Fresh Sausage 104 & 105 - Casings For Bratwurst and Italian Sausage


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    Fresh Sausage

    Fresh Sausage 104 - Casings For Bratwurst.

    Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Mixing in seasoning
    Mixing in seasoning

    What Is Bratwurst?

    Bratwurst is a fresh sausage product that can be made out of pork, beef, wild game or really any type of meat and stuffed into a wide variety of casings. Sizes can range from 28mm to 35mm with 30 or 32mm being the most common. The two most popular casings to choose from are natural hog casings and collagen casings. The same casings that are used for Brats can be used for Italian sausages as well.

    What Type Of Casing Are Used For Bratwurst?

    Natural Hog Casings
    Natural Hog Casings are processed and cleaned hog intestines. They are available in 30-32mm, 32-35mm and 35-38mm 100-yard “hanks” that can hold between 125 lb and 150 lb of product. The casings are kept fresh in a salt solution during storage and shipping. Before using these you must rinse and then soak them in warm water for 30 minutes. They can then be loaded onto the corresponding sized stuffing tube and be filled. 32-35mm hog casings are also available in Home Packs that are packed in salt to keep them fresh. Each home pack will process about 25 lb of meat and must be rinsed, and soaked in warm water for 30 minutes before they are ready for use but they must also be flushed first. Flushing is letting fresh water run through the casing, the easiest way to do this is to turn on a faucet at a slow trickle and then hold one end of the casing and allow the water to find its way into the opening. Trying to pull the casing open before the water opens that up is difficult. The home packs will often be in shorter strands than the casings in a hank as well. A strand of casings from a 32/35mm hog hank are generally much longer than what you will get in a homepack, so if you do go with a home pack you will be loading casings onto your stuffer more often.

    The 32/35mm hog casings also come in a Tubed Package. This means there is a plastic tube running down the center of the hog casing that you slide onto your stuffing tube and then pull it out, which leaves the casing on the tube. These casings still must be rinsed and soaked in warm water before use but they do not need to be flushed. This is also available for all sizes of the sheep casings.

    Natural casings, whether hog or sheep will have a slight curve to them once that have been fully stuffed. These casings will sometimes have an odor to them as well, this is generally not an indication of any spoilage, remember these are a natural product and even though they have been cleaned and processed they are still hog intestine.

    Collagen Casings
    Collagen casings are made from a restructured beef hide and are available in three different types, Smoke, Fresh and Clear. Fresh Collagen casings are more tender than smoked or clear which are both designed to stand up to being hung in a smokehouse. Fresh Collagen is semi-transparent and will become clear when they are cooked. In the end, they should give a similar look to a natural hog casing without a curve. The 32mm is closer to the size that you may find in many store brand sausages and bratwursts, but many people prefer the slightly smaller diameter 30mm casings when making sausage or brats as they fit into a bun a little better. We have 30mm Fresh Collagen available in packs with 2 50’ strands that will do about 40 lb of meat or full caddies which have 30 50’ strands that will hold about 530 lb of meat. These casings require no prep work, simply take them out of the package, load as much as you need onto a stuffing horn and you are ready to start stuffing.

    Advantages and Disadvantages To Collagen and Natural.

    The main advantage of Collagen over Natural Hog Casings is that Collagen does not require any preparation, you simply remove it from the package, load it onto your stuffing tube and begin stuffing. Collagen casings are also stronger and less prone to blowouts when stuffing than Hog Casings are. The main disadvantage to Collagen casings is that they will not hold a twist, once you cut them to separate them they will come unraveled.

    Hog Casings main advantage over collagen is that it will hold a twist once cut. Its major disadvantages are that they have to be rinsed and soaked (and sometimes flushed) and they are more susceptible to blowouts during the stuffing process.

    What We Prefer

    Because of the ease of use and the uniformity we tend to like to use collagen casings more than natural casings, this is especially true for beginners.

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  • Cured Sausage Specialty Sausage 102: Making Lebanon Bologna

    Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Cutting Meat Grinding Meat Stuffing Lebanon What Is Lebanon Bologna?

    Lebanon Bologna was originally made by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1800’s. Traditionally it is a dark bologna, similar to salami in appearance and texture and it has a tangy flavor. It is often eaten as cold cuts and it can be slow cured and cold smoked or smoked using more modern methods. We are going to be making a version today that will not be slow cured or cold smoked as that makes it more difficult for the average home user.

