Just starting out, and looking for some support

Discussion in 'Curing' started by goodjobcasey, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. goodjobcasey

    goodjobcasey Newbie

    Hello everyone,  

    So I started getting into making homemade sausage/jerky a few years ago. When I started, I always wanted to to make some cured sausages. At that time, the whole world was still new to me. So I decided to just start at the beggining.  

    Well, I started buying stuff to make a fridge curing chamber  . Got all the parts on that list, got a free beverage cooler like those at gas stations {not the big double door ones, but about 1/4 the size). Then I bought this book  because it seemed to always come up in forums/blog posts.  

    Well, I started reading it and it just got me worried. Talking about AW, and pH levels, and the hardware needed to test those. Then I read online that a good amount of people dont use them. Then I was reading that some types of drying (I assume the kind that I will be doing) is quick fermented, which produces a more sour flavor because of the pH levels since that is how you keep it from spoiling.  

    I am just looking to put my brain at ease. I can read stuff all day.  

    I am a smart guy, and can pick things up quickly. Is making salami with the setup linked a doable thing or should I invest in getting a AW meter and some pH strips?  

    Thank you for the feedback!
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    An Aw meter is really expensive.....  Measuring moisture loss, based on the original weight of the meat + spices + salt etc., excluding any water added during the process, is adequate....  Using good / fresh bacteria for the process, the proper amount of salt (generally 2.75% mimimum depends which recipe), proper humidity to not get case hardening, proper temps etc....   and you should be good to go....  

    From what I have read, taking pH using test strips is not that accurate.... 

    Using bactoferm 600 for a white mold covering on the meat is a safe way to prevent "bad" mold from growing...

    Marianski is very knowledgeable..  One must beware of misprints and typos in any recipe...  check and recheck amounts to use, as those seem to be the most likely to be in error...  One of his recipes, Russian Sausage, I found 3 errors in the type and amount of cure to use...  Those errors were in "Home production of Quality meats and sausage"...

  3. goodjobcasey

    goodjobcasey Newbie

    Alright, that makes me feel a lot more at ease. I looked up the aw neter, yeah, wow. Those are expensive. Maybe i will get a hanging scale or something like that for quick weight measurments.

    I saw the name bactofern a few times, just didnt know what it was. I looked it up and now I know. The power of the internet.

    Thank you for the reply, it makes me feel a lot more comfortable going in. Still cautious, but also excited

    Reading things all day, but sometimes it means a lot just to get a "you got it" type pat on the back.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Get a grams scale....   One from maybe 0-20#'s and one from 0-100 grams for weighing cure and spices..    Both can be had for less than $30 and well worth it....

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