Yogourt as starter culture in sausage making

HamnCheese
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Post by HamnCheese » Fri May 16, 2014 00:04

Hey Red,

I make kefir and drink it every morning. It contains lots of interesting goodies, not unlike yogurt. I sometimes switch things up and drain it (rather than drink it) and use it like sour cream or farmer's cheese. This is a chart I found of the microbiology:

Image

And a link to the site where I found it:
http://www.kefirsusukambing.com/2012/09 ... -many.html

Do you think this conglomeration would work like yogurt?

Lynn
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Post by Igor Duńczyk » Fri May 16, 2014 22:56

Hello Lynn,

Having finally returned after almost 1½ months of silence I have some reading to catch up with on these enriching pages :mrgreen:

With Red´s groundbreaking and well documented excursion into yougurth-culture-country he ought to be the right guy to pass some credible advice rather than me. But when it comes to Kefir I just want to remark that all depending on the yeast content (and there´s gotta be at least some yeast cultures -otherwise it ain´t real Kefir!) a certain production of carbon dioxide and ethanol (alcohol) will almost inevitably take place. To which extent that may interfere with the fermentation is ....unpredictable :shock: (at least for me).

Not that I expect a Kefir-fermented salami to bloate and perhaps even explode during the process :mrgreen: or become filled with slightly alcoholised air pockets :razz: but still, it may end up a bit more adventurous than with lactic-acid-flora dominated pro-biotic capsules. Anyway, I might sound overcautious -and those who don´t dare...

Looking forward to hear more about the proceedings :grin:
Wishing you a Good Day!
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Post by redzed » Sun May 18, 2014 16:18

I am by no means an expert, nor am I a proponent of substituting probiotic cultures for commercially prepared bacteria in making dry cured sausages. I successfully fermented three batches of salami using probiotics, but after spending a considerable amount of time reading various technical papers on the subject and trying to identify the strains that have worked in various studies. So your question Lynn is difficult to answer and I would be way out of my element if I tried. The witches brew of ingredients in your kefir does include a couple of strains, the rhamnosus and the casei that have been successfully used, but how much of each does your kefir contain? And how will all the other bacteria and yeasts behave when subjected to salt, nitrites/nitrates and the fermentation process? I guess we won't know that unless you are willing to carry out a few experiments and share the info with us.
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Post by HamnCheese » Sun May 18, 2014 20:24

Thank you Gentlemen.

I thought kefir might be too much of a good thing for sausage. :cry: With so many variables, it would be difficult to determine what was doing what where when and how! And, as you rightfully pointed out, Igor, the alcohol formation could have been an issue in any number of ways.


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Post by weoochaun » Mon May 19, 2014 05:27

Been quite busy so it's a long time since I looked here. Great to see that there is a lot of new information to consider.

Wanted to say that I am still making pepperoni (about 10Kg a week) using yogurt and it comes out consistently well.

One of the reasons I started using yogurt was for simplicity's sake - getting specialized cultures in this part of the world is not so simple and the cost is out of proportion to their value in my opinion.

Another factor was the fact that traditionally regional varieties of cured saausages gave different taste profiles and I believe that this is due not only to the fillings but also to the different strains of bacteria that are present in that part of the world.

Many salami makers don't add any starter culture intentionally and have had great success with the product over many years. As a novice sausage maker I didn't want to take that chance and needed something to get the pH to a safe level quickly. Yogurt seemed the obvious choice.

One of my motivators was simplicity and I realise that it may not be the case for many people on this forum. Having said that I would recommend a home made yogurt - try to find a local maker - that way you are guaranteed that the culture is alive and importantly that it is indigenous and suited to your local environment.

FWIW I also think that introducing yeast to a sausage probably isn't a good idea. I've been considering trying a salami (using yogurt or at least not using a bought culture) rather than a fast ferment pepperoni but don't want to end up with a tangy product. Any thoughts?

Also if you are going to try yogurt I would suggest changing dextrose for a milk bacteria freindly sugar. Lactose is about 50% of skimmed milk powder. Instead of using 10g of dextrose, use 20g of skimmed (NON FAT) milk powder.
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Post by redzed » Tue May 20, 2014 06:43

Hello weoochaun and welcome back. Since you have been using yogourt to ferment your pepperoni for a long time, can you explain your process with a bit more detail? Which bacteria are present in the yogourt you use and what amount do you add to the meat? What is your starting and post fermentation pH? What temperature do you ferment the pepperoni? And exactly why is lactose better than dextrose? I always thought that the fastest and safest sugar to use is dextrose, since it is a single molecule sugar and immediately goes to work with the meat to produce lactic bacteria. And would not the milk powder impart a flavour into the sausage and retain moisture, something you don't want when you are making dry cured products?
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Post by weoochaun » Wed May 21, 2014 03:44

Hi Redzed. Fantastic amount of work you've been doing for the sausage making community. Hats off to you sir.

I'll do what I can to answer you're questions though, unfortunately, they may not live up to you're standards for "scientific"!

The precise combination of bacteria contained in yogurt will vary from region to region but one thing is for sure. It will contain a lactobacillae that is capable of lowering the pH to a food safe level. The differences in regional varieties of yogurt is beneficial in my opinion because it could hopefully impart a regional flavour characteristic to your finished sausage.

I cannot accurately give you a starting pH without owning a meter but it is normal for fresh meat (no vinegar etc. added). The final pH is definitely tangy and again cannot give you precise numbers but can guarantee that it has reached a sufficiently safe level of acidity.

The pepperoni is fermented at ambient temperature: at this time of year it is about 31 degrees C. Fermented for 3 days and then poached at 140 - 160 degrees for 3 hours.

