Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

LOUSANTELLO
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Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by LOUSANTELLO » Sun May 24, 2020 11:53

This is now my 2nd batch of ground pork 40mm casings, using cure #2 along with 2.5% salt and 0.3% dextrose. Original PH of pork was anywhere from 5.61-5.7. I am now at 60 hours at 70F, 88% humidity with little to no PH drop. In fact, one batch I'm getting readings 0.5 higher than the original occasionally. What seems to be going on here? There also has to be some rule of thumb to how much dextrose is needed to drop the PH to the desired level based on it's starting point,,,,but in this case, they aren't even moving. I really don't want to take these to 120 hours.
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by redzed » Wed May 27, 2020 03:03

Give us more info on the type of meat you used, the grind and spices. Source and freshness of the meat. Starting pH of 5.61 is on the lower end, possibly a younger animal. And are you sure you added the sugar? I know it's a dumb question, but last month I brined some bacon and beef tongues and forgot the cure. :oops:
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by LOUSANTELLO » Wed May 27, 2020 04:12

Pork Loin, no additional fat. It was about 12-15% fat, fine grind. Typical for me 2.5% sea salt, 0.25% cure #2, 0.3% cayenne, 0.3% ground red pepper flakes and I added 0.3% smoked paprika. I added 0.35% dextrose. The loin was processed on 5-11-20 and I ground the meat on the 21st. 1.6"x12' air dried hog casings, hung at 70-71F. The humidity reached 88%. Monitoring the PH, it fluctuated anywhere from 5.56-5.65,,,yes, it even creeped up. After 84 hours and not seeing it go anywhere, I transferred it to 47F, 75RH. I still have the cup of mix that I was measuring. Even today (24 hours after transfer), the PH is not moving, although they are getting red and have that fermented smell. They smell awesome.
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by cajuneric » Fri Jun 05, 2020 18:13

How did your salami turn out? Did you get the ph drop or did you toss it?

I've been experimenting with different ingredients that I can add to my mince to introduce LAB's. Things like fresh garlic, sauerkraut juice, kombucha, kefir, buttermilk, yoghurt, kvass, things like that. So far the results have been incredibly promising.
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by redzed » Sat Jun 13, 2020 17:18

Lou, with the .35% dextrose and additional sugar in the paprika, you should have had a pH drop. What happened will probably remain a mystery. I probably had something to do with the meat, but I can't speculate further. I'll bet if you repeat the process and utilize meat from a different source you will get a pH drop.
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by redzed » Sat Jun 13, 2020 17:40

cajuneric wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 18:13
I've been experimenting with different ingredients that I can add to my mince to introduce LAB's. Things like fresh garlic, sauerkraut juice, kombucha, kefir, buttermilk, yoghurt, kvass, things like that. So far the results have been incredibly promising.
Achieving fermentation in meat is indeed incredibly easy. If done properly, just adding some carbohydrate will re-awaken the LAB already present in the meat. When I experimented with fermenting with yogourt and probiotic supplements, I was able to get a fast fermentation every time. However, controlling the speed of the fermentation was a problem. In products that require a longer drying maturation period, a fast pH drop is detrimental to nitrate reduction and the activity and longevity of the gram-positive bacteria. The latter are just as important in salami making as the fermentation process. Some experts claim that the Staphylococcus bacteria is more important that LAb in the ripening process.
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by cajuneric » Sat Jun 13, 2020 17:45

I completely agree. I am noticing the same thing...
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by Indaswamp » Tue Aug 25, 2020 06:15

Lou- did you use distilled or boiled and then cooled tap water? Stupid question I know, but after 20 years of making fresh and smoked sausages I have to catch myself and think about the water I am using when making salami. Tap water will kill the starter culture.
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by LOUSANTELLO » Tue Aug 25, 2020 13:56

Indaswamp wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 06:15
Lou- did you use distilled or boiled and then cooled tap water? Stupid question I know, but after 20 years of making fresh and smoked sausages I have to catch myself and think about the water I am using when making salami. Tap water will kill the starter culture.
I always used distilled water when using starter culture. As far as this post, starter culture is not being used. Even though I added dextrose, I can never seem to get the PH to lower,,,and it should.
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by Indaswamp » Tue Aug 25, 2020 14:20

Gotcha Lou...
I've just started making salami, but have read a ton of information over the last 2 years to wrap my brain around the process. Though I do understand how salami can be made without starter cultures, I'm not brave enough yet to try it. I have seen numerous old school recipes though on how to do it.

