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Solution to the old "mould on my biltong" problem

 
Phil Hawkins
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Location: Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
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I found some mould on my biltong this morning

I googled around and found that this is caused by insufficient air flow (eg: too humid in the biltong box). The good news is that it doesn't mean the meat is spoiled - you just have to wipe it down with some vinegar and rehang it.

I have also added a little 4" desk fan to the biltong box, as clearly the 60w bulb wasn't causing enough temperature differential to move the air around. I am going to add some more air holes too.

Anyway, just thought I'd share this lesson learned with y'all.
 
Chris Fox
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You have a box? Would love to see pictures of it. I just hang mine up in the office with paper clips to dry. It's funny to see the dog sit under the tied up meat and drool.
 
Phil Hawkins
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Sure thing Chris - here you go



My father in law built it. It's basically a frame of 42x19mm pine (1 1/2" x 3/4") with 3mm (1/8") plywood sides. There are dowels with little stainless steel hooks (he used MIG wire - you could use paperclips). The false floor (with little holes in it) has a light bulb under it (the sheet stops the juices landing on the bulb). There are air holes above the dowels on the sides, and also at the bottom. All the holes are covered by flywire, and there's a door (open for the photo, obviously) the seals up the front.

The little fan is sitting on the false floor pointing up (this photo was taken after 24 hours - biltong's been in there for about 5 days now)
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Awesome pic, Phil. Enough to make people drool, not just the dog!
 
Chris Fox
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That is really cool. I just have have strings running from window frame to the other side of the room. Tie them up tight and leave the ceiling fan on. Does get distracting when I'm working to have 3lbs of meat hanging over my head.
 
Phil Hawkins
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Location: Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
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You probably wouldn't get mould hanging it out in the open, but flies are a real issue here so we'd have no chance.

Here is a bit of a great video on raising and butchering pigs, where he's talking about hanging salami from the rafters for weeks, and a ham for 8 months!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvgQCa29LEM&feature=player_detailpage#t=3796s
 
Phil Hawkins
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Location: Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
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So my first batch is ready. It's too salty, but still edible (actually, it's very tasty - you just need a glass of water afterwards!). Lesson learned - need to wash the salt off better in the vinegar bath.



And when I put the next batch in, I took another photo of the cabinet that shows the arrangement with the fan and false floor a little better.



I did a bit of a write up on my blog for anyone that isn't already familiar with how to make biltong.
 
Phil Hawkins
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Biltong version 2.0 worked out a lot better. Three and a half days in the well ventilated cabinet, and the texture and taste is spot on!

 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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