Bratwurst Help

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by cybball, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. cybball

    cybball Fire Starter

    I'm on my second year of making fresh venison brats.  Using 50/50 mix with pork shoulders.  They taste awesome.  I really need to master using hog casings, as I like them better.  However, I used collagen casings, which are super easy.  My problem is that when I separate the links to cook, the ends come unraveled and "bloom" open when cooked.  Mainly a presentation thing.  Is there a way to keep them tight and closed?  Is this a collagen casing issue? 

    Thanks!
    Jason

    My issue with hog casings is that I can't seem to slip them onto the stuffing tube.  It binds up.  I spray the horn with pam spray, but to no avail.  Usually after several tries and some profane language, I make the switch.
     
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Jason the hog casings have to be soaked for a few hours, or over night being better. I use a bowl that is deeper then the stuffing tube,filled with cold water. Start the casing then have water running into the tube or dip down in the bowl that expands the casing and lets it slide on. Hope I explained it right
     
  3. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I also like to rinse my casings out. Just take the open end and mouth it up to the faucet and get a little water in there. Then squeeze it through. This moistens the inside of the casing a bit and helps to start stretching them out. For sure an overnight soak is better as well. Vegetable oil on the stuffer tube seems to work better too. Hog casings are so much better.
     
  4. As they've said above, soak the casings for 24 hrs before loading and stuffing them. I like to load the horn directly from the bowl of water the casings are sitting in. The remaining water that's inside of the casings helps them glide right onto the horn with almost no effort. My technique for loading the casings using 2 hands would sound kind of odd typed....maybe I'll make a short youtube video the next time I do it.

    Sorry just realized no one commented on your unraveling issue. Collagen casings need to be tied with twine at each link or this will happen. They aren't meant to be twisted like natural casings are.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  5. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    When you do the video can you do it using 1 hand LOL  Okay use 2 hands thats what I do
     
  6. Ha. See! I didn't even type it and that same image pops into your head!
     
  7. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    all good advice except maybe the 2-handed advice.....in sausage making water is your friend......Willie
     
  8. cybball

    cybball Fire Starter

    This is awesome info.  I'll try natural hog next time.  I really like them better.  I think my problem was I was only soaking them for an hour like the package said.  I'll go 24 in the fridge.  I do rinse them well, inside and out, but I think they needed time.  I just threw one on the grill (high temp cheddar and jalepeno) and it was awesome.  The grill does a better job on the collagen than does pan or boil. 
     
  9. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

  10. As said above soak them overnight and  be patient. Water as said above is your friend or you can use wine.

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
  11. Good to hear. After the 24 hours they are silky smooth and very elastic. You'll be very surprised how the extra time effects them.
     
  12. cybball

    cybball Fire Starter

    Good grief. I soaked for an hour. No wonder they fought me so badly trying to get them on the tube. The link above helped tremendously. Andouille is next!
     
  13. If you're using the NOLA recipe add another tsp of cayenne...it's alittle on the mild side ;). I've made it a number of times. Try searching for the search function. I've since updated and adjusted the amounts to suit my taste. It's a great sausage. Feel free to pm me if you like. Foamheart does a great Andouille also so use him as a resource as well.
     
  14. cybball

    cybball Fire Starter

    I will try the NOLA recipe. Going to also start soaking my casings now to use next week. I'll hopefully be using hog casings for the andouille. Thanks everyone!
     
  15. cybball

    cybball Fire Starter

    Thanks to all. I make andouille today and the hog casings worked great! Been soaking in the fridge for over a week. Into the smoker in the morning.
     
  16. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Nice job on the stuffing
     
  17. cybball

    cybball Fire Starter

    Thanks. Amazing how much better hog casings taste.
     
  18. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    great looking stuff there. I have made the nola recipe a few times and it is great.
     

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