I'm at a loss for why you did not achieve fermentation. I'm curious as well as to why.
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by redzed » Tue Aug 25, 2020 17:18

Lou, last week I made a Salame Strolghino, 6mm grind, salt, white pepper, 4g of granulated honey, and no starter culture. Fermented at 20-22. Starting pH was 5.65. For the first 30 hours there was no movement in the pH, then a gradual drop to 5.13 after 60 hours when I transferred it to the drying chamber.
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by cajuneric » Tue Aug 25, 2020 17:30

redzed wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 17:18
Lou, last week I made a Salame Strolghino, 6mm grind, salt, white pepper, 4g of granulated honey, and no starter culture. Fermented at 20-22. Starting pH was 5.65. For the first 30 hours there was no movement in the pH, then a gradual drop to 5.13 after 60 hours when I transferred it to the drying chamber.
Is it possible that the natural flora (due to the years of fermented sausage you've been making) helped out in this situation?
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by redzed » Wed Aug 26, 2020 16:52

cajuneric wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 17:30
Is it possible that the natural flora (due to the years of fermented sausage you've been making) helped out in this situation?
Possible, but unlikely. Lactic bacteria occurs naturally in the carcass. After the slaughter the bacteria metabolizes available glycogen taking the pH from 7 to 6 or less. By adding sugar we feed the remaining lactic bacteria and get a further drop. Naturally occurring gram-positive bacteria (Staphyllococcus) comes from the skin and intestines of the carcass. Wild moulds are probably the only flora that colonize my salami. What starter cultures do is give the salami batter a boost with a high cell count of the beneficial and desirable bacteria. On the same day as I made the strolghini I also made a batch of Calabrase from exactly the same meat, but inoculated it with Texel SA-306. With the addition of 1g dextrose and 1.5 fine sucrose, I had a pH reading of 5.23 after 30 hours and 5.05 after 60 hours. So using a starter adds a layer of safety because the bacteria starts working as soon as the meat temperature rises.
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by StefanS » Thu Aug 27, 2020 02:07

redzed wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 16:52
Possible, but unlikely. Lactic bacteria occurs naturally in the carcass. After the slaughter the bacteria metabolizes available glycogen taking the pH from 7 to 6 or less. By adding sugar we feed the remaining lactic bacteria and get a further drop.
IMHO - it is very brave statement. As to these days Ihave been always sure that post mortem pH drop it is effect of muscle enzymatic process of biochemical changes as effect of stopped blood circulation and in anaerobic conditions not a LAB work. Also inside of whole meat muscles during rigor mortis are almost septic. So I have agree with @ cajuneric statement that mostly it is "house flora" playing main role in delivering starting point for fermentation. Just my opinion without digging deeper in subject.
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Re: Difficulty with non-culture PH drop

Post by redzed » Thu Aug 27, 2020 02:50

Post Mortem Changes in the Muscles
When an animal is killed, glucose and oxygen are no longer available via the blood stream. However, there is a continuing need for ATP to maintain membrane ion pumps and cell integrity. To continue to make ATP the muscle breaks down stored glycogen to pyruvic acid. Because there is no oxygen to complete the breakdown to carbon dioxide and water, and under the conditions found in the muscle at this time, the pyruvic acid is reduced to lactic acid. There is no blood circulation to remove the lactic acid, which therefore accumulates, and the muscle tissue acidifies. The pH drops from about 7.2 to 5.5 in a typical muscle. Acidification proceeds, and the generation of ATP continues, until the enzyme systems will no longer work in the acid conditions, or all the glycogen is used up. In beef an initial concentration of muscle glycogen of about 10 mg/g or more leads to normal acidification. The rate of acidification varies between species. It is most rapid in pork, followed by lamb then beef. The pH in beef may continue falling for 36 to 48 hours, while in pigs ultimate pH values are usually reached within 4 to 8 hours. The acidification leads to denaturation of some of the muscle proteins, and changes the characteristics and appearance of the muscle. It becomes paler and more opaque, and its ability to bind water decreases. If the muscle is cut the surface will exude moisture. This produces the drip (known in North America as purge) seen in retail packs of meat.
See: https://veteriankey.com/meat-preservati ... rocessing/

Formation of lactic acid during post-mortem glycolysis is responsible for
the decline in pH value within the meat after slaughtering. The pH value of
meat at the point of slaughter varies depending on the type of animal but is
generally between 6.8 and 7.2. After slaughter, the pH normally drops to
around 5.3 – 5.4, which is close to the IEP of muscle meat. Upon completion
of post-mortem glycolysis, the final pH value of red meat is slightly higher
than that of white meat; red meat generally contains slightly less glycogen
than white meat at the point of slaughter and, as a result, the pH value does
not decline as much during rigor mortis. High final pH levels in meat after
completion of post-mortem glycolysis and rigor mortis correlate with the
low level of glycogen present at the point of slaughter in muscle tissue,
leading to insufficient acidification of muscle tissue post-slaughter, which
results in a final pH value of around 6.2–6.4 (DFD meat).
(Gerhard Feiner, Meat Products Handbook:Practical Science and Technology, 2016, p.39)
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