what is the best starter culture to use when making dry cured pepperoni? I want to make it then hang it in the basement where the temperature will be around 60 F and the relative humidity around 75%
Ed_Orum The most popular starter culture that we carry for pepperoni would be the Bactoferm LHP but that requires warmer temperatures than 60° as its optimum growth is from 90-110°. Doing this in your basement will be a “proceed at your own risk” situation as we can only recommend doing these under controlled environments like a dry curing chamber.
There is some good information on that page, so even if you dont use the LHP I would recommend checking it out.
Anyone have any tips for Ed?
I’ve only used LHP for making Summer Sausage. Which I hang in a homemade steam chamber to hold the perfect temperature until I get the pH drop I’m looking for, after smoking you can let it hang if you have the perfect conditions, I prefer to wrap a stick with paper towel and leave it in the refrigerator until the desired dryness is achieved.
Have you used a starter culture with just a straight Walton’s mix like “Lebanon bologna mix” ?
Ed_Orum: You want to keep it at 80-100, around 90% Humidity for 24 to 48 hours hours to ferment
After fermenting you can dry it at 50-60F 70-80% humidity if you wish (need to use cure #2 if drying more than a week or two)
I usually dry to a 35% weight loss
The high humidity is to prevent case hardening from drying too fast
How long does it take to dry to 35% ?
Lots of factors, casing size, collagen or natural casing, average humidity and temperature, air movement
32 mm may be a week or two, large diameters may take 4-6 weeks
I would weigh weekly
Lots of info on the web under salami or salumi