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Texture off on summer sausage again.

buzzy

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Here is a pic of summer sausage I just made with a pic of some of my deer bologna. The ss is spot on flavor wise but crumbles when sliced. Used eca, stuffed & in the smoker. Started at 120 to dry then to 130 with smoke for 4 hrs. Then up 10 degrees every hr until 170. This was a 20# batch. Added 3.4 grams eca per lb plus 2 c. Nfdm with 2 c ice water. Took to 150 for 10 minutes then ice bathed. Hung to dry & bloom in heated garage. Why the crumble.
99C46C5D-3839-4217-A384-CB61F9DC907E.jpeg
 
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JC in GB

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What was your fat to meat ratio?

Did you mix the sausage mass until it was very sticky?

Was your meat partially frozen when you ground it?

JC :emoji_cat:
 

buzzy

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Can’t really say about ratio. 10# butt to 10# venison. Cut up a Boston butt with fat cap. Mixed up real good. Treated it the same as the deer bologna. Some cut up pieces of the meat where partially frozen when ground. Mix in seasoning then in frig overnight. Next morning mixed in nfdm with water. Next mixed in eca. What I did notice is it was really hard to stuff into 2.5” casings.
 
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zwiller

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Largest batch I ever did was 5lbs and man that was a work out to mix. I cannot even imagine doing 20lbs by hand. I would say you'd need a tool to do it properly. That's my vote, not mixed enough. Also, seems like a TINY amount of ECA and not sure how you came up with that figure.
 

johnnyb54

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You probably didn’t have enough protein extraction. How long and how did you mix the farce? Also you might not have enough fat content. I usually go for 25-30% when making summer sausage, snack sticks Lebanon bologna.
 

buzzy

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Largest batch I ever did was 5lbs and man that was a work out to mix. I cannot even imagine doing 20lbs by hand. I would say you'd need a tool to do it properly. That's my vote, not mixed enough. Also, seems like a TINY amount of ECA and not sure how you came up with that figure.
My mistake on eca. It was 3.4 gram/#. Good catch thanks
 

DanMcG

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what percent salt did ya use? I'm also thinking along the same lines as Zwiller and Jonnyb54 and not enough mixing to develop a good bind.
 

zwiller

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My mistake on eca. It was 3.4 gram/#. Good catch thanks
Actually, thank YOU. I have not seen a % weight based figure for ECA. .75%? Did you get that somewhere?
 

daveomak

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Actually, thank YOU. I have not seen a % weight based figure for ECA. .75%? Did you get that somewhere?
From Walton's......
Add encapsulated citric acid to your snack sticks or summer sausage to provide that familiar "tangy" flavor found in many cured and dried sausages. Use 16 ounces per 100 lb of meat or 4 ounces per 25 lb of meat. While using this product will not guarantee shelf stability, it can help lower the pH even lower and be very close to shelf stability. Encapsulated citric acid also can act as a nitrite (cure) accelerator so you do NOT have to hold the product overnight in a cooler or refrigerator.


  • Do NOT regrind once mixed into sausage.
  • Immediately cook or smoke product after stuffing

  • Always wait until the last 60 seconds or so of your mixing cycle to add encapsulated citric acid so you don’t over mix or break the encapsulates, and you just need to mix long enough to evenly disperse
  • During thermal processing, make sure you maintain an internal product temperature of 135° or higher for 1 hour. This will ensure the encapsulate has plenty of time to melt, dissolve, and thus release the citric acid.
  • Use 4 oz per 25 lb of meat for achieving a product with a pH low enough to potentially be shelf-stable. You may use less than 4 oz though if you do not like as strong of a tangy flavor in your cured meats.



4 oz. in 25 #'s = 1% by weight... which may be too tangy for some meat recipes...
Sooo, the 0.75% is a good number....
 
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daveomak

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Did you use a meat mixer and add the ECA and mix in a mixer ??? If you did, that could be the problem.... The capsules may have broke open and started to dissolve the meat before the meat reached ~140F....

Or, the mix wasn't mixed enough BEFORE the ECA was added....
The meat should look like this and be really sticky...

Sticky ground sausage.JPG


.....
 

boykjo

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Hey buzzy,
There are many things that can make sausage crumbly. One question with your results I have is did you make the bologna and the summer sausage side by side or were they made at different times? If they were made at the same time that could narrow it down in your case. Next time try using fresh beef instead of pork when making Summer sausage.
Instead of trying to pinpoint a direct cause I would rather recommend using better methods. Not saying you didn't but here's some tips I recommend for all sausage makers.

