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TrickyDick
05-22-2013, 07:46 PM
OK.

Got my gear and ingredients all set.

Tomorrow I'm making some sausage (and boar bacon) on my MAK.

I'll iPhone it all and add-in the photos (hopefully via photobucket) later on.

I have about 9 pounds of prepped meat and going to make bratwurst links (Thanks to TentHunter for all the help and motivation). Got my meat all ready (and WOW a #22 neck grinder...you don't need to cut too fine! It's like the diameter of a soda can!) Got my spices all ready. Got my gear all cleaned and ready (put grinder head in freezer - and will give the meat a 15-20 minute rest in freezer before grinding). Got my stuffer all prepped, and my casings soaking. Got some square 1/4" steel rods gonna cut to fit the slots on my MAK to hang the links from - instead of those cool wooden sausage stands (I'm not a very good carpenter).

Maybe tomorrow I make up some home-made pretzels and pretzel rolls and eat some home-made brats! Too bad my home-made Munich Helles beer isn't ready yet. When it IS though, I may need to revisit the homemade brats. Still looking for a great honey mustard horseradish dip.

Again, pics forthcoming.

TD

scott6049
05-22-2013, 08:10 PM
Man it all sounds good, can't wait to see your pics. There is nothing like homemade sausage:)

TrickyDick
05-23-2013, 09:37 PM
Well, I gotta say, off to a late start today.
plan was to brew beer and then tackle the sausage.
Brew done, sausage, on the MAK. I started it up at Midnight. I think I have a problem folks. I do have the week off work however, so I'm not totally insane!
I will say this. Cliff makes it look EASY. Its NOT easy. First time using casings. HEH! What a riot! I got it done. Plan was to use some square steel rod stock from Home Depot to hang the links from the MAK grate slots. It DOES work, but I am like the First year Hogworts Harry Potter of sausage making skill right now. Cliff had got to be headmaster or something. I read the books, and it doesn't really help you to confront the equipment and form the links. But hey, its sausage, not rocket science! Even if they look ugly, they will still taste good. I think practice here is a benefit. I ended up with many oddly sized links. Will see how they turn out.

Anyways. I used one steel rod to suspend some "links" and on the other side laid the the links on the frogmats. I put the boar "bacon" up top to keep grease off (man I'm not sure who cut this stuff but I think I'm going to make some requirements on any foreign meats I offer to cure/smoke from now on....)

Not quite sure how to form the links and handle the sausage as its coming through the stuffer. Not intuitive to the newbies. How tight to fill, how fast to run it, how to tie off ends, etc. When forming links, which way to twist and then which side to twist without unravelling the previous link. Well I did get it done. the sausage smells great. I have a few patties from burst sausages, and leakage from the stuffer between casings, and of course the bottom chute. Probably a pound worth or so. I'll fry some up for breakfast for sure! Made a few patties with these remnants of sausage meat.

I snapped a pic on my iPhone of the MAK with the meat loaded on (no pics of the grinding and stuffing - it was ugly). As per usual, I can't get my "photo stream" working from my phone to my laptop for posting. As it is getting late, I will try to snap some pics of the rest of the process and post them later.

The equipment worked flawlessly. Grinder was incredible. thanks for the recommendation on that. Motorized stuffer was a one man operation. I wish the operator knew what he was doing though! LOL! It was kinda fun.

G'Nite!

TD

TrickyDick
05-24-2013, 05:04 AM
2223
MAK loaded up

2224

2225
Ice bath

2226
Enjoy

Salmonsmoker
05-24-2013, 07:18 AM
Good first run TD. Got the beer brewed first - that's important. Brewing this weekend myself. Stuff the sausage first, then make the links. Use a measuring device to get the links the same length- anything that's the right length will work. Collagen casings won't twist, you have to tie them, natural casings will twist. Pinch first at your measure marks, hold at the marks and twist the link, measure the next link but skip twisting the new end, measure the next link then twist again in the same direction as the first link. If you try to twist opposite directions you'll end up having to twist the unlinked end continually in one direction like you do when rolling up an extension cord or garden hose by hand.

TentHunter
06-17-2013, 07:35 AM
Not sure how I missed this post, but those look great Dick, especially considering it was your first run. Nothing wrong with those sausages at all!

That Four Star design is perfect for simply adding some dowels for sausage hangers like you did on the right-hand side. Great thinking!




