Making salami (or trying to :-) )

Discussion in 'Curing' started by mochosla, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. mochosla

    mochosla Newbie

    Hi guys. I have a question about this salami I've had in the chamber for about 7 weeks now. I bought a kit from and followed the instructions. I have the salami at ~45 degrees with a ~75% humidity ( I had it higher in the first 4 weeks maybe 82%)

    and some parts of the salami feel soft. Furthermore, the casings are very sticky and growing some green mold which I wipe with a mix of water and vinegar. The salamis smell fine so I'm not concerned with spoilage. But the stickiness of the casings worries me. Have you had any experience with this? I thought that maybe the humidity was too high so I lowered it to 73%.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thank you all. 
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do you have a "light" air flow in the chamber ??   You can coat the salami with mold 600...  an edible white mold that will protect it from bad molds growing...   a vinegar wash is good...     normally 80% humidity is the sweet spot for good long term drying so no case hardening happens...    Is your humidity gauge accurate ?? 
  3. mochosla

    mochosla Newbie

    Hi Dave. I do not have any airflow in the chamber. Since I'm in California, the outside humidity is always very low (20% to 45%) so I'm afraid it will throw the whole chamber off. I bought the mold 600 last week but at this point, I'm afraid it is too late to use it. I have a feeling the salamis are not good anymore. They have a funny smell like old cheese. As my humidity gauge, I bought the humidity controller in the link below. I also use one of those weather monitor station and they both report about the same humidity in the chamber. I've attached some pics from the salami to give you an idea of what they look like right now.

  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How much weight has the salami lost...    They look good...   Funky cheese smell is probably good...  Fermenting does add odors that are safe....    I would scrub the casings with a vinegar solution and hang the meat longer, if the %weight loss hasn't been reached...  Also, open the chamber every 12 ish hours, to freshen the air..  add the mold 600 for additional protection.. (can't hurt)...  I might even up the humidity back to 80% to slow down the evaporation rate....   

    If the sausage is bad now, a few more weeks in the chamber can't hurt it...   If the sausage is OK, a few more weeks will make it awesome...  

    Once the white mold takes over, there should no longer be any greens or blacks or orange etc. molds attacking the sausage..

    Don't give up...  You could, and probably do have a winner hanging in the chamber....
  5. mochosla

    mochosla Newbie

    Man, I appreciate your help! And really hope the salamis are still okay. I will check the weight later today when I get home. I started with 5 pounds of meat so I end up with 3.5. Right? So the question is, when the 30% weight loss has been reached, how do I know the salamis are good and I'm not going to poison myself? Simple smell? 
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The weight loss figure depends....  If you have added a liquid to the meat, that amount of weight from the liquid must not be used in the calculated weight loss....  

    % weight loss must only be calculated on the weight of the meat...  If the recipe in the pack calls for 30% weight loss, you are good to go when it gets there....    If the outside of the sausage feels "hard", and the interior "squishy", case hardening "may" have occurred...    Some folks have tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, air tight, refrigerated to allow for interior moisture to re-moisturize the exterior portion that over dried...  

    You have cure #2 in the meat...  probably added 2.8% salt...   and some dextrose for bacterial food...   When the % weight loss is achieved, the water activity that supports bacterial growth, is no longer available and the sausage becomes shelf stable... 

    Below is a very informative link to fermented sausage..
  7. mochosla

    mochosla Newbie

    So, I scrubbed and rinsed the salamis and now the cheesy smell is gone and they look a lot better. I also applied bactoferm 600 this morning and will probably re-apply tomorrow morning to make sure I have a good coat.

    An issue that concerns me is that the larger salamis do not seem to be curing evenly as one side is hard while the other is soft. You can see that the salami has a lighter color side. That is whole section is soft as if it was not curing at all. The smaller ones look and feel hard all around. 

  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The meat may have not been uniformly packed in the casing...  That could cause the unevenness in drying...  Air pockets will screw up the aging process....    Just a wild guess...

    Incomplete filling of the casing "could" result from too small a stuffing tube on the stuffer OR air pockets in the stuffing canister prior to stuffing in the casing...

    When you finish and cut it open, check for air pockets...  they can be a breeding ground for molds and other nasty stuff...  the rest of the sausage should be good if you cut out any bad parts....    the salt and cure should take care of it....  BUT.... give it a good look and sniff test so you are satisfied with the product.....
  9. mochosla

    mochosla Newbie

    I guess it is possible that I did not stuff them correctly. Although, I've been making sausages for a while now and have not had that issue. I'm thinking I may have a meat/condiments mixing issue?? I don't know. I will give them a few more weeks and see what happens. 

