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Natural ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 14:37
by jens49
I have been working on fermenting salami without starter cultures. Understand the temperature should be less than 15° C for maybe 5 days. High humidity. Add little or no sugars.
If I add 5 % dry red wine is there any way I can know how much the pH would drop? Say the pH of the red wine is at 3,5.

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 13:46
by redzed
Hi Jens,
Difficult to say about the wine. It's something that I have been intending to measure one of these days but just haven't gotten around to it. You are right that a dry red wine usually has a pH of 3.5-3.6. An aromatic style white will have around 3.10, which is quite acidic. If you actually want fermentation, it might not be a good idea to use wine without a sugar addition. Meat contains naturally occuring lactic bacteria, and that is what reduces the pH from neutral 7 immediately after slaughter to around 5.8. So there is not enough glycogen let to bring it down much lower. According to Toldra, adding 3g/kg of sugar can lower the ph to 5.3 with the use of starter cultures.

Going back to the wine, I could not find any scientific literature with studies on using it in dry cured products. There are many hobbyists who post on other forums and Facebook groups who wrongly believe that wine actually promotes fermentation. That is totally wrong. Wine contains alcohol which is an anti microbial but it is also acidic which will lower the pH. A young white aromatic style white wine is probably a better choice if you do use wine as it has more acid and is lower in alcohol content.

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 05:58
by jens49
Hello Redzed
redzed wrote:Meat contains naturally occuring lactic bacteria, and that is what reduces the pH from neutral 7 immediately after slaughter to around 5.8.
I actually thought that the first drop in pH was because of glycolysis which did not include LAB.
If time permits I will be doing some very unscientific tests with wine this week end. :grin:

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 15:25
by jens49
Tried a little test to see how the pH changed by adding red wine to tap water.
PH water 8,9 Yes, really. I checked with the authorities.
Red wine 3,4

0,75 liter water which I added 1 % red wine at a time. (7,5 gr)
I did the test twice and the numbers are rounded.

1 % 7,5 pH
2 % 6,8
3 % 6,2
4 % 5,5
5 % 5,0
6 % 4,5
7 % 4,4
Looking at the drop I wonder if 5 % wine would be too much for a traditional fermentation. My thinking would be that that amount might give poor conditions for taste and flavor bacteria activity.
Actually I was wondering if the wine works the same way as for example GDL causing an almost immediate pH drop.

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 21:19
by redzed
Hi Jens,
Sorry for not responding to your findings earlier. I'm currently on a cycle tour in Lower Bavaria and don't check in here as often as I normally do when at home. And we often stay at places where the wifi is lousy or not available at all. Today we had a short ride and I have excellent connection, so I'm catching up. BTW, I had an excellent currywurst today, one of the most popular street and biergarten foods in Germany. :grin:

I think that if you add 5% wine and no sugar, you won't get much fermentation at all. There will be a drop in pH from the acidity in the wine, and that is about all. Traditional Italian sausages were not always fermented to a pH of 5.3 or lower. Often the drop was to no less than 5,5. However, I like your experiments. so please continue to post the results. :grin:

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 07:05
by jens49
Hi Redzed
Thank you for your response. Are you staying for Oktoberfest? I was there in ´69 and plan on returning next year. Have a nice stay stay and remember to have a weisswurst.