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  1. Summer Sausage: Semi-Dried Style Fermented Using Bactoferm F-LC Culture This is a 10 pound batch of summer sausage that was produced using Bactoferm F-LC starter culture that ferments and converts dextrose in the sausage mix to lactic acid to add that characteristic mildly acidic tang to the sausage as well as secondary flavor elements. Doing this has been on my to-list for a while. Well, no longer. This post is about making a summer sausage in just that way. I wanted to produce a summer sausage more towards the 'old world' way using ferment rather than utilizing citric acid or other shortcut means to introduce the acidic tang into the flavor profile. Previously I have used buttermilk and it does a nice job but it did not give quite the result I was looking for in producing a best-in-class sausage. These were fermented for 34 hours and then smoked for 14 hours with a hickory/pecan blend at low temperature increasing over time until sausage attained 140 degrees internal. EDITING NOTE: I edited and split this post. For those wanted a step-by-step, I have provided separately a very detailed and long post (picture heavy) to assist anyone wishing to produce summer sausage in this manner. A Fermented Semi-Dry Beef & Pork Summer Sausage Each Sausage Log is about 1.25 lbs after smoking. Green log weight was about 1.5 lbs. I can definitely say that I have checked off this box and based on the impressive results I achieved it will be on my to-do list again and often. This produced probably the best summer sausage we have ever eaten - far surpassing the commercial varieties available in the USA. All my objectives for this project were achieved or exceeded! My Summer Sausage Recipe The Recipe for 10 lbs (4.54 kg) For best results work by weight not volume - volume provided as an approximate guide - percentages are provided for scaling the recipe. Beef Chuck – 2543 grams (5.6 lbs) Pork Butt – 1997 grams (4.4 lbs) Percent by weight of total meat block Salt, Diamond Kosher - 105 g (~ 28 tsp) 2.31% Cure #1 - 11.3 g (= 2 tsp) 0.25% Amount is based on 2 level tsp per 5 lbs of meat Granulated Garlic - 21.0 g (~ 6 tsp) 0.46% Onion Powder - 10.0 g (~ 4 tsp) 0.22% Allspice - 5.7 g (~ 3 tsp) 0.13% Ground Coriander - 10.0 g (~ 3 tsp) 0.22% Powdered Dextrose - 46.5 g (~ 15 tsp) 1.02% Sugar - 25.0 g (~ 5 tsp) 0.55% Coarse Ground Black Pepper- 14.7 g (~ 7 tsp) 0.32% Whole Mustard Seeds - 28.8 g (~ 9 tsp) 0.63% Hungarian Paprika - 6.3 g (~ 3 tsp) 0.14% Distilled Water for Slurry - 24.0 g (~ 5 tsp) 0.53% Bactoferm F-LC culture - 6.25 g (~ 2 tsp) Let's enjoy some fine summer sausge charcuterie!
  2. Detailed Post: How To Make A Fermented Semi-Dry Summer Sausage Using Bactoferm F-LC Culture WARNING: THIS IS A LONG & PICTURE HEAVY POST This is a 10 pound batch of summer sausage that was produced using Bactoferm F-LC starter culture that ferments and converts dextrose in the sausage mix to lactic acid to add that characteristic mildly acidic tang to the sausage as well as secondary flavor elements. Doing this has been on my to-list for a while. Well, no longer. This post is about making a summer sausage in just that way. I wanted to produce a summer sausage more towards the 'old world' way using ferment rather than utilizing citric acid or other shortcut means to introduce the acidic tang into the flavor profile. Previously I have used buttermilk and it does a nice job but it did not give quite the result I was looking for in producing a best-in-class sausage. I have provided a very detailed post (picture heavy) to assist anyone wishing to produce summer sausage in this manner. A Fermented Semi-Dry Beef & Pork Summer Sausage Each Sausage Log is about 1.25 lbs after smoking. Green log weight was about 1.5 lbs. I can definitely say that I have checked off this box and based on the impressive results I achieved it will be on my to-do list again and often. This produced probably the best summer sausage we have ever eaten - far surpassing the commercial varieties available in the USA. All my objectives for this project were achieved or exceeded! The first time through, covering unfamiliar ground, always takes a bit more time due to lack of experience. However, I had done extensive research on the topic of semi-dried and dried meats and sausage and was confident in the concepts and technique. It turned out to be a straight forward experience putting the book knowledge into practice. I would say that next