DIY Fermentation Box For Salami
For salami type sausages you need a few days of relatively high heat and high humidity to develop the right flavor profile. This can be done in a simple fermentation box or your oven for that matter. I prefer a dedicated box for it since it is easier to clean.
Most of my dried cured sausages are fermented. The fermentation process makes is safer to cure the sausage and it gives is a special flavor profile.
This fermentation box is made from a cheap storage box from a hardware store. The box has untreated wooden bars that were pushed through holes that were drilled. The holes are of the same diameter as the bars so they fit nice and snug without any gaps.
During the fermentation the following benefits can be gained
The fermentation will start to transform the meat into salami
The fermentation will drop the pH into safe areas of 5.3-ish.
If you have an external mold culture sprayed onto the sausages then white bloom should show up.
Keep it safe, fermentation should be within strict temperature and for a decided time frame
It is important to have the right amount of time for the fermentation. Too little time and the pH will not drop enough which can be unsafe as well as have a negative impact on the flavor.
Lower temperature means that it takes a longer time to get the pH drop but that time can also be extended safely.
Too long time and the high temperature will become a problem for unwanted bacterial growth.
Keep it safe, understand what you are doing and why
Here is a good write-up that you should read and fully understand before you ferment any sausages!
I will not advice you on under what temperatures and procedures you should ferment. You really need to understand this before you start fermenting sausages so please do research in books or salumi communities. There’s a wealth of information in this area. Pick up a book. Join A Facebook group dedicated to salumi. Do not wing it when it comes to the temperature in charcuterie making.
You want to get great-tasting products for your family and friends without any risk to their health!
Keeping the right temperature is important. It is recommended to use an Inkbird or similar controller to turn on/off the heating element as needed to keep it within your desired temperature range.
It can also be low-tech, such as on this picture. A regular kitchen meat thermometer that warns when the temperature is too high
White mold bloom
Fermentation chamber with temperature and humidity controller
A plastic box with a lid
Untreated wooden bars
A power drill, with drill-bit of equal size to the wooden bars.
An inkbird temperature controller.
An infrared heat lamp, or just a regular high wattage lamp
a plate with water and plenty of salt
The plate with water and lots of salt is to help maintain a high humidity content in the fermentation box. The high salt content will keep bacteria from thriving in the water and making it smell bad.
When aging meat, don't take changes with your aging time. Use the tried-and-true knowledge behind the Celcius Day Grades Formula. Using a tenderization timer will give you accurate aging result, regardless of temperature variations.