In preparation to make a large batch of semi air dried pork sausage I have a few questions. In the past I have made small batches with moderate success. Previous batches included Cure#1 but no starter culture. After stuffing the sausage in natural hog casings, I hung it in the basement for 24 hours. Afterwards I hung it in a vertical smoker and gradually heated it without smoke (total time 5 hours, smoker temperature maintained at 95-110 F for 2.5 hours, then gradually increased to 145 F) until the internal sausage temperature reached 130 F. Afterwards I cooled it in ice water for 30 minutes and then hung to dry for another 5 days. Final weight loss was 28%.
In this large batch, I have decided to add Bactoferm F-RM-52 and dextrose at 0.8%. The plan is to hang the sausage in a controlled environment 68-78 F with 65-85% humidity for minimum 24hours or until the pH drops to less 5.0.
My question is do I need to raise the sausage temperature of this large batch to 130 F or can I just let it remain in the drying chamber up to 15 days or until it looses 18% of its weight? At the end of the process the sausage will be vacuum sealed and frozen. When ready the sausage will be cooked to internal temperature of 165 F.