• Since I only use beef I try to keep it at or close to 75%25%

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    Everything you have done sounds text book correct. Your added water is well below limits for sausage making.
    I can’t think of a reason you experienced this?

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    Very odd. Agree with processhead. That’s only 3% water, you can usually go to 10% without issues. And beef holds and binds more water than pork. Only thing I can think is if you added the water very late in the mix, and didn’t mix it enough with water to get a bind, so it was still loose in there. The water should be added with the spices mixed into it, usually, at beginning to help them mix better.
    One Other thing is acidity as mentioned above… I see the sum dried tomato brat seasoning has citric acid in it, which can break down protein water bind if too much. I would assume if you used to correct amount of seasoning that acid wouldn’t be too much. However, if you increased seasoning amount, or mixed and let it sit, then stuffed later, it might affect the bind? My best guesses. Glad you still enjoyed them though, it does sound like a tasty flavor!


  • Sounds to me like you did everything right other than your protein extraction.
    Beef vs. Pork does not matter and neither will the fat ratios. Spice selection makes no difference either, some spices may need more mixing than others to get the right extraction.

    Just for argument sake and as an example:
    Not that you should but you could add 4-6 cups of water and with enough mixing and protein extraction make that mix so stiff that you would struggle to crank it out. On the flip side you could use no water at all, spice the meat, hand mix for a minute or less which would give you virtually no protein extraction and that mix would crank out with virtually no effort.

    Next time you get things dirty do an experiment to help get a feel for protein extraction:
    Getting the right protein extraction is not something you can get with a clock it is a feel, I know by the sound the meat makes during mixing when it is done mixing and ready for the stuffer but that comes from many years (and pounds)of experience, you can get the same thing by feel so pay close attention to how it looks and feels in your hands when mixing/stuffing.

    Pull a pound or two out at the start of mixing as soon as the spice is mixed in, stuff, link, and set aside. Half way through your anticipated mixing time do the same thing. And then finally at the end finish stuffing the rest. Pay close attention to how the meat looks, feels, stuffs, and links for all 3 versions.

    Next time you have friends/family over grill some up making sure to keep all 3 version separate. Cut them up on separate plates and have your guests try all 3 and pick which they prefer. It’s going to come down to how you and your family like them but getting thoughts and opinions from as many people as possible is part of the learning.

  • Team Blue

    Dan Vesel that is profound advice!


  • Joe Hell
    Thanks for the Kudos!
    I have to admit that my wife thinks I am nuts!
    When I try something new or have friends that give me something new that they have made and ask for my opinion I will take a piece, break it apart in my hands and look it over before eating it and evaluating the taste and mouth feel. I am looking at the grind, texture, moisture, overall appearance etc. I am always told to “stop playing with my food” by my wife. LOL

    I am always honest whether it is good or bad and insist that anybody that tries something new I have come up with to do the same for me.

    You will NOT be hurting my feelings if you don’t like it but rather giving me bad information that I am relying on to make a better product.

    The day we stop learning is the day we stop improving!


  • Thank you all for the help and helpful advice! It’s amazing how much difference just a few ounces of water can make! I have also found out on the Reuben brats if adding sour kraut put it in a colander and press as much liquid out before adding to the meat and stuffing!

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    EDaniels I dont think this played a part but the Sun-Dried is supposed to be a fresh brat, meaning we don’t want to overmix it and get protein extraction. 7-10 minutes might end up giving you more of a Hotdog texture than a classic bratwurst one.


  • EDaniels
    I have added kraut and let it drain like you did while getting set up. I substituted the drippings in place of water which really amped up the kraut flavor. Just a thought for next time…


  • Yes I will definitely save 12oz of drippings to amp it up! The wife and I loved the flavors with the kraut and swizzle cheese added in but the carrot fibber didn’t put a dent on all the liquid that came from the kraut and added water! But they are amazing!

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