Collagen Casings Disolving

  • About a month ago I made 40# of Braunswieger. I used 32mm smoked collagen casings. After 2 hours in the smoker drying at 130 degrees, when I looked in all my meat was laying on the catch tray. Upon pulling out the mess I had noticed I had no evidence of any casing whatso ever. Seriously you could not find any trace of casing. Then last week I made snack sticks with the same outcome. I had previously used these casings to make smoked kielbasa and snack sticks with no problem. I only had the casings for four months and they were stored in the fridge in the original unopened package. Any ideas what caused the failure? I thought maybe excessive moisture, but my recipes were identical to what I processed 4 months earlier.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    Unionguy1019 I have never heard of anything like this. Let me check with our application specialist and see what he has to say. Give us as much of your process as you can think of. Everything from what seasoning/additives to what type of meat, what your smoke schedule was, how long you mixed the meat. Anything you can think of might help us find the answer!

  • Jonathon Braunsweiger was pork liver, beef liver, 40% meat 60% fat pork grind, salt, dextrose, cure #1, NFDM, onion powder, pepper, marjoram, ground cloves and ginger. I cured the liver in a wet EQ brine (water, salt, dextrose and #1 cure). After brine I ground the liver and emulsified it with a food mill. Mixed spices with 2 cans of Straub Dark Ale added to farce mixed well and stuffed into 32mm smoked casings. Placed into 130 degree preheated smoker to dry, after 2 hours went to increase the temps and found everything all in my catch pan. Snack sticks were Salt, dextrose, cure #1, NFDM, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cheddar cheese and spicy V-8 juice. Mixed all except V-8, let age for 48 hours in fridge, mixed again adding v-8. Stuffed into 19mm collagen casings, after 2 hours at 130 degrees had the same dissolved casing result. The sausage shop that carries your casings in my area said I must have got them to wet. I come home and took a piece of casing and put it in water for 3 days. It swelled up and got kind of rubbery but didn’t dissolve.

  • Regular Contributors

    So is the casing actually dissolving or is it breaking causing the meat to fall?

  • lamurscrappy Dissolved as in you cannot find any trace of a casing in the piles of meat in the catch pan in the bottom of my smoker. I have had casings break in the smoker and they just fall into the catch pan in a snaky pile, still intact and looking like a stuffed casing.

  • Regular Contributors

    Your not actually soaking the collagen casings right? Just putting them on the stuffing horn dry?
    I cannot think of anything that would cause these. Especially after only 2 hours. I dont see anything in your seasoning mix to do this either… i could maybe see this with hog casings. But not collagen… im at a loss man im real sorry!

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors

    I’m not sure what happened with the Braunsweiger as I don’t see anything that would of caused them to dissolve and the only thing I see with the snack stick is the V-8. The only thing I can think of is the acidity somehow reacted to the collagen and dissolved it…maybe? What is NFDM, I am not familiar with that?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    AdamCA V8 causing it is an interesting idea…the acid in it is your thought? Unionguy1019 How much v-8 did you add per lb of meat? I’ll run a test here next week to see if I can duplicate.

  • Power User

    Jonathon I had the same thought as AdamCA about the acid in the v-8

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors

    Jonathon Yeah man that’s the only thing I can think of that would cause the casings to dissolve, and the weird thing is it’s 2 different sizes too. Any idea what NFDM is, that doesn’t ring any bells with me?

  • Regular Contributors

    Non fat dry milk. Binder.

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors

    lamurscrappy Ah ok, I don’t use that so just couldn’t think of what that meant. Learn something new everyday!

  • AdamCA Non Fat Dry Milk used to retain moisture in the snack stick and to bind the fat.

  • Jonathon my ratio recipe used 1% V-8 which would be about 1-1/2 cups. I have been going to take a small bit of casing and just tie up a small piece of liver to see if that dissolves. My first though was purinic acid from the liver on the braunsweiger. I did not poach the liver prior to adding the cure and spices, the liver was a raw meat when stuffed. Both 19mm snack stick packages had the same lot #. the one 4 months prior had no problem, the second package unopened and stored in fridge was the one that failed. Hope we come up with an answer to avoid future issues.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    Unionguy1019 Sorry, just to be sure, you used v-8 in the bacth 4 months ago as well? I’ll ask our application specialist about the uncooked liver enzymes but if you used those last time as well…I am doing some processing next week, i’ll make sure to try this with the v-8. Out of curiosity can you give me the lot# I will see if I can try from the same

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    Hey Guys, I went ahead and made a batch of snack sticks with smoke collagen casings and I used v-8 instead of water. There was no dissolving of the casing or anything so that was not the issue.

  • Regular Contributors

    How did they taste? You need my address? 🙂

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    They were both really really good actually! Bufaalo Wing jerky with v-8 was awesome, it added a tingle to the tongue so ALL the heat was on the tongue, really interesting and good. I also did some Habanero BBQ with some added Mango nectar and that was super good as well. I was trying to get the casings to dissolve but didn’t have anything like it happen

  • Power User

    Unionguy1019 im curious on this, as braunsweiger is usually sold with a plastic type casing is there something to this. I did see a couple ingredients that is making me suspicious

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