time would be pretty much a streamlined hit it and go process. Particularly since I now know what I want to optimize in my fermenting and drying chamber arrangements. I would recommend this particular piece of charcuterie to anyone looking for that ultimate summer sausage, anyone who can put together a kit of the necessary supporting equipment – that being a fermenting chamber and the ability to smoke at low and controlled temperatures. BACTOFERM F-LC STARTER CULTURE Bactoferm ™ F-LC from the Chr. Hansen company has the ability to control listeria at the same time as it performs as a classical starter culture for fermented sausages. Bactoferm ™ F-LC is designed for the production of fermented, dried sausages, and the bacteria in the culture have been selected and optimized in such a way that all the following features are obtained: A fast fermentation, a distinct and very good taste, a good color formation and stability, and, as mentioned, an anti- listerial effect. F-LC is recommended for the production of all types of fermented sausages. Depending on fermentation temperature, acidification is either traditional, fast or extra fast. It is the pH drop to around 4.8 to 5.0 pH from the lactic acid that develops along with the salt and the Cure #1 that acts as a preservative in this semi-dry sausage during the production process. However, since end-state moisture is still considered high, the sausage must be stored under refrigeration. Info links on this starter culture: · http://www.butcher-packer.com/index.php?main_page=document_general_info&cPath=36_205&products_id=741 · http://www.butcher-packer.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=207&products_id=742 · http://netropolitan.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Chr-Hansen-Meat-Brochure-141009.pdf Some Necessary Equipment First thing up, I needed to arrange a fermentation chamber because the sausage needs to be in an environment of 85-90 degrees at 85-90 % humidity for at 24 hours (or longer) after being cased. This gives the beneficial bacteria in the culture its turbo charge to do what it is designed to do in creating the rapid pH drop and developing the lactic acid and other flavors. The pH needs to get below 5.0 in less than 48 hours. This incubation is considered a fast ferment. With this culture and a higher heat ferment it can be done in as little as 12 hours for bio-safety but the secondary flavor profile needs more time than that to develop. My incubation/fermenting chamber used a larger mini-fridge that I rearranged to hold wire grid racks instead of the glass shelves. An electric heating pad without its fabric zip off cover and an ultrasonic humidifier along with external temperature and humidity controllers complete the setup. I am not using the fridge in cooling mode – merely as a sealed and insulted hygienic chamber. The fermenting step was conducted at 86 degrees and 88% relative humidity with the temperature and humidity under constant management of the electronic controllers. In this case an Inkbird ITC-1000 for temperature (heating mode) and an Image WH8040 controller for humidity. They worked very well. Links here: IMAGE® Digital Air Humidity Controller Sensor WH8040 Measuring Range 1%~99% AC 110V: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009VY1BZY?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00 Inkbird All-Purpose Digital Temperature Controller Fahrenheit & Centigrade Thermostat w Sensor 2 Relays: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OXPE8U6?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00 The humidifier utilized is this one by Honeywell: http://www.amazon.co...ailpage_o04_s00 The Basic Process An excellent treatise on the actual process for fermented sausages and some of the science can be found here: http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-types/fermented-sausage I made the sausages themselves in less than 3 hours on Sunday night getting a late evening start. The ferment proceeded from 11 pm Sunday night until 10 am Tuesday morning, (34 hours) at which point the summer sausage logs were placed in the smoker. Follow basic sausage making procedure with regard to meat preparation, grinding and mixing of the seasonings. The Bactoferm which has been awakened in a slurry mix of room temperature distilled water (0.5% weight of the meat for the water) for at least 30 minutes is the very last addition to the meat batter after all the other mixing is completed. The slurry