1. Use fresh meat. Its best to use meat that was just killed or fresh from the butcher/grocery. If the meat from the grocery expiration is on the last day I would pass. Do not use frozen meat. I know sometimes it cant be helped especially with game meat. The meat should be Bloody and red.
2. Use fresh pork fat or beef fat that's separate. If the meat is not fresh the fat that's on it is not fresh.
3. Use fresh spices. I have used old paprika in andouille and it made the sausage crumbly.
4. Be careful adding ECA and adding water. Water will make the ECA dissolve and make the sausage crumbly, which is what I think happened to you. Next time add fat and omit the NFDM and water. Too much NFDM will also have an effect with the mix. 10% fat in summer sausage
5 The mix. If you have to work at getting the mix the way it should be, somethings wrong. using these methods above your mix should come into place with very little effort and create a perfect bind. The mix should easily stick together, be tacky and moist.
6. Cooking/smoking. Raise temperatures 10 degrees every hour or two depending on the size and how much smoke you want. Keep the final chamber temp below 190 and avoid fat out. Sometimes you have to go to 190 to get by a stall. only do this near the end if needed.
We've all had the same issue. It stinks when we put all the time and effort into it and it doesn't turn out the way we had planned.

Hope this helps

Boykjo
 

buzzy

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I used a little less than 2/3 c TQ for the 20#. The bologna was made separate. Hand mixed to a sticky mix. Then in frig over night w/o eca. Like stated before treated the same as my deer bologna that never comes out crumbly. Same pork/ venison ratio just different seasonings & eca. Is it possible that I need more water so it flows better through stuffer? Will that affect end product? I’m thinking that the eca burst in stuffer because of the pressure needed to stuff 2.5” casings but want to hear what the experts thought. I’m ready to give up on the eca. Been making bologna for years without making an inferior product like this ss.
 
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daveomak

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Hand mixed to a sticky mix. Then in frig over night w/o eca.

You have the proteins turning the meat to more of a concrete consistency by refrigerating overnight... Makes it difficult to stuff....
May I suggest, mix to sticky.... add the ECA.... Then stuff immediately and smoke...
 

buzzy

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Hand mixed to a sticky mix. Then in frig over night w/o eca.

You have the proteins turning the meat to more of a concrete consistency by refrigerating overnight... Makes it difficult to stuff....
May I suggest, mix to sticky.... add the ECA.... Then stuff immediately and smoke...
Thanks dave
That makes sense & something I did think about. Usually takes 14-16 hrs to stuff & smoke. Grinding , mixing & stuffing would take about 18 hrs. I do need to get some sleep. Not that old but that would make for a long day & night. Maybe u could swing around by an take a shift.
😜
 

daveomak

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Make 5# batches... You are trying to make a quality product...
 

buzzy

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Make 5# batches... You are trying to make a quality product...
Are u talking about separate mixes or separate total process? I can hang 8 sticks in my smoker with no problem. Can't see me hanging just 2 sticks for a day long smoke. Sorry!
 

daveomak

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What adjustments are you willing to make ??? Up to now, doesn't sound too good...
When I make sausage, I get it hung in the smoker and leave it for ~24 hours while I sleep and go do other stuff....
 

buzzy

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What adjustments are you willing to make ??? Up to now, doesn't sound too good...
When I make sausage, I get it hung in the smoker and leave it for ~24 hours while I sleep and go do other stuff....
I can make adjustments. Isn’t that part of life adapt or give up? So after what u just stated I’m thinking I’ll never completely understand smoked sausage making.
1- how do I hang sausage in my smoker for 24 hrs when overnight temps are low to mid 20s. Is it not going to freeze some? Thought we don’t want that or above 40.
2-After grinding, mixing adding eca & mixing again isn’t it to be put in smoker to be smoked so eca doesn’t leak out before meat is set. Makes meat crumbly.
That is were the confusion begins. Watch out if I decide to get into fermented sausages. It’ll be chaos. I do appreciate all the help & guidance I get from everyone. Maybe I’ll just stick with what I know & what works.
 

daveomak

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When I hang my sausage in my smoker, the smoker is turned on.... Smoke is smoking... Temperature is set to 120 ish to start... then turned up to 130 about10 hours in... then 140-145 ish to finish with no smoke and exhaust damper closed to make the smoker act like an oven and finish the cooking of the sausage....
 

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