Stuff the sausage first, then make the links. Use a measuring device to get the links the same length- anything that's the right length will work. Collagen casings won't twist, you have to tie them, natural casings will twist. Pinch first at your measure marks, hold at the marks and twist the link, measure the next link but skip twisting the new end, measure the next link then twist again in the same direction as the first link.

Great advice! Good to see I'm not the only one to Stuff-first/Pinch-&-twist-every-other-link-later! Trying to twist as you stuff takes too long.

TrickyDick
06-17-2013, 10:56 AM
I think I was aiming for hot dog sized links with these. It's not so easy to form the links and hang them the first time around.
I also made some kielbasa,no pics, about 16-18 oz per link. The bratwurst were spiced more, and in a different manner than I've tasted before, I used a recipe from Kutas for the seasonings and spices. I think next time I would cut back. The kielbasa was more simply seasoned with salt pepper and garlic only. That came out really really good.

Other than online, are there any national retailers that sell hog and sheep casings? I wasted quite a bit of casing the last time because I was only making a small amount. Is there any way to save the rinsed and soaked casings for a later date??

Summer vacation plans are going to put a halt to any more sausage making for a while. I want to try doing some frankfurters next I think, and then perhaps some Kabanosy. From there I might try a fast ferment pepperoni with a fast production cycle, but controlling the temp and humidity is going to be an issue. Probably do a small batch with a salt water pan for humidity or something.

TD

TentHunter
06-17-2013, 01:27 PM
Other than online, are there any national retailers that sell hog and sheep casings? I wasted quite a bit of casing the last time because I was only making a small amount.

I never buy natural casings online. All you need to do is find a local butcher who makes sausage. They're usually more than happy to sell them. Just ask them how much a hank of hog or sheep casings are. Around here they're normally around $30 or so.

A whole hank is more than you need for a batch, but that's OK. As long as you keep them in the salt, they'll stay good for up to two years in the fridge.

When I get a hank I like to go ahead ans separate them and put each in a separate little bag, then put them all in a bigger zipper bag then into the fridge.

If you have rinsed more casings than you need

Whatever you do DO NOT buy those little home pack sausage casings. They are ends/leftovers and are horrible. Buy casings by the hank. They end up costing less in the long run.



Is there any way to save the rinsed and soaked casings for a later date??

You bet, just put them back in a small bag and re-pack with salt. Put them back in the fridge. Later you will re-soak & rinse like you would any other casing.

Salmonsmoker
06-17-2013, 03:57 PM
TD,

Once you've re-salted them, you can also freeze. They will last a very long time that way if you buy bulk. I lived in Alaska years ago and casings were not easy to come by, so buying bulk on the twice yearly trip to Anchorage and then freezing worked quite well. I buy my natural casing from The Sausage Maker. They always have been fresh.

TrickyDick
06-17-2013, 05:24 PM
Ok. Thanks for the advice. Next time get a whole Hank. Probably get a pork and sheep one each. Have a few left over for maybe 10-20 pounds. After that It's whole hank. I am visiting a local deli that make sausages tomorrow, and I'll ask about their casings. Specialize in polish sausages, and I am told even do dry cured salami style sausages!

Tonight I had some burgers I made with a blend of beef chuck and short rib meat ground into patties, seasoned with some salt and pepper and a small amount of celery seed (which I LOVE in ground beef). Seared them on the cast iron griddle over the propane side burners and got a great crust going. buttered toasted buns, bottoms spread with mayo and fresh ground pepper. Yummy stuff. Having a meat grinder is great for burgers as well as sausages....

TD

TrickyDick
06-18-2013, 10:07 AM
Found a local deli that makes sausage. Looks like they know what they're doing. Some salamis, emulsified sausages, dry cured and smoked, you name it they either had it or could make it.
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The owner was out to the dentist office when I stopped in. I talked to his son. Ill go back another day with some cash and a hungry disposition, and try to see if I can get a tour or at least a run down on how they do the dry cured meats and salamis. The son said they take months to produce so it is the real deal. Bought a couple links of Kabanosy. They gave me a few samples. The spicy Kabanosy was indeed rather spicy.
They sell casings, but what I saw was a small packet not the hank sized. Ill ask the owner next time about getting some hanks. They used lamb casings I was told, which sounds like another name for sheep casings, for their Kabanosy.
Best not to go there hungry. They could make a fortune if they sold sandwiches.

TD