must be well mixed for several minutes and fully distributed throughout the batter. Then tightly stuff the fibrous casings which have been soaked for 30 minutes in warm water to soften. This meat batter is very stiff as it has little water and a hand crank stuffer like the Norther Tool vertical 5 lb stuffer or other mechanical stuffing means is really needed for good results. Upon completion of the sausages, introduce them into the fermenting chamber. Before starting the sausage production it is a good idea to get the ferment chamber up to temperature and humidity and well stabilized. Check the ferment parameters periodically. At the end of the ferment I wiped the sausages off with a paper towel. The will be moist and perhaps even wet in the chamber due to the high humidity. For the smoking process, I used my electric oven conversion smoker with the heating element controlled by an Auber Instrument SYL-2362 PID controller (http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=106) in place of the usual oven control in order to attain the low temperature smoking profile and my A-Maze-N Products sawdust maze for smoke generation with a mix of hickory and pecan. I added a half-sheet pan initially filled with boiling water just over the active heating element to get the humidity up in the smoker. Initially the smoking proceeds at very low temperatures (and ideally at about 70% humidity) for 5 to 6 hours. This imparts additional time for the ferment and flavor development as well as good smoke penetration. I know my humidity was not high as called for but it did not affect the result. I chose to apply smoke for 8 hours. The resulting smoke flavor in the summer sausage was right in target - neither too little nor too much. The adage “thin blue smoke” definitely applies in this instance. Temperature is raised in stages unit the meat finally reaches the desired internal temperature. The summer sausage without the smoke element would just not fit the flavor expectation. Do not exceed 170 degrees cooking temperature in order to avoid any fat melting. Since this is a semi-dry sausage the alternative of poaching to finish the cook after the smoke phase is not appropriate. Here is the temperature and smoke profile throughout the cook: 0 to 5 hours - 110 degrees smoker - moderate smoke applied meat @ 98 degrees internal 5 to 7 hours - 130 degrees smoker - light smoke applied meat @ 109 degrees internal 7 to 9 hours - 145 degrees smoker - smoke applied for an hour meat @ 123 degrees internal 9 to 12 hours - 160 degrees smoker - no smoke meat @ 133 degrees internal 12 to 14 hours - 170 degrees smoker - no smoke meat @ 143 degrees internal Sausage was removed at the 14 hour mark when it was stable at the proper internal meat temperature and placed on racks with a fan blowing air for cooling. Note: You do not want to use a water bath for cooling as these are semi-dry sausages. According to the trusted information on process technique for this type sausage it is only required to bring it to 140 degrees internal. I went a few extra degrees to ensure the full log was past 140. Based on measurements it was 140 or above for about 30 minutes which in my view is good. I air cooled the sausages for 60-90 minutes. At this point they are ready to eat, although an overnight rest in the fridge makes them even better. Note: Even those these are semi-dried sausage they have a high moisture content and must be stored under refrigeration. However, in lieu of immediate consumption it is permitted to further dry the sausages for 3 days or so to achieve a 10 -15 % further reduction in moisture content by weight. This is done in a drying chamber at 60-70 degrees and 65-75% humidity. They will, even with further drying, still require refrigeration for storage The Summer Sausage Recipe Basic recipes for a fermented semi- dry summer sausage can be found from a number of trusted sources – they are all fairly close in technique and ingredients. I utilized a recipe from Marianski in the book “Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages” and followed it fairly closely with regard to technique and ingredients – with the exception that I prefer a 60/40 approximate ratio of beef to pork, adding onion powder, Hungarian paprika and increasing the amount of mustard seeds. Here is my version for this 10 lb batch. Why 10 lbs? Well the size of the package of beef chuck and then the amount of pork to add came close to the 60/40 ratio to hit 10 lbs. The