Sunday, January 11, 2009

saucisson update: 285 grams and shrinking :(

So exactly one week has passed since I first hung my first four saucissons secs to dry-cure in the basement. To track my products' progress, I decided to weigh them weekly to determine doneness - a fully cured sausage will lose about 30% of its weight over the course of several weeks (the number of which is dependent on the sausage's size, and the humidity and temperature of the space in which it hangs).

According to the recipe, a smaller link should cure over the course of 18-21 days, meaning it should weight approximately 30% less than it did prior to hanging. I was a little concerned to see that my sausages have nearly lost this amount after only 7 days. The sausage pictured above weighed 380 grams one week ago, and it now weighs 285 grams - 25%. I had a feeling this might happen, as I haven't been able to raise the humidity in the room high enough. With help from a small cool mist humidfier, I was able to bring it up to 55-60%, but it should really be between 60-70% for best results. The biggest risk in this scenario is that the exterior of the sausage may dry/harden too soon, which could trap moisture inside the link, causing it to spoil. To add insult to injury, there's really no way to tell if a saucisson has spoiled without cutting into it.

Given these stats, I'll likely cut into one of these sometime this week, since the 30% mark will arrive soon. I'm already researching a better humidifier. Stay tuned.

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