Fat Smearing Problem

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Bob K
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Post by Bob K » Mon Mar 03, 2014 18:14

checkerfred wrote:
I keep going back to why the fat melted out at low temps.


Should I not mix spices and more importantly, cure with water before adding to the meat? I HAVE to mix the culture with water.

Cfred-
How was the texture of the sausage when you were done, was it dry and grainy?

You don't have to mix the culture with water, read Igors post above. I works just fine if mixed in dry as long as it is well distributed.
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Post by checkerfred » Mon Mar 03, 2014 20:34

Bob K wrote:
checkerfred wrote:
I keep going back to why the fat melted out at low temps.


Should I not mix spices and more importantly, cure with water before adding to the meat? I HAVE to mix the culture with water.
Cfred-
How was the texture of the sausage when you were done, was it dry and grainy?

You don't have to mix the culture with water, read Igors post above. I works just fine if mixed in dry as long as it is well distributed.
It's been in the fridge all night... When I get a chance I'll check it and report back. I'll definitely try another batch without water except maybe a little tablespoon for the cure... Or is it OK to mix it in without water too?
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Post by checkerfred » Mon Mar 03, 2014 21:23

On these first two you can see some holes where a very little fat leaked out...these two weren't the problem

Checker's Early Summer Sausage
Image

Checker's Flat Iron Lanjager
Image

Checker's Bombing Pepperoni (you can see some specs of fat and see a little where it oozed out)
Image

Checker's Bombing Naked Skinny Jim (NOTE: the big white specs are Pepper Jack cheese. You can see a few specs of fat but you can also see how it's somewhat dry)
Image

The first two are moist enough. The pepperoni is even fairly moist even though I KNOW it lost a good bit of fat. The snack sticks are the worst of the bunch but still edible. They aren't totally crumby but they are fairly dry. I took the casing's off to keep the fat from making a barrier. There are some, although not a lot, of fat specs in there
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Post by redzed » Mon Mar 03, 2014 23:01

Hi Fred,

In looking at the first two pics I don't think that it is a problem with fat, but rather with mixing. I think that the holes were created by pockets of water that had evaporated. I'm not sure about the other two, but I also think that it is a mixing and/or stuffing problem. I see an unven mix in that last pic, and where is the yellow colour coming from in the bombing pepperoni? You could also rest the sausage at least overnight before cutting into it. And sticks can be dried at room temp for a 2-3 days and then many of the holes will disappear. I would reiterate what CW and Igor already said about using less water, and I would mix the meat a bit longer.
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Post by Bob K » Tue Mar 04, 2014 00:24

I agree with Chris I would cut back on the water and let it dry for a few days.

I have found that with the fast fermented products that are heated or cooked to finish you will notice a lot of liquid (not necessarily just fat but a water/fat mix) under and leaking from the casing. I just prick them well to allow it to drain. It is probably caused by the rapid Ph drop and also the salt and cure drawing out the moisture.

If using fibrous casings just remove them after smoking/cooking, the product will dry faster.

Semi-dry peperoni

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Post by checkerfred » Tue Mar 04, 2014 06:00

redzed wrote:Hi Fred,

In looking at the first two pics I don't think that it is a problem with fat, but rather with mixing. I think that the holes were created by pockets of water that had evaporated. I'm not sure about the other two, but I also think that it is a mixing and/or stuffing problem. I see an unven mix in that last pic, and where is the yellow colour coming from in the bombing pepperoni? You could also rest the sausage at least overnight before cutting into it. And sticks can be dried at room temp for a 2-3 days and then many of the holes will disappear. I would reiterate what CW and Igor already said about using less water, and I would mix the meat a bit longer.
Redzed thanks for replying. That coloring is from the paprika. I guess when it cooked out it was bound with the fat. What was not orangish was the deer not holding it. So less water.? I did mix it well. I didn't want to over mix and smear the fat which may have happened anyway. If I cut out water completely, will the cure mix well enough into the meat?

Regarding the 2-3 hold time at room temp for the sticks, I assume the cure keeps bacteria from spoiling the meat while it holds at those Temps? Can other sausages be done like that as well?
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Post by checkerfred » Tue Mar 04, 2014 06:05

Bob K wrote:I agree with Chris I would cut back on the water and let it dry for a few days.

