10% or Stronger Pickling Vinegars
I've been making up some pickeled batches of sausages, kielbasa, and hot dogs with some batches now entering their 3rd week. I'm targeting a figure or around 8 weeks as the total saturation point for their pickeling. The last batches have started using full strength white vinegar which is about 5% acidity. I've also bought some commercially prepared sausages from Hannah's and Red Smith. One thing about the commercial brines is the acidity level appears to be much stronger then 5%. These brines don't appear to be the original brines that the product was pickled in, but a maintainance, packing brine. I have several old cook books and canning guides that refer to a pickeling vinegar that is 10% that assures crispness. I've found references to pickeling vinegars still around that are near 7% acidity, but not found anywhere around here. I would suspect that in commercial process, the pickeling solutions are greater and not formally called vinegar per US standards and contain glacial acetic acid to raise concentrations higher then food & drug standards for vinegar. I don't have access to ph measuring tools at the moment to see what the maintainance brines of the commercial products are, but that should soon be changing. I've been able to measure the salinity with a brix reflectometer to raise the pickeling salt to similar levels. Anyone with any input on higher vinegar/pickeling acidity levels > then 7%?