    Thank you. 
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You will know more when you cut into them and eat some...  Patience will reward you...   Heck, it may be perfect and delicious...
  11. mochosla

    mochosla Newbie

    Well, I cut into the only salami that seemed like the only one I was going to be able to salvage and I'm not sure what to do. The center is a bit soft and well, it has air pockets. It smells fine but I'm not sure I should eat it. What do you guys think?

  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm out of my league on this...   Sorry....   nepas may still be around but he was heading to Europe or something like that....
  13. mochosla

    mochosla Newbie

    Also, I think the issue I'm having with this batch is the temp was way too cold in the beginning. I had it under 44 degrees for the first 8 weeks. I think I'm tossing this batch and start all over again. 
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I looked on the Sausage Maker site and they don't show the directions for making their products...   Can you scan and show the directions ??

    The directions should be something similar to....

    Mix ingredients...   stuff into the casing...   Prick casing to let out air...   refrigerate at ~38 deg. for 2-3 days or maybe refer for 2 weeks...   Then hang at XX deg. F at ~80% humidity...   The temperature you ferment the salami is totally dependent on the bacteria culture you use...   The bacteria were "collected" so to speak from the origin of the area where the sausage was initially made ...   It's the bacteria that produce the characteristic flavor that corresponds to the particular sausage...

    After fermentation, the temp is lowered to around ~50 deg. F and allowed to continue drying...   That temp is where bacteria can multiply and convert the nitrate to nitrite to protect the meat from other bacteria...

    Or something like that...   there are different methods and recipes waaaaaay to numerous to mention...   Just curious about the one you are using....

  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just looked up Len Poli's recipe...  he incubates per the instructions of the starter culture manufacturer...   Bactoferm LHP 85 deg.F @ 90% RH for 24 hours...  then 55-60 deg. F @ 60% RH until 25% weight loss...   The only water added to the salami is 2 TBS. for the culture...  adding any additional water will screw up the total % weight loss unless you make allowance for the added water...  and adding additional water is not suggested...
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
  16. mochosla

    mochosla Newbie

    Here is the recipe from the box. It calls for a temperature between 40 and 50 degrees. 

  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, I can't comment on their recipe...   they know what they selling and how it should be used...   
  18. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I am using the same "recipe".

    The hard salami I have going right now is doing good. I made it 3 weeks ago. (6 chubs using protein lined casing and I added bactoferm culture to the mix) ---Been holding steady at 80-90% humidity and 45-50 degrees. This is week 3 and it is at 35% weight loss. I put 2 big cookie sheets each with a box of pickling salt spread out and covered with water and had a humidifier on low blowing across the top of the pans really low. I also added a piece of cardboard up higher in the chamber to break up any air flow from my tricked out window unit fitted with a Johnson Controls line voltage thermostat. Basically my curing chamber is my walk-in cooler with added humidity. Its pretty big 4'x4'x8'.

      Anyway I am going to take these salamis down to about 45% and see how they are. Ideally I am looking for the firmness of pepperoni. 

    ----->Dave...What are you thoughts on the %'s  ?? or is it just a matter of personal preference ?

  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The weight loss sounds good....    Did you add any water to the mix when you made it ??   If so, that amount needs to be subtracted from the original weight...    % weight loss should be calculated from the weight of the meat...

    I like the bactoferm addition also...    Weight loss is to keep it safe to eat while it's hanging...  dry is good... as long as the tooth texture is good...

    I'm thinking SM should have noted the salt content of the mix..  if dextrose was in it...  all sorts of stuff..   That would have helped folks learn about making salami anyway...

    Your set-up sounds great...  I need one..    

    From Wedliny-Domowe

    Fermented sausages must be fermented within certain time, otherwise product will spoil and might become dangerous.

    In the USA the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States department of Agriculture requires that the shelf-stable dry sausages be nitrite cured, fermented, smoked, reach a final pH of 5.0 or less, and have a moisture/protein ratio of 1.9:1 or less.

    Dry sausages are products that, as a result of bacterial action or direct acidulation should reach a pH of 5.3 or less and are then dried to remove 25-50% of the moisture, resulting in a moisture/protein ratio complying with the standards.

    Semi-dry sausages are products, that as a result of bacterial action or direct acidulation should reach a pH of 5.3 or less and are then dried to remove 15% of the moisture, resulting in a moisture/protein ratio of 3.1:1 or less. Some semidry susages receive a pasteurization treatment following the fermentation period and some are shelf stable. Since the pH is lowered during the fermentation period, the degree-hour concept applies only to the time required to reach a pH of 5.3.
  20. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I used that new B-LC-007 bactoferm. The mix did have dextrose in it too. The only slight water i added was that used to hydrate the BLC007.


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