Lactose is the sugar found in milk. It is also a simple sugar like dextrose, fructose or maltose and can be utilised by bacteria easily compared to a complex sugar like sucrose. The bacteria I am using are used to eating lactose. (They come from milk yogurt) and it seems that they would survive better in an environment that has their usual type of food supply. I believe that the milk powder does indeed bind water and in general helps the whole sausage bind together. For the purpose of pepperoni this is an advantage. If making a dry sausage then it would probably take slightly longer to dry out. The amount of milk powder I use imparts no discernible flavour difference to me.

I'm concerned about making a dry salami using yogurt because I don't want it to be acidic. I know that the main food safety strategy here is limiting water availability. How do you get to that point of water activity (weeks in the future) without using an acid environment to ward of the nasties? Or is it alright (or standard practice) to have an acidic sausage that will then mellow with age
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Post by redzed » Wed May 21, 2014 15:20

Weeochaun, I really think that if you intend to make dry cured products buy and study Stan Marianski's The Art of Making Fermented Sausages. It is hands down the best compendium on the subject out there.
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Post by redzed » Wed May 21, 2014 15:27

Here is a prime example of a totally poorly researched, dangerous and downright stupid instructional video on making a "probiotic" salami.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coXUsHjyUh0
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Post by rgauthier20420 » Wed May 21, 2014 15:41

I watched this and a couple things came to mind. She says that if "bad" mold begins forming on the outside of the casing to wipe it off with a salt/water mixture, but it won't penetrate the casing so no need to worry. She then says that the molds used to create the white mold on the outside of the casing will come from the molds added to the meat. This would mean it would have to penetrate the casing to do so which she just said won't happen! I've already read a couple posts where CW says that if the "bad" forms on the outside of the salami then it needs to be thrown away. Is that right?

I'm always looking to learn more about the process as I'm new to this. However, it's also interesting that after learning a bit and watching watch Red posted, I can't see how this would turn out ok to eat....
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Post by weoochaun » Thu May 22, 2014 00:36

redzed wrote:Weeochaun, I really think that if you intend to make dry cured products buy and study Stan Marianski's The Art of Making Fermented Sausages. It is hands down the best compendium on the subject out there.
Got the book and agree that it is easily the most informative book out there. Guess I'll have to read it again.

Hope I answered your questions satisfactorily and you learnt something new about lactose.

Hi rgauthier, adding mold to the inside of the sausage is a fairly soppy idea. However a bit of green mold on the outside can be wiped off without jeopardy if dealt with quickly.
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Post by redzed » Thu May 22, 2014 05:01

weoochaun wrote:Hope I answered your questions satisfactorily and you learnt something new about lactose.
Well, I have to disagree. I would have no problem in using pure lactose to ferment sausage, but what you are recommending is skim milk powder where lactose is only a component. I see no need to add all the other ingredients when a very small amount of dextrose will do the job quite quickly and efficiently.
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Post by weoochaun » Fri May 23, 2014 03:18

I would have no problem in using pure lactose to ferment sausage, but what you are recommending is skim milk powder where lactose is only a component. I see no need to add all the other ingredients when a very small amount of dextrose will do the job quite quickly and efficiently.[/quote]

Good point Redzed. For you I would recommend using pure lactose. Using the Kiss principle I use non fat milk powder and get the added benefit of better bind and water retention for my cooked sausage.
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Post by sambal badjak » Sun May 25, 2014 11:19

Thanks Weoochan for starting this thread and Redzed for carrying out all the experiments.
I'm one of those that struggles to get startercultures so I am very interested in an alternative.
I may just have to test this out in the b2 beginners-thread for making semi cured sausages.
Again, thanks all !
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Post by Chuckwagon » Sun May 25, 2014 20:00

Hi guys,
May I throw in my 2 cents worth? Two specific families of lactic acid bacteria have been almost universally chosen to meet the needs of fermented type sausages. These are lactobacillus and pediococcus - both symbiotic. Each includes its own strains and depending upon the qualities desired in a specific product, more than one strain may be combined in one culture. Some do well in higher salt content, others do not. Some do better than others at higher (or lower) temperatures. The strains most beneficial (therefore most commonly used), of lactobacilli include: lactobacillus pentosus, lactobacillus curvatus, lactobacillus plantarum, lactobacillus farciminis, lactobacillus sakei, et.al. Of the pediococci, two widely used strains are pediococcus pentosaceus and pediococcus acidilactici. These are the workhorses of fermentation, thriving on sugar - dextrose ideally - as glucose (dextrose) is the most simple of all forms of sugar, being utilized quickly to produce rapid fermentation. Glucose, produced from cornstarch, is only about 70% as sweet as sucrose refined from sugar beets or sugar cane, then being combined with fructose from fruit. Lactose (called milk sugar) binds water very well but has poor fermenting quality and non-fat dry milk contains about 52% lactose. For this reason, I choose to add dextrose to fermented sausage rather than powdered milk composed of more than half lactose - the worst choice of fermenting sugars. Also, there are limits to be considered in using added sugar as the more that is used, the more sour or "tangy" the product will become.

Although lactobacilli and pediococci bacteria are ideal acid-producers for fermentation, they also produce acetic acid, bacteriocins, various enzymes, but do almost nothing to contribute to the development of flavor and color. This is where the use of strains from the micrococcaceae family becomes vital - especially the bacterial strains staphyloccus and micrococcus (now called Kocuria). These are the strains chiefly responsible for the reduction of nitrate to nitrite. In checking with Professor Ron Ragsdale, head of the Chemistry Department at the University Of Utah, he further explained that as nitrite reacts with oxygen, additional nitrate is created which must subsequently be broken down into nitrite by micrococcaceae.

Best Wishes,
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