Biltong Box

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

Agentgonzo

Landlord.
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
Messages
567
Reaction score
538
Also... Do fridges provide warmth? I thought they only cooled. So if your home is 20 degrees, but you want 25 degrees, how does the fridge raise the temperature?

Normally they are wooden boxes with holes in them you put in a sunny spot
 

Dutto

Dutto
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
8,057
Reaction score
4,902
Location
Sleaford - Lincolnshire
I like the concept but;
  • I really dislike Biltong.
  • I’m not keen on using my Brew Fridge for anything else
For anyone that hasn’t tried Biltong, here’s a site that may convince you to give it a try:


Enjoy!
:hat:
 

RoomWithABrew

Landlord.
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
944
Reaction score
576
Location
Paremata New Zealand
I was considering using a room dehumidifier to blow the dehumidifed and warmed air into the biltong box and then capture it on the other side to dehumidify again. Not sure if this would work but seems like it could be quite efficient as a closed system, rather than a heat source and fan.
 

Agentgonzo

Landlord.
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
Messages
567
Reaction score
538
I was considering using a room dehumidifier to blow the dehumidifed and warmed air into the biltong box and then capture it on the other side to dehumidify again. Not sure if this would work but seems like it could be quite efficient as a closed system, rather than a heat source and fan.
Something in the back of my mind is trying me you should just do a quick read up about legionella. I don't know the details, but there is something about dehumidifiers/Aircon and legionella and I'd hate for something to go wrong. It may be fine.

If you're after something quick and easy, have you tried using the oven? Wheel I make it, I hang the meat from the top oven tray on cocktail sticks, then leave the fan oven on set at it's lowest temperature with the door open a crack for and 5-6 hours. It does a pretty good job
 

johnny108

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2016
Messages
180
Reaction score
160
Location
NULL
I've always thought biltong was just a form of beef jerky- only a food dehydrator was needed.
If it's more like a dried/fermented product, then some dry aging bags (for steak) and your refrigerator might work, just slower.
 

GeneralGinger

Active Member
Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
34
Reaction score
29
Anyone used a fermentation fridge to also have a go at making Biltong?.

Read that it requires constant heat around 22-26 degrees to air dry the beef strips for 5 days.

Sounds perfect for a fermentation fridge with a small fan.

Traditionally in South Africa, drying of biltong was achieved by hanging the strips of meat on hooks and leaving them to ambient dry. Nowadays, home made biltong may be made Page 13 of 87 using a biltong-drying unit (Naidoo and Lindsay, 2010) whilst large scale operations use commercial dryers. The colder moisture ambient conditions in the UK, compared with South Africa, are not conducive to the making of biltong in ambient conditions.

biltongtemp.PNG


A warm dry environment is required for making biltong and Table 4 indicates that an air temperature of 35ºC will enable a microbiologically stable product to be produced in a around 6 days (144 hours). A lower air temperature would require a longer drying time and increase the microbiological hazard due to the slower drying rate. Whilst a heater can be used to raise the air temperature for drying, relative humidity of the air (related to pa in the equation above) also needs to be considered. For example, in the UK, typical weather conditions in the Summer would be 18ºC and 65% relative humidity. Heating this air to 35ºC would produce a relative humidity of 24% which is below the 30 to 40% found in Table 3. The product would dry sufficiently in less than 6 days. The drier must be ventilated to allow fresh air to enter and some moist air to leave. Adjusting the rates of air intake and exhaust would allow the relative humidity to be controlled. For Winter weather in the UK, the temperature and relative humidity might be 4ºC and 85% relative humidity and heating this air to 35ºC would create a relative humidity of 12%. The product may become over-dried if all of the air is allowed to pass into the oven and immediately out again. Restricting the flow of air out of the drier and, perhaps, slightly reducing the air temperature may be required depending on the product moistness required and the need to prevent case-hardening. Allowing some of the air to recirculate in the oven would enable the relative humidity to increase. The speed of the air in the equipment used for drying also affects the rate of drying through the mass transfer coefficient (discussed above) because it moves hot air towards the meat and Page 14 of 87 removes moisture from the meat surface and also from the drying equipment. Few data have been reported on the air speeds used in making biltong. Traditional ambient drying relied on the wind. Some driers produced for home use rely on the convective effect resulting from the heat source in the drier: in some cases, this is nothing more than an electric light bulb. Data reported in Table 4 suggest an air speed around 2.5 to 3 m/s. Lower speeds would reduce the drying rate but higher speeds would lead to little increase in drying rate because the rate of drying would be restricted by the rate at which moisture can move within the meat to the surface. Figures 1 and 2 show the change in moisture content, water activity, salt content and bacterial numbers during the drying of biltong in air at 35ºC, 30% relative humidity and 3 m/s. A suitably dry product is achieved after 144 hours but the microbial load would likely decrease further with longer drying. Conversely, reducing the drying time to 72 hours (3 days) would create a product with a moisture content between 30 and 40% but the microbial load would be higher. pH may also have an influence on the safety and shelf life of meat products. Fresh beef has a pH around 5.8, generally in the range 5.4 to 6.0. Table 4 shows that biltong from fresh meat retains it pH at around 5.6 to 5.9 unless some severe acidic treatment has been used in the preparation

From: acm982rep.pdf (food.gov.uk)


Hope this helps :) Bolding is mine.