    Meat Block

    7 lb of Untrimmed Pork Butts
    3 lb of Lean Beef
    1 Bag of Lebanon Bologna Seasoning
    1 10 lb Capacity Bologna Casing
    1 Bag of Sure Gel
    Sodium Erythorbate

    Equipment

    Weston #12 Butcher Series Grinder
    Walton’s 11 lb Sausage Stuffer
    Weston 20 lb Meat Mixer

    Process

    If you can you should cut the fat off of your pork and grind your pork fat separately through a 3/16th plate twice. Then grind your beef and lean pork through a 3/8 plate and then through a 1/8 plate. Keep ground pork fat separate. Making sure EVERYTHING but especially your pork fat is cold before you grind it is very important here for particle definition.

    Meat Mixing

    Place lean meat in the mixer. While mixing add Lebanon Bologna seasoning, Sure Cure and Ice Cold Water. Mix for 5 minutes. Add ground fat trim, sodium erythorbate and mix for 3 more minutes. Lastly, if you are using Encapsulated Citric Acid add it during the last 60 seconds of mixing. If you add the Encapsulated Citric Acid too soon you could break the encapsulation and release the acid into the meat too soon.

    Sausage Stuffing

    Stuff your meat into fibrous casings that have been soaked for at least an hour in water that is 80 - 100° so the casings are pliable. These casings are tough and durable so don’t worry about blowouts just stuff them fully but make sure to leave enough room to get a hog ring on the open end. When stuffing larger diameter casings it is important to choose the largest of the stuffing tubes that your casing will fit over and make sure you are gripping it nice and tight, we want these casings packed nice and solid.

    Note

    You can also use Fibrous or Non-Edible Collagen casings, we chose this as it had the capacity we wanted and it presented the product well.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    To smoke start them out with 125 for 1 hour, then 140 for 1 hour then 165 for an hour and finally at 180 until the internal temperature reaches 155°.

    Cooling

    Place it in an ice bath or shower for 20 minutes to bring the temperature back down and then hold at room temperature for 2 hours and then move to a cooler or freezer before vacuum packing. I let this sit in a refrigerator overnight before slicing to make sure the temperature was brought all the way down.

    Wrap up

    All in all, this is very similar to making a salami or even a summer sausage, the main differences are separating out the pork fat from your lean and using the correct ratio, seasoning, and casings. The fried Bologna sandwiches were very good!

    Additional Tips Removing the fat cap before you break down your pork butt is easier sometimes, it all depends on how it looks before you start cutting into it. I put very little smoke on this as I didn’t want that to dominate the taste so I filled my smoke tray about 1/4 of the way full. I am glad I did it this way as it allowed for the Lebanon taste to come through more. Other Notes

    I added X-Tra Hot Red Pepper to this to help give it a nice zip and to cut some of the sweetness. I used it at a ratio of 3 oz per 100 lb of meat and since I was doing 10 lb that means I used .3 of an oz.

    Watch WaltonsTV: Specialty Sausage 102: Making Lebanon Bologna Shop waltonsinc.com for Cured Sausage Seasoning Shop waltonsinc.com for Meat Grinders Shop waltonsinc.com for High-Temp Cheese

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  • Specialty Sausage Specialty Sausage 101: What is Specialty Sausage?

    Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    What is Specialty Sausage?

    As much as you might love bratwurst, summer sausages and snack sticks sometimes you want a sausage that is a bit more unique. It might be a recipe you tried once in another country, one that your grandparents used to make or something just sounds really exotic like blood sausage. Recipes and knowledge of how to make these types of sausage are often passed down from generation to generation.

    For whatever reason, these types of sausages have fallen out of favor and are sadly relegated to the specialty stores of the home processor. Maybe opinions have changed on the type of meat used, the way it is cooked or the seasoning or spices used in the original seasoning. The good thing about this is it gives you the opportunity to “rediscover” plenty of types of amazing sausages.

    Types of Meat Required

    Sourcing the meat might be a little harder for this than a normal sausage but a quality butcher should easily be able to get you pork liver, trim and even pork blood that you will need to make some of these. Others like Lebanon bologna and some landjaeger only require a mix of pork and beef and a special seasoning.

    Casings

    Many specialty sausages will also require a special or a specific casing to be used. Braunschweiger has a special plastic casing specifically for the production of that product and others like landjaegar simply require that you use a natural casing like hog or sheep intestine.

