said it was essentially no different from folks using vacuum stuffers commercially then fermenting with o2 absorbers, and that indeed a low o2 environment during ferment was desired to remove certain fat oxidation ferment pathways.

While I initially asked about US style fast ferment like LHP, which she confirmed should be ferment complete in 8 hours or so if held 100f, she extended it and stated the method would be good for long lower temp traditional strains like TSPX also.

Lastly she confirmed that the Bactoferm Meat Manual vol1 was their main guide, but she emailed me additionally their External Mold Manual, and their Whole Muscle Manual which she said discussed the chemical changes happenin nin things like prosciutto. I look forward to reading those!

Not sure if this will be my 1st choice for ferment incubation method, but it definitely IS a useful choice and may be the best one for folks who have a hard time achieving a stable appropriate temperature otherwise.

Thanks to OP for an interesting question that led to a fun enjoyable discussion with an expert in our hobby!
 

Dave in AZ

Meat Mopper
Oct 2, 2022
267
254
Phx, AZ
D Dave in AZ can you post those links for everyone?
What links was that? I have some pdfs she emailed me, plus the bactoferm pdf. Can't recall where I downloaded it, but orobably at the chr hansen website? I download and read probably 10 meat papers or articles a week, usually from google searches.

Just type "bactoferm meat manual" into google search, top 4 returns are manuals vol 1 to 3, and culture charts...
 

bill ace 350

Master of the Pit
Dec 28, 2013
1,695
1,127
Great thread, lots of good information.

Went from an emphatic "don't mess with science, buy the book" to a fact-based discussion.
 

Dave in AZ

Meat Mopper
Oct 2, 2022
267
254
Phx, AZ
That is a good article. The Chr Hansen tech rep told me that some color bacteria strains that are included in their mixes, don't do as well without O2, which is likely why author noted less color during ferment, but she also said that they all recovered fine during 5 or more day drying, which article author also noted.

It may not be optimum for all salami, like slow ferments of Italian styles where strong color and flavor desired. But for fast, acid tang only, products like Taylor pork roll, it is a great method allowing ferment... roll SV temperature up to 155 and cook! ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: bill ace 350

bill ace 350

Master of the Pit
Dec 28, 2013
1,695
1,127
That is a good article. The Chr Hansen tech rep told me that some color bacteria strains that are included in their mixes, don't do as well without O2, which is likely why author noted less color during ferment, but she also said that they all recovered fine during 5 or more day drying, which article author also noted.

It may not be optimum for all salami, like slow ferments of Italian styles where strong color and flavor desired. But for fast, acid tang only, products like Taylor pork roll, it is a great method allowing ferment... roll SV temperature up to 155 and cook! ;)

Pork Roll is definitely what i will try this method on.

I will stuff in cloth casings, put in ziploc bags, remove air through submersion and take it from there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dave in AZ

Latest posts

Hot Threads