I have found that with the fast fermented products that are heated or cooked to finish you will notice a lot of liquid (not necessarily just fat but a water/fat mix) under and leaking from the casing. I just prick them well to allow it to drain. It is probably caused by the rapid Ph drop and also the salt and cure drawing out the moisture.

If using fibrous casings just remove them after smoking/cooking, the product will dry faster.

Semi-dry peperoni

[url=http://i1289.photobucket.com/albums/b51 ... a03b92.jpg]Image[/URL]
Bob, thanks! Nice looking pepperoni too! I always let them bloom for several hours then out in a mini fridge set to 45-50f to dry for a few days. The taste always develops more like that too. Interesting thought about the fast fermentation causing the water pockets.

I wonder, what if I thaw my venison, place it in a colander to drain excess moisture, uncovered in the fridge, then before finishing my grind with the fat flash freeze it until it firms back up.. Good idea or no?
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Post by Igor Duńczyk » Tue Mar 04, 2014 09:27

Bob K wrote:It is probably caused by the rapid Ph drop and also the salt and cure drawing out the moisture.
and you really hold on to the long end here Bob, because it IS the fast and deep pH drop that causes the meat to become brittle and crumbly, as seems to be the case especially with the Skinny Jim and Bombing Pepperoni where you can see internal cracks that indicate how the denatured meat fibre contracted after having thrown moisture.

I must admit that my experience with Summers Sausage restricts itself to what you guys expose on this side, but whenever I am making cooked salami I take great care not to overdo the fermentation process in order to avoid the problems described by CFred.

So following those telling pics´I have to correct myself in what I stated in my previous posting, that I didn´t think the starter cultures are to blaim in this context.
In fact I now join side with Bob to point out that the fast fermentation is a major factor behind this problem.
Fast denaturation of the meat fibre causes rapid moisture loss and inability of the meat to hold on to (or to visualize it) "encapsulate" the fat.
The meat fibre becomes unelastic and "short". That is one reason why I am very cautious with using fast starter cultures in general...

Solution proposal: Start using T-SPX instead of LHP and keep fermentation temperature below 85 degrees F.
The tang will not be missing as long as you keep up the dextrose addition around 0,6% (or even a bit higher).
Any comments Bob ?
Wishing you a Good Day!
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Post by Chuckwagon » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:46

After looking at the terrific photos you posted, I must say that I agree with Redzed's assessment about a hundred percent. The problem is in the mixing and the pockets are not caused by melting fat in this case.

"Greasing" (fat melting) in air dried and cooked sausage, can be caused by any of four common mistakes in procedure. First, an unstable meat mix which is low in binding quality is common, as is an excessive heating rate during the cooking process. Another very common mistake is providing excessive fermentation temperature. And finally, the overworking of raw meat in the mixing step may cause greasing. However, I don't really see any signs of this in your product.

Just a question here. How much pressure are you using to stuff the casings. Is the meat rather loose?

I doubt you are having any souring problems. If you have any "souring" of the product in post-processing in the future, then be aware that insufficient heat treatment to destroy microorganisms (cooking process) might be the cause. Also any excessive residual carbohydrates (that permit secondary fermentation) may be the problem. Other procedural mistakes causing any souring of the meat include excessive moisture and residual carbohydrates in non-cooked product, insufficient drying, and temperature extremes during post-packaging.

Fred, you mentioned in your PM that you are also concerned with inconsistent acidification. This is definitely a concern to many sausage makers. Some of the problems causing it are:
1. Inadequate distribution, resulting in hot and cold spots in meat mixture.
2. Inadequate distribution of culture, salt, cure, spices, dextrose.
3. Diverse initial product temperature.
4. Stored product and directly processed product in same climate chamber; culture activated in stored product resulting in a faster fermentation.
5. Products with different spice formulations, meat components, casing diameters, pH or water/fat content.
6. Uneven temperature/humidity in the climate or fermentation chamber.
7. Uneven humidity in dry room causing different drying rates.
8. Too low acidification temperature.