    Smoking

    Smoking and cooking will also be different with a lot of these sausages, a normal smoke schedule might not work for your needs on these products. We will be making Landjaegr, Lebanon Bologna and Blood Sausage in the 10’s and then go for some even more out there products in the advanced classes

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Jerky Seasonings Shop waltonsinc.com for Vertical Smokers Shop waltonsinc.com for Weston Dehydrator 160L Pro Series

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  • Weekly Blog Post - PreThanksgiving & Specialty Sausage

    Find out what's going on at Walton's and Meatgistics this week. We will have a loose schedule for soon to be released videos, what we are working on long-term and maybe a few quick tips and tricks that are on our mind!

    What Videos are being released soon?

    We just released our Pre Thanksgiving Sales that will be good through Friday so you should absolutely check that out. You will also see that we have reduced shipping on orders over $5 all week.

    ThanksBlackMonday - This is the “fun” video that we do every year! This year we split it into thirds so the first round of sales will be good from 11/19-11/26, the second round starts on Black Friday (11/22) and ends on Cyber Monday and the third round is Cyber Monday only!

    Specialty Sausage 101 & 102 - In these two videos we will be going over specialty sausage as a category and then showing you detailed steps on making Lebanon Bologna. Ours came out amazing so if you are planning on making any this year watch the video for some tips on how to make a delicious Lebanon Bologna!

    What Projects are we looking ahead at?

    Specialty Sausage 103: Landjaeger - We made Landjaeger or a version of it at least! It came out tasting excellent but the appearance wasn’t exactly what we were going for, for more details keep an eye out for this video in the next few weeks.

    Specialty Sausage 104: Blood Sausage - We haven’t made this year and it is going to have to wait until at least after Thanksgiving but hopefully we will get to it soon! We are excited about this as it’s a true odd-ball in America and we want to see if we can make some improvements to it!

    What’s on our Mind?

    It is almost Thanksgiving time and I’m going home for the first time in years! Like everyone else, I am excited to see family and friends and eat delicious food! Don’t forget to take a few minutes this Thanksgiving to really concentrate on what you are thankful for. For me, a huge thing I am thankful for is this job, I really love what I do here! I mean, who wouldn’t love talking, filming and answering questions about meat processing all day!

    New Products

    The Talsa K50 Bowl Chopper and the Talsa K80 Bowl Chopper are two brand new choppers from Talsa. These are large commercial pieces of equipment that allow you to do everything from a rough chop to an emulsification of your meat products. Either of these machines will work on everything from pulled pork to hot dogs!

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  • @TinCupTom I agree with both @bobing195-7 and @ed-jordan in regards to the H Summer, great tasting Summer Sausage without being too strong or having any real heat.

    Just so you know, in case you were looking for it and couldn’t find it, the ingredients are listed on the products web page. Just scroll down and click the “Additional Info” tab and it will show up.

    The W Summer (4550300082) might be the most mild of all the ones you listed. That doesn’t make it bad at all just a very mild flavor

    Summer 107 (4550300032) Similar to H, contains mustard seed but I don’t think it is whole.

    Summer Sausage Seasoning (4550300012) Very similar to the 107 in flavor, has whole mustard seed.

    H - Summer (G4550300070) is our best selling Summer Sausage Seasoning, contains whole mustard seed. If you are looking for a peppery seasoning this is the best one to use for a base and add some black pepper. This would be the basic summer seasoning favored by most employees and customer.

    Another option, if you are making 100 lb batches or don’t mind breaking down the seasoning into smaller batches, would be the Ton’s Summer Seasoning (4550806642) It has a very good flavor and is pretty peppery if I remember correctly, I pepper is listed higher in the ingredients list than any of the others… Of all of the basic Summer Sausage seasonings (excluding ones like Jalapeno and Habanero BBQ) this is the second best scoring one amongst employees.

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  • E

    @tincuptom i can only speak to the H summer sausage seasoning, but it has a lot better taste than the backwoods. Not a lot of pepper (you could add more I am sure) but it is a good solid flavor profile. I did not use the ECA for the tang, but plan on doing it this week in a batch. You can’t go wrong with the H seasoning!

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  • B

    I have been in search for a summer sausage seasoning with black pepper but couldn’t find one. I’m new at this so the H Summer Sausage is the only one I have used so I can’t give you any comparisons with the other 3, but you mentioned black pepper so thought I would share my first experience.
    So I used Waltons H Summer Sausage and mixed in about a quarter cup of fine black pepper. I liked the results and several others did as well. It had a light pepper taste and I probably will add a little more in the next batch for a slightly stronger flavor. I used 25 lbs of venison and 4lbs of beef fat to keep it on the leaner side. Good luck, Bob

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