Fibrous Casing Adhesion

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Micro-Ice
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Fibrous Casing Adhesion

Post by Micro-Ice » Thu Nov 28, 2019 14:06

Greeting Everyone!
I stumbled upon this site a while ago, very awesome compilation of information.
I enjoy making summer sausage and feel as though it is perfect (at least for my taste), with one exception. The casings seem to become loose during the cooking process and sometimes has undesirable fat between the casing and meat. The latter is probably to much heat causing the fat to break and leak out. However, the loose casings have me stumped. I always soak the casings in water prior to stuffing. Any and all advice is welcomed. Thanks
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redzed
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Re: Fibrous Casing Adhesion

Post by redzed » Thu Nov 28, 2019 18:46

Hello Micro-Ice and welcome to the forum. Fibrous casings should work well in making a summer sausage type of product. Can you describe your thermal process? That is smoking temps, length of smoking, and are you also poaching?
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Re: Fibrous Casing Adhesion

Post by Micro-Ice » Sat Nov 30, 2019 02:18

Thanks for the welcome redzed. I smoke from 150-250 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Then 150 (heat only) slowly increasing to 200 until inside temp reaches 155. Ice bath or shower to stop cooking. I’ve never tried poaching. The casings are tight all through the process until the ice bath or shower.
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Re: Fibrous Casing Adhesion

Post by redzed » Sat Nov 30, 2019 07:12

Well we don't need Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery as to why you have fat coming out and your casings are loose. Your smoking temps are way too high. You are getting what in sausage making is called "fat out" when the fat renders out. This not only results in a layer of fat forming between the casing and the meat but also makes the sausage crumbly and dry. The high heat bakes and deforms the fibrous casings. They are not made to withstand temps of over 200F. The temp in the smoker should not go over 170.

Take a look here: https://www.meatsandsausages.com/meat-smoking

If you have an electric smoker like I do, you might be having problems with maintaining an even temperature inside. You might want to try finishing the sausage by poaching. Try smoking the summer sausage for 2 hours at 135-140, the 1 hour at 15. Bring the sausage to 155 IT by poaching it in water at 170-175. Should take about 20 minutes. Dunk the sausage in cold water for 5 minutes. I guarantee that you will have a perfect sausage with a great texture, taste and appearance.
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Re: Fibrous Casing Adhesion

Post by Butterbean » Sun Dec 01, 2019 17:08

I agree with Redzed. Your heat is way to high. Smoking for flavor and color then finishing by poaching is the best way to go. Much faster too but watch your water temp too.
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Re: Fibrous Casing Adhesion

Post by Micro-Ice » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:37

Thank you for your advice. I gave it a go this past weekend.

Soaked casings in warm water for 20 minutes (inside & out)
Tightly stuffed and tied
Heavy smoke for one hour, never above 150 degrees
Poached in water-internal temp 155-158 degrees, water never went over 171 degrees
Ice bath 5 mins

The casings appeared to be tight right through the poaching process. Once they went into the ice bath there was a little wrinkling on a few. Most had a little water and a little fat mixture between the sausage and casing (mostly on the ends). The poaching was certainly new to me, but really worked well. Is it possible that I'm stuffing to tightly and the casings don't retract? Should I reduce the amount of water in the sausage? I must say that the poaching took over an hour. Perhaps the internal temp should have been stopped sooner (closer to 155). Thanks again to you both for taking the time to help.
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Re: Fibrous Casing Adhesion

Post by redzed » Thu Dec 12, 2019 04:17

Glad to hear that we are making progress! One hour of smoke for a larger diameter sausage may not be be enough. Try smoking for 2hrs at 135-140 and then 1 hr at 150. Bring your poaching water to 180. Once you put the sausage in the water bath keep at 170. The sausage should reach 155 in 20 -25 minutes. How much water are you putting into the sausage batter? 10% should be max, but that does not mean that you need to add that much. If you are using fresh meat and especially a high percentage of beef, 5% might be be enough. Make sure that you mix the water well into the batter. If you don't have a good mix then that could very well be the reason why you ended up having water and some fat in your casings. Can you post some pics of the sausage?
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Re: Fibrous Casing Adhesion

Post by Butterbean » Thu Dec 12, 2019 13:30

I'm leaning toward too much water and/or your not mixing the batter well enough to get the water to bind. I've found poor mixing to be a common problem that will cause this.

Another thing is your fat. What type fat are you using? Pictures would really help.
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Re: Fibrous Casing Adhesion

Post by Micro-Ice » Fri Dec 20, 2019 00:15

Untitled_Message.zip
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Greetings redzed and Butterbean

Well it has taken some time to get these pictures uploaded. I hope they are visible on your end. According to my calculation, the water content is a tiny fraction above 10% by weight ratio. This particular batch is venison, but I've had the same results with both beef and elk. I feel as though the water is thoroughly mixed in. After mixing, the entire batter is extremely sticky and very firm (sorry for not having a picture of that). I have always used extremely lean meat and added only pork back fat. I do only use 10% fat by weight of the total meat weight. From what I've read, this is quite lean. However, my family and friends are not fans of fat coating your teeth like the commercial varieties with higher fat content. Oddly enough, the sausage I've made doesn't crumble apart or become like saw dust. So far, just this less than tight casings and a little fat rendering out. After your advice of lowering temperatures and poaching, the rendering of fat has become less. Always looking to improve the appearance. Thanks again for helping out.
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Re: Fibrous Casing Adhesion

Post by DanMcG » Sat Dec 21, 2019 06:40

Sorry Micro, I don't see any pic's.
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Re: Fibrous Casing Adhesion

Post by DanMcG » Sat Dec 21, 2019 14:35

I have a couple thoughts on the wrinkled casings. If the casing were pre-stuck, ( small holes to let the air out when stuffing) they will take on water while poaching. I did some yesterday using a Sous Vide method and a couple bags leaked. Normally I'd dunk the wrinkled sausage in boiling water and rehang, this will cause a normal casing to shrink and tighten up as it dries.
This time I tried blow drying the casings with a hair dryer, maybe a minute or less, and the wrinkles were gone. Also hanging in the fridg to dry the casings works too.
When the hit the ice water the meat shrinks but not the casing. The casing needs to dry and shrink back to their original size. I think this is why you presoak them before stuffing, to stretch them out some so they shrink back to original size when cooled and dried.
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Re: Fibrous Casing Adhesion

Post by Micro-Ice » Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:11

All of these suggestions are helpful. What does everyone use for their poaching vessel? I'm challenged trying to find something large enough to cook multiple sausages that are 24" long. Perhaps I need to have something made.
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