Sour fermented Sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by spottedslug, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. spottedslug

    spottedslug Newbie

    I just finished my first attempt at fermenting sausage. It was a complete disaster. The sausage tasted like it had been soaked in vinegar and was inedible. I followed Stanley M’s recipe for summer sausage with a few changes. I doubled the amount of culture at the recommendation of the supplier who worried about my ability to measure small quantities. The manufacturer recommended fermenting at 100 degrees for thirty hours. I had no way of doing this, so I let it ferment at 70 degrees for 72 hours. This change was based on Stanley M’ assumption that the amount of sugar dictates the ph and not the time or temperature. The wild card in the recipe is the sucrose in the ingredient list. I was under the assumption that the bacteria cannot utilize this sugar form. If it can then time and temperature become critical. Stanley states many times that fermentation creates a “sourly” taste. I have eaten fermented store-bought summer sausage, pepperoni, and beef sticks that didn’t taste sour. Is fermented sausage supposed to taste like vinegar? And if not, where did I go wrong?
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You went wrong when you didn't follow the recipe.....

    Get a grams scale... cobble up some sort of fermentation chamber, temp and humidity controlled, then you can make fermented sausage....
  3. spottedslug

    spottedslug Newbie

    I am more interested in understanding the process than blindly following a recipe. Butcher-Packer has been selling starter cultures for many years. I am confident they understand the process. I have a scale that measures down to 0.01 grams, but I do not believe Butcher-Packer would suggest increasing the amount of starter culture if it would adversely alter the process. Stanley Marianski also seems very knowledgeable. His statement that the amount of sugar dictates the degree of fermentation and not the temperature and time is logical. As a chemist I know when a component of a chemical reaction is totally consumed the reaction ceases. I still think the sucrose is the culprit. Most commercial summer sausages do not list sucrose as an ingredient, and it does not appear essential to producing summer sausage. Next time I will eliminate the sucrose (I know, it is altering the recipe.) and see if that makes a difference.
  4. smokin phil

    smokin phil Smoking Fanatic

    I can't help a lot, but point you in a direction. From what I've read, and I can't remember exactly where or I'd give the link, most sugars can be used by the culture, but to varying degrees. Hope I provided a teeny tiny bit of help anyway.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You didn't list the fermentation culture you used.... or what the original recipe was...... You just stated all the changes you made....

    How can anyone help with information like that.....
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Marianski's recipe calls for.....dextrose (glucose) at 1%.... sugar at 0.5%..... F-LC culture 0.224 0.24 grams per kg... and cure #1 at 23 2.5 grams, which is 10 times the recommended amount for most sausage....

    Typo earlier...
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  7. I use dextrose for my fermented sausages and the amount used is just ONE of the factors that dictate how tangy a final product gets. Other things like type of culture, fermenting temps and times and such will have an effect on the final ph. The high and short fermentation with flc is meant to give it a tangy flavor not a sour flavor.

    As Dave has said, can you post a full recipe with starter culture and all? That would be more helpful.

    I would highly suggest reading and understanding more before your next attempt.

    Keep us posted on our questions though. We'll help where we can.
  8. Where are you seeing that Dave?
  9. I recommend following the recipe as written!

    Sucrose is generally fermentable but not by Lactobacillus Sakei.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Quote.... , I followed Stanley M’s recipe for summer sausage with a few changes.

    Morning Martin..... In "Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausage".....
    Recipe Index page 655.... Summer Sausage pg. 144 Fermented pg.438...

    Since the OP was fermenting, I looked at the recipe on pg. 438..
  11. It's on page 406 in my copy of "Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausage."
    It calls for 2.5 grams of cure #1, same as the recipe online.

    Did you confuse the cure #1 amount with the salt amount?
    That's 23 grams in the recipe.
  12. To fully understand the process of the books recipe, you must initially follow it to get a base for what the products final taste is, then on subsequent batches, you will have a better understanding of what changes result in altering final flavor.  To change too many things from the start and wonder what went wrong is madness. As a scientist, you should be well versed in these practices.
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    GOOD CATCH !!!!! I looked at that probably 4-5 times... calculated cure vs meat and everything......

    Now I see..... it was midnight... Just one more error by Dave....

    Sorry for my mistake.... at least Martin has our backs...... Thanks much Martin......
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  14. That happens to all of us! :smile:
  15. peetta

    peetta Newbie


    Did you ever get this figured out? I know its been a while but I had the same results using all starter cultures and the top recommended fermentation processes. As a ME, that doesn't want to hurt his family, I was very careful in my measurements and bought fancy a PH meters and all testing equip. I mapped my PH curves to FDA processing guidelines and finally concluded I was making a traditional fermented sausages (Sweet Lebanon bologna, smoked)  which my pallet doesn't like. Is it just me, or when a recipe  says " get  to a Ph 5.2-5.1 within 1200 Ph/hrs" then by doing so you've already nailed the coffin shut on tang? I don't understand how you can remove "tang" when it is a result of properly dropping the PH to the industry standard.? I don't have this problem on my salami or chorizo, that is similarly fermented and dried much longer, but all my fermented "summer sausage" stuff is garbage.   I refused to blindly follow recipes online or in books (that don't use math formulas) and I've even calculated some recipes that were way off the Nitrite / Nitrate PPM mark set by industry standards. I've made some awesome semi-fermented sausages from 100 % lean elk with just the right amount of tang but had to interrupt the fermentation process and supplement the hurdle with a heat treatment 7D lethality at 135 F ( plus 190-200 PPM Nitrite). Just curious.  
  16. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I use 1/4tsp bactoferm mixed into 1/4 cup very cold distilled water for a 5lb batch. It works for me. I stopped following those books while back, some have major gaps in the recipe and process.

    There is a solution if you get jiggly about the dry cure process.  UMAi 

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