These items are worth pondering and tossing around a bit. A uniform, successful product with consistently superior results is our main objective everywhere. But it`s sure a tall order eh? Hope this helps.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
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Post by Bob K » Tue Mar 04, 2014 13:23

checkerfred wrote:


I wonder, what if I thaw my venison, place it in a colander to drain excess moisture, uncovered in the fridge, then before finishing my grind with the fat flash freeze it until it firms back up.. Good idea or no?
You would also be throwing away a lot of flavor. Mix that liquid back in!!
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Post by Bob K » Tue Mar 04, 2014 13:40

Igor Duńczyk wrote:
Solution proposal: Start using T-SPX instead of LHP and keep fermentation temperature below 85 degrees F.
The tang will not be missing as long as you keep up the dextrose addition around 0,6% (or even a bit higher).
Any comments Bob ?
That is my plan Igor if I make any more fast fermented peperoni I will be using T-SPX. With the fast Ph drop you will lose the flavor/color-developing qualities of the culture, but that's not what you are shooting for in a fast fermented product.


After having made the slow fermented dry version of peperoni (with out the extreme TANG) , I doubt I will be making much more of the semi-dry version.
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Post by Igor Duńczyk » Tue Mar 04, 2014 16:43

Bob K wrote:Mix that liquid back in!!
and yeah, I´d be doing that too if I knew for sure that the sausage in question would be heated to some 160 -170 degrees F to kill off all creep.

But making a fermented, uncooked, sausage of that same piece of meat I´d probably go to lenghts in wiping it dry with (preferably chemical-free) paper napkins, considering the fact that wild bacteria thriwes in such nutricion ritch moisture: :razz:+ :evil:= Skull´n Crossbones! (oops ...did this statement make me look like a Safety-First Fascist?? :???:)
Wishing you a Good Day!
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Post by checkerfred » Tue Mar 04, 2014 17:46

Thanks for all the replies everyone!
Chuckwagon wrote: "Greasing" (fat melting) in air dried and cooked sausage, can be caused by any of four common mistakes in procedure. First, an unstable meat mix which is low in binding quality is common, as is an excessive heating rate during the cooking process. Another very common mistake is providing excessive fermentation temperature. And finally, the overworking of raw meat in the mixing step may cause greasing. However, I don't really see any signs of this in your product.

What would cause this unstable low binding meat mix?
Chuckwagon wrote: Just a question here. How much pressure are you using to stuff the casings. Is the meat rather loose?

They weren't so tight the casings would bust but not loose either.. I twisted as I stuffed. The landjager were sort of loose so they would squish down. You think I need to stuff tighter?
Chuckwagon wrote:Fred, you mentioned in your PM that you are also concerned with inconsistent acidification. This is definitely a concern to many sausage makers. Some of the problems causing it are:
1. Inadequate distribution, resulting in hot and cold spots in meat mixture.
2. Inadequate distribution of culture, salt, cure, spices, dextrose.
3. Diverse initial product temperature.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
Thinking about this, the landjager and summer sausage sticks are fine other than a few pockets of emptiness here and there. But no loss of fat, or very very little. The pepperoni and sticks were the problem. The landjager and ss sticks were put in hog casings as well as the pepperoni. The small collagen casings were the worst.

So some things I'm going to try are no water. But does the cure need to be mixed in with say a tablespoons worth of water or is dry fine?

Keeping the mixture cold or very slightly frozen. Is very slight frozen OK when mixing the spices and more importantly the culture?

I ordered some F-LC last night but may try some tsp-x as well. However I think the F-LC can use lower Temps.

It's just really odd that the pepperoni and summer sausage sticks and landjager were made and fermented the same way but yet the pepperoni was leaking fat and water in fermentation and not the other two.
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Post by ssorllih » Tue Mar 04, 2014 19:40

For all application that use cure I blend it with the total salt and then apply half and turn the meat over and apply the remainder.
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Post by checkerfred » Tue Mar 04, 2014 20:02

ssorllih wrote:For all application that use cure I blend it with the total salt and then apply half and turn the meat over and apply the remainder.
Thanks! I'll try that..when you blend it with the salt, do you just hand blend it or run it through a spice mill?

I think for my next batch of cooked pepperoni this will be my course of action.

Partially thaw meat, keep fat frozen.
Freeze grinder parts.
Grind together through large plate, then return to the freezer.
Grind once more through a smaller plate.
Return to freezer if need be to keep cold.
Mix salt and cure, no water like you said.
Mix spices using your technique.
Mix culture. (I may try it without water as well, or just use a very very little bit).
Return to freezer to keep cold.
Freeze stuffer cylinder.
Stuff, then ferment and cook.


Now my question, can the meat be kept TOO cold when adding in the cure and spices and ESPECIALLY the culture?
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