I use a ProQ Food Smoking Cabinet, with a PC fan and a heating element in the bottom controlled by an Inkbird Temprature controller. I just have it free standing in my garage with suitable ventilation.

I think you're going to have issues with airflow, temperature and humidity doing it in a fermentation fridge.
 
Last edited:

johnny108

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2016
Messages
180
Reaction score
160
Location
NULL
Traditionally in South Africa, drying of biltong was achieved by hanging the strips of meat on hooks and leaving them to ambient dry. Nowadays, home made biltong may be made Page 13 of 87 using a biltong-drying unit (Naidoo and Lindsay, 2010) whilst large scale operations use commercial dryers. The colder moisture ambient conditions in the UK, compared with South Africa, are not conducive to the making of biltong in ambient conditions.

View attachment 68544

A warm dry environment is required for making biltong and Table 4 indicates that an air temperature of 35ºC will enable a microbiologically stable product to be produced in a around 6 days (144 hours). A lower air temperature would require a longer drying time and increase the microbiological hazard due to the slower drying rate. Whilst a heater can be used to raise the air temperature for drying, relative humidity of the air (related to pa in the equation above) also needs to be considered. For example, in the UK, typical weather conditions in the Summer would be 18ºC and 65% relative humidity. Heating this air to 35ºC would produce a relative humidity of 24% which is below the 30 to 40% found in Table 3. The product would dry sufficiently in less than 6 days. The drier must be ventilated to allow fresh air to enter and some moist air to leave. Adjusting the rates of air intake and exhaust would allow the relative humidity to be controlled. For Winter weather in the UK, the temperature and relative humidity might be 4ºC and 85% relative humidity and heating this air to 35ºC would create a relative humidity of 12%. The product may become over-dried if all of the air is allowed to pass into the oven and immediately out again. Restricting the flow of air out of the drier and, perhaps, slightly reducing the air temperature may be required depending on the product moistness required and the need to prevent case-hardening. Allowing some of the air to recirculate in the oven would enable the relative humidity to increase. The speed of the air in the equipment used for drying also affects the rate of drying through the mass transfer coefficient (discussed above) because it moves hot air towards the meat and Page 14 of 87 removes moisture from the meat surface and also from the drying equipment. Few data have been reported on the air speeds used in making biltong. Traditional ambient drying relied on the wind. Some driers produced for home use rely on the convective effect resulting from the heat source in the drier: in some cases, this is nothing more than an electric light bulb. Data reported in Table 4 suggest an air speed around 2.5 to 3 m/s. Lower speeds would reduce the drying rate but higher speeds would lead to little increase in drying rate because the rate of drying would be restricted by the rate at which moisture can move within the meat to the surface. Figures 1 and 2 show the change in moisture content, water activity, salt content and bacterial numbers during the drying of biltong in air at 35ºC, 30% relative humidity and 3 m/s. A suitably dry product is achieved after 144 hours but the microbial load would likely decrease further with longer drying. Conversely, reducing the drying time to 72 hours (3 days) would create a product with a moisture content between 30 and 40% but the microbial load would be higher. pH may also have an influence on the safety and shelf life of meat products. Fresh beef has a pH around 5.8, generally in the range 5.4 to 6.0. Table 4 shows that biltong from fresh meat retains it pH at around 5.6 to 5.9 unless some severe acidic treatment has been used in the preparation

From: acm982rep.pdf (food.gov.uk)


Hope this helps :) Bolding is mine.

I use a ProQ Food Smoking Cabinet, with a PC fan and a heating element in the bottom controlled by an Inkbird Temprature controller. I just have it free standing in my garage with suitable ventilation.

I think you're going to have issues with airflow, temperature and humidity doing it in a fermentation fridge.
Isn’t case hardening of the meat a problem? The outside dries to fast, the water gets trapped and the inside can spoil? I’ve made bresaola a few times in my fridge with dry aging bags- slow, but the temp keeps bacteria in check.
 

Agentgonzo

Landlord.
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
Messages
567
Reaction score
538
Isn’t case hardening of the meat a problem? The outside dries to fast, the water gets trapped and the inside can spoil? I’ve made bresaola a few times in my fridge with dry aging bags- slow, but the temp keeps bacteria in check.
Obviously not, otherwise they wouldn't have been making it like this for donkeys years. I assume it dries slowly enough, or the dry outer layer is still porous enough to let the moisture wick away
 

Latest posts

Top