My name is John live in Missouri, been smoking seriously for 3 years, mostly venison summer sausage and salami. I also do Italian brats and breakfast sausage but do not smoke any of those. Here in Missouri we can harvest a few deer, and there are many where I live in fact to many. One can get 2 tags in archery season plus buy as many doe tags over the counter,then you can get a fire arm tag and harvest 2 deer, then we have an alternate season, so one would be foolish not to start supplementing ones grocery with venison. The problem I am having I get a tough crust around the sausage, not sure why I followed the smoking directions in the package that comes with the seasoning, I use a homemade smoker that I made from a fridge I lined it in oak boards. I use a heating element I bought on line from Bradly. I have a chimney damper and 3 vents in the bottom that I can control the air. I use a smoke generator to apply smoke, it all works rather well, i hang the sausage with a probe inserted in the center using rods. I add water to a pan to keep moist. I need some suggestions on how to minimize that crusting. Other than that the sausage is some of the best I have eaten.Need some answers.