Second batch of summer sausage question

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by jsk53, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Well, I made up my second batch of summer sausage. This time, I followed Rytek's recipe for Cervelat. Aside from the usual issue keeping the AMNPS going, it went well and the sausage smoked very nicely. I used Fermento which I didn't have for my first beef sausage attempt and I'm not sure if it really added what I was looking for.

    Now for a question. The recipe calls for 6 tablespoons of salt which I used. To me, and my wife, the sausage was way too salty. As I am using the 1/4 tsp Instacure #1 as called for, Do I need to add the salt as well? Does the additional salt add anything to the curing process?

    Second question has to do with the tangy taste I'm trying to get. The Fermento seemed to add a little, but not where I want it to be. I'm looking more to get that Usinger's beef summer flavor....I've read of other additives and the one that seems to be prevalent is the ECA. In reading how to use that, is sounds like it doesn't get added into the mix until it is ready for stuffing and smoking..As I understand this is a capsule, do you stuff one in to each sausage? I have been using the 12" X 2 1/2" fibrous casings. Do I put one cap in each? 

    I know this is a newbie question, which I am....but as I tweak my recipes, I want to insure I am doing it right. Thanks.
  2. bkleinsmid

    bkleinsmid Smoking Fanatic

    Morn'n........although I have Rytek's book, I don't have it close by to look up the recipe.

    At 1/4 tsp of cure, it sounds like you are working with only 1 1/4 lb of meat (1 tsp cure #1 for 5 lb meat). 6 TBS of salt would be a lot of salt to add to that small a batch.

    And, ECA looks like tiny tiny marbles. You would sprinkle them over the meat at your last mix. It would be like sprinkling sand on the meat. 

    Hope this helps.......

  3. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Thanks Brad. The batch size in the book is 10 pound. I cut it in half and did a 5 pound batch so I cut the salt from 6 to 3 tablespoons. I also used 1/4 tsp of cure per pound of meat, so I used 1 1/4 teaspoons of cure.

    I haven't gotten the ECA yet so I didn't know the size of the capsules. I was thinking they were more like a medicine sized capsule. Is there any recommendation as to how much ECA to use per pound of meat?

    I appreciate the reply.

  4. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Salt does play a part in curing but your cure #1 has taken care of that. The directions on my cure jar says 1 scant 1/4 tsp cure #1 per lb or 1 tsp per 5lbs. Try reducing the salt at your best guess. Maybe 4 or 5 Tbs.

    The Fermento gets stronger with more time in the fridge before smoking. Fermento lowers the acid level and allows some fermentation to begin. The more time, the more fermentation and the stronger flavor.

    Like Brad said about ECA it is about the consistency of sand. It is mixed after grinding and before smoking. It is a tiny pellet that will melt at 130 (I think). If you run it through the grinder the capsules get damaged and start putting citric acid in too soon and will turn the meat white and sour. I have bought some ECA and read about it but have not tried it yet.  
  5. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My ECA is from PS seasonings and it recommends 8 to 10 oz. per 100 lbs. I have read that too much will make the sausage start tasting like citrus.
  6. bkleinsmid

    bkleinsmid Smoking Fanatic

    More info than you wanted to know.........


    Encapsulated Citric Acid

    Add 3 oz. Citric Acid per 25 lbs. of Snack Stick Meat Mixture AFTER your final ground.
     Adds that "tangy" flavor to your Snack Sticks.  (Do not run Citric through your grinder!)  This is a must if you like the flavor of Slim Jims® for your Snack Sticks!

    This citric acid is coated with hydrogenated vegetable oil which will melt and release into the meat product at 150° F.

    Used to give certain products such as summer sausage and snack sticks their distinctive tang without going through a lengthy fermentation cycle.

    Suggested usage for this purpose is 3 oz. for 25 lb. of meat. Encapsulated citric acid should be added near the end of the processing cycle as not to rupture the capsules during the mixing cycle. During processing the encapsulated citric acid is inactive until the temperature reaches 150° F. and then the capsule is melted releasing the citric acid into the product.

    Once released a decrease in pH is achieved resulting in the distinctive "tang" associated with reduced pH products.

    Procedure For Use

    1.  Grind All Meat To Final Grind

    2.  Mix In All Seasoning Except the Encapsulated Citric Acid

    3.  The Encapsulated Citric Acid Must Be Added After All Grinding Is Done!

    4.  Stuff the Snack Sticks and Smoke

    5.  The Internal Temperature of the Sausage Must Reach 150° For The Acid To Release

    6.  The Citric Acid Reduces The PH Of The Meat To Give A Tangy Taste And Decrease The Drying Time For A Firmer Sausage

    7.  Have Fun While Making A Great Snack Stick
  7. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Add the ECA as per instructions on the package or the manufactures recomendation. Brands differ......
  8. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Will do. I found the recommended use at both Walton's and PS Seasonings and you are correct, they do have slightly different amounts.

    Woodcutter and Brad,

    Thanks for the great detail on how this works. Makes much more sense I guess, on to batch #3. I ordered a couple different spice packages from PS Spices today, All I can say is we are gonna have a whole lot of summer sausage around the house for awhile!  I also ordered and just got the cold smoking attachment for my MES..It's seasoning right now. I'm hoping that will take care of the problems I've had with the AMNPS..While it can be attached directly to the smoker, I decided to move it away as I'm sure the heating element in the cold smoker would transfer heat if attached.

    Thanks all for the support!!

  9. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    Rytek made a fortune selling butter milk powder to dumb yups while touting it as Fermento. Classic scam along with corn syrup solids..homindy grit powder..Prauge 1 2 3 4..dextrose  ect. Its a joke. If your really want to change the Ph to get the "whang" you are need a live culture to make it sour up right. Butcher and Packer sells it last I checked. Now if you get some generations gong you dont need to buy any more. That is how Lebanon Baloney got birthed. Them pesky critters just clung to the walls of the sausage factory. They did not like to move around too much.
  10. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    jsk53 are those 4 to 3 reducers you have on the flexi pipe. i rigged mine up much similar but had a little bit of a problem at the smoker end where the chip tube was....

    so i cut down a piece  of solid 3". it fits over the cold smoke unit perfect but had to mangle it a bit to get it into the smoker. then i used some metal heating tape to fasten it good and no smoke leaks. i really like the smoke generator but it does sometimes burn upwards and the chips or sawdust dont fall down onto the element and the smoke slows. i just tap it back down with a stick.

    i went to a mailbox mod on my smoker, will fit my MES or my big freezer build i did and am waiting for my AMNPS. the cold smoke unit will give you 4 to 6 hours and i was getting tired of baby sitting thru the night on long smokes. i ordered 2 units so i can run both for lots of smoke for a long time instead of lighting both ends and maybe having to babysit again. i figured for the price it was well worth the piece of mind.

    you will enjoy cold smoke unit, with that extra length you will have literally no extra heat from it....

    how does yours fit into the smoker itself, just the 1/2" or can it fit right in an inch or 2 ???

    thanks for any tips !!
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
  11. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Hi Goliath,

    I just used 4 to 3 reducers and they fit perfectly into both the chip tray opening on the smoker and over the cold smoker lip. I seasoned it this afternoon and there was no lost smoke at either connection point or around the pipe, without tape. They were actually a pretty snug fit. These were pieces I used when I made my mailbox mode, but as I continued to have issues keeping the AMNPS lite, I decided to try the cold smoker based on the 5 star reviews I read. I filled the tube about 1/3 to do the seasoning and it smoked pretty heavily for 2 hours. I am looking forward to making my first something soon. Thanks for the tip about tapping the chips down. I did read where they do jam up on occasion.


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