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New Salami Sour smell

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 20:56
by 65valiantwin

I'm relatively new to salami curing and had a question for the more experienced users here.

I recently made a batch of salami using a family recipe i've used before. There are stuffed tight, been hanging for 11 days now, Climate has been a steady 40 degrees and humidity was high (85% or so) for the first 5 days, 75%RH for the past 6 days.

I've noticed a sour smell (kind of like old white wine) in the meat room that started about 2 days ago (on day 9 of hang), it's coming from the casings of the salami, i'm just wondering if this will go away or if this is an early indicator that i'm going to lose the whole batch. Has anyone ever encountered this?


Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 21:57
Sour? Or chemical like ammonia? The ammonia smell is quite common and lasts a few weeks if mold is present.

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 22:35
by 65valiantwin
Hi Stick,

More sour, similar to a wine that's gone to vinegar, there is no mold present.

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 02:40
by Kijek
65..... do yourself a favor and stay with us, there are a lot of smart members that can help and/or guide you.
I can't say for sure if you are going to loose the batch, my "guess" is no, as I smell different smells all the time.

But it's worth a little waiting, it won't take long for a pro to spot this thread and give you the answer you need.
If your gonna loose the batch, might as well wait.
I wish I had a good answer for you, but at my level, I'm afraid to say. Sit Tight, I'll be watching.

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 03:17
by redzed
Hello 65valiantwin and welcome to the forum! Difficult to diagnose the off odour from a distance, but a sour smell does not sound good. But maybe its a combination of the funky smells that are quite normal: kind of cheesy, sweaty gym sock, stale bread smell. The strongest odours occur during fermentation and then level off. If it really is a sour smell it might be spoilage bacteria because of failed fermentation, low salt content, contaminated meat or spices. Or it might be renewed fermentation bcause of high water and sugar content. Can you describe you process and ingredients?

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 04:18
by 65valiantwin
Thanks Rijek and redzed!

Here is my process/recipe:

40lbs meat
- 400g salt
- 80g bl. pepper
- 80g garlic
- 16g clove
- 120g brown sugar
- 40g whole peppercorn
- 3 cups water to mix
- 8 tsp cure no 2

They were stuffed on 1/16 and have since lost approx. 12% of their initial weight. No mold present

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 05:24
by Kijek
65.... I'm still here watching, and waiting for what the pros say, to bad we didn't live next door to each other we could have a few beers and wait for answers.

Better we're not.... we'd be totaled by now. LMAO :lol:

I can only say this at this point, my sausage that I just took out of my chamber, de-cased and vac sealed, had plenty of white mold and a smell like very warm "Brie Cheese".

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 13:46
by 65valiantwin
Haha...very true Rijek! I need a drink right about now.... nothing worse than waiting to see what the end result of this will

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 14:57
by Bob K
By 40° I assume fahrenheit? Did you ferment them at a higher temp?
As far as the recipe, with cure accounted for you only have 2.4% total salt. 2.5% is considered the minimum safe amount and without using a culture 3% would be safer. Also you should not add water to a dried sausage, it increases bacterial activity and the meat stays in the unsafe zone for a longer period of time.

As Redzed stated odors are tough to evaluate without being there, if they still smell off after another week or so I would cut one open and get a good wiff , and see how it looks visually.

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 16:52
by redzed
In looking at the recipe I agree with Bob that the salt content without a starter culture is on the low side. And fermenting without a starter culture is always risky because we give all bacteria, good and bad, to have a go at it. 6.5g of sugar per kg and the water also provided plenty of food for it. What size of casings of casings did you use and which plate did you use to grind? Was the the meat and fat semi frozen before grinding and the batter very cold before stuffing? Did you prick the casings after stuffing, and was the water boiled and chilled before adding? How fresh was the meat?

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 22:20
by 65valiantwin
Hi guys thanks for the info, lots of potential for error I guess!! Here are the answers to questions you asked..

- I used 2.5" and 4" fibrous casings, poked after stuffing
- everything was ground with a medium plate twice
- meat was no warmer than 40°F throughout process
- meat was very fresh
- just used cold tap water, not boiled

As a follow-up i wiped the salami all down last night and that eliminated the smell, it hasn't come back yet.

Thanks again guys i appreciate you all trying to point me in the right direction.

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 07:41
by redzed
Large casings and a finer grind does mean that the meat will take longer to mature. And I would suggest that next time work with temps lower than 40. Semi freeze, grind and if regrinding chill in between. Interesting that the smell went away after wiping down the casings. Was the salami sticky or slimy when you touched it?

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 15:15
by 65valiantwin
Hi Red

It was ground twice using a 3/8 plate. The salami weren't sticky or wet. I wiped them down Friday and the smell hasn't returned yet so we'll have to see.

In a separate question, ive hung my salami in links of two, ive noticed the link on top is drying quicker than the one on the bottom, should o flip them to promote even drying?

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 20:02
by nuynai
Hey, BB, Red, Bk, is there any poor man/ average guy way to test if its' edible or not, before we throw it out or get ill. Thanks.

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 16:26
by Bob K
Sure " Let Mikey try it" :lol:

Not that I know of. But if you have followed the safety hurdle guidelines you can be more than reasonably assured that its safe to eat. Other than that use common sense, does it smell or look off? ect. ... ty-hurdles