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May 3 / scott.campbell

Water Activity Readings on Landjager; Soppressata

It’s been 16 days now since putting the Landjager and Soppressata in the fridge to cure.  The sausage itself looks appetizing, with none of the depressing signs of bad mold growth that we saw before – The Landjager:

and the Soppressata:

The innoculation with good mold appears to result in the desired effect: no green/black nasty mold growth.  I wasn’t successful in getting the humidity as high as I wanted it, though, and I gave up waiting for the nice powdery white stuff to creep across the entire surface before dropping the humidity back down.  As you can see on the below graph, I did eventually manage to get the RH above 85%, but the best  P. nalgiovense RH level is listed as 90-95%.  We’ve seen a few dubious colonies (some “white but a little fuzzy” can be seen on the Landjager picture above), but I removed them per the book’s instructions.  Anyway, a graph of our fridge’s RH and the sausage water activity:

As we’ve said before, there are two reasons we’re taking water activity measurements: it’s just good practice to know when the product is safe to keep on the shelf, and also, we make water activity meters.  You can see on the graph that the readings tend to jump around when we measure every day.  For example, the increase we saw today probably has more to do with sampling technique than with actual changes in the meat’s water activity (more on that in a future post).  Both sausages are drying down well, and we expect to see consistent decreases because we are running a lower humidity now.

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