Recipe for 10 lbs (4.54 kg) For best results work by weight not volume - volume provided as an approximate guide - percentages are provided for scaling the recipe. Beef Chuck – 2543 grams (5.6 lbs) Pork Butt – 1997 grams (4.4 lbs) Percent by weight of total meat block Salt, Diamond Kosher - 105 g (~ 28 tsp) 2.31% Cure #1 - 11.3 g (= 2 tsp) 0.25% Amount is based on 2 level tsp per 5 lbs of meat Granulated Garlic - 21.0 g (~ 6 tsp) 0.46% Onion Powder - 10.0 g (~ 4 tsp) 0.22% Allspice - 5.7 g (~ 3 tsp) 0.13% Ground Coriander - 10.0 g (~ 3 tsp) 0.22% Powdered Dextrose - 46.5 g (~ 15 tsp) 1.02% Sugar - 25.0 g (~ 5 tsp) 0.55% Coarse Ground Black Pepper- 14.7 g (~ 7 tsp) 0.32% Whole Mustard Seeds - 28.8 g (~ 9 tsp) 0.63% Hungarian Paprika - 6.3 g (~ 3 tsp) 0.14% Distilled Water for Slurry - 24.0 g (~ 5 tsp) 0.53% Bactoferm F-LC culture - 6.25 g (~ 2 tsp) Grind pork and beef through 3/16” plate (4.5 mm). Stuff into fibrous casings nominally 60 mm in diameter. Ferment at 86F and 85-90% humidity for at least 24 hours. The Full Process In Pictures The Boneless Chuck Roast The Sliced Pork Shoulder - I used the shoulder because it has a higher fat marbling compared to pork butt. Trimmed Chuck Ready for the Grinder Trimmed Pork Shoulder Ready for the Grinder The Basic Ingredients to be Added to the Meat Bactoferm F-LC Culture and Cure # 1 (Pink Salt) Measure the Additions By Weight Mix Well the Dry Seasonings Using Distilled Water at 0.5% of the Meat Weight Add the Freeze Dried Culture, Stir Well and Let Slurry “Wakeup” for 30 Minutes Grind Beef and Pork One Time with 3/16 Plate, Alternating Meats to Make Meat Mixture Easier to Integrate Gently Mix Well to Get Uniform Meat Base – I used my Bear Claws to Good Advantage Add Dry Seasoning in Stages, Mix, Then Add Seasoning and Mix Again Until Well Incorporated – Time To Use Your Hands The Final Meat Batter. After All Dry Seasoning is Well Incorporated, Distribute the Culture Slurry Over the Meat Batter and Mix Very Well for Several Minutes, Again Using Your Hands. These Are the 60 MM Fibrous Casings – Soak These for 30 Minutes In Warm Water to Make Then Pliable Tightly Fill The Casings, Twist Well to Compress the Meat Batter and Tie Closed. Pretty Looking Sausages Underneath That Casing This Is the Large Mini Fridge Non Destructively Used As An Insulated Fermenting Chamber. A Heating Pad is On a Rack to Raise It Off The Fridge Floor Just Under The Humidifier. Digital Humidity and Temperature Controllers Summer Sausage Out of the 34 Hour Ferment and Ready For The Smoker Sausages in My Electric Oven Smoker Conversion. I use a PID Controller to Get the Low Precisely Controlled Temperatures Needed In This Type Smoking As Oven Thermostats Only Go Down 170 Degrees Using Hickory and Pecan Smoking Sawdust In a 50/50 Blend Just Removed From the Smoker After 14 Hours of Gradual Temperature Increase with About 8 Hours of Smoke. Removed at Just Over 140 Degrees Internal Temperature My Setup For Air Cooling the Summer Sausages. The Aroma is Just Mouth Watering. What They Look Like After An Hour or So Cooled Down to About 80 Degrees Internal First Looks – Just Gotta Peel the Casing, Slice a Log and Get That First Taste. WOW! This Summer Sausage Tastes As Good As It Looks. I Don’t Think I Have Had Any Before That Was This Nice In Flavor Time to go enjoy some fine charcuterie!
  3. Sausage Making & Charcuterie Guide On Information, Equipment, Materials & Supplies In case you are not directly following the new Charcuterie section of the forum, but have an interest in the world of making sausage and cured meats, I have developed a downloadable 20 page PDF reference document that is a guide on information, equipment, materials, and other items useful for the home production of sausages and cured meats. This guide covers the following aspects: I. Some Useful Books on Sausage & Charcuterie II. Some Sausage Making Websites III. Some Typical Sausage Supplies & Sources IV. Some Typical Sausage Equipment & Sources V. Some Typical Sources for Sausage & Meat Curing Environmental Control & Measuring VI. Some Smoke Generation Approaches VII. Personal & Food Safety/Handling & Sanitizing VIII. Storage Ideas IX. Some Sausage Related Ideas from ‘Smokehowze’ X. Some Useful References Here is the link: http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/25670-the-‘smokehowze’-sausage-making-charcuterie-guide-on-information-equipment-materials-supplies/?p=342546 Enjoy!
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