Author Topic: Brines 101: The differences between Gradient and Equilibrium Brines  (Read 48093 times)

DiggingDogFarm

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Re: Brines 101: The differences between Gradient and Equilibrium Brines
« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2017, 03:48:52 PM »
The calculator works for both traditional dry cure (like for bacon) and EQ brines, right?
Or do I need to factor the weight of the water into any calculations?

Yes, enter the sum of the weight of both the water and the meat into the calculator when doing an equilibrium brine.
~Martin

BonaireBBQ

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Re: Brines 101: The differences between Gradient and Equilibrium Brines
« Reply #46 on: January 19, 2017, 05:14:55 PM »
Well "Life" caught up with me today or maybe it was optimistic -poor planning, but I started brining a 2595 gram pork loin yesterday at noon in a 1.5 % salt 1% sugar brine (no curing salt) using your equilibrium brine calculator. I planned on smoking it this weekend or Monday but it looks like I may have to wait till next weekend to smoke it. The Big Question is how long can it hold in the brine and still be safe to smoke and eat and or should I up the salt to 2%? Another couple of questions how long for an equilibrium brine to work it way in on a large Butt and or a packer brisket +/- days? Thanks any help - guidance is greatly appreciated!
Walt in Bonaire

curegeorg

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Re: Brines 101: The differences between Gradient and Equilibrium Brines
« Reply #47 on: January 19, 2017, 06:20:09 PM »
An equilibrium brine equalizes and does not over salt.  I dry brine my packer briskets for about 2 days, which is also an equilibrium brine technique but much easier for me since I do not have a large enough fridge or vessel for the brisket to soak in.  However, since you are salting your meat entirely through the brine process, be careful not to over salt with your rub, etc.
Coolio from Central NC

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BonaireBBQ

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Re: Brines 101: The differences between Gradient and Equilibrium Brines
« Reply #48 on: January 19, 2017, 07:31:31 PM »
Not so worried about over salting I have done this before. I more worried about how long I can hold it before smoking.
Walt in Bonaire

DivotMaker

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Re: Brines 101: The differences between Gradient and Equilibrium Brines
« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2017, 08:21:10 PM »
Walt, sorry about my absence on this topic!  I've been overcome by events for a few days!

As usual, Martin has given sound advice!  The reason I talked about equal water/meat weights is to keep it simple.  Although I know the combined mass is what's important (like Martin said), I just find using equal amounts works better for me.  Either way is correct!

Now, as far as holding that meat for a week?  Not sure I would do that.  Personally, I would probably remove it from the brine and vacuum seal it, for that length of time.  Martin may say otherwise...not sure.  It might be fine, sitting in the brine for a week, but I don't know the answer to that.
Tony from NW Arkansas
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SmokedGouda

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Re: Brines 101: The differences between Gradient and Equilibrium Brines
« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2017, 08:48:49 PM »
Just started brining a brisket for Sunday. I used Martins calculator and selected 2% sugar and salt. Zeroed out the nitrate. I added the total weight of the meat and the water, then plugged that into the site. I added more weight in water since it wasn't going to cover the meat if I did the same weight.

3460 grams meat
5000 grams water

169 grams salt
169 grams sugar (I split 100/69 brown/white... not sure why haha)

I hope I did this right, but I'll find out in 2 days.
Phil from NJ
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Re: Brines 101: The differences between Gradient and Equilibrium Brines
« Reply #51 on: February 08, 2017, 09:56:13 PM »
How'd it turn out, Phil?
Tony from NW Arkansas
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SmokedGouda

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Re: Brines 101: The differences between Gradient and Equilibrium Brines
« Reply #52 on: February 08, 2017, 10:27:49 PM »
Pretty moist and tasty! Better than the first one I did.

I'm not sure if it was in the brine long enough or not (27 hrs) but everyone loved it. It was a 7.63 lb flat. I still can't find a packer at any of the Costcos around here. Took just over 15 hrs to get up to 190 before I took it out and wrapped in butcher paper for a few hours. I did increase temp after 8 & 12 hours since I wanted to toss wings in at a certain time.

I really underestimated the time it would take on this one (planned 1.5/#) but also wanted to stretch the brine time out as long as I could so I couldn't really start much earlier. Time wasn't on my side

It all worked out and both the brisket and wings (Costco preseasoned) were delicious. Everyone loved it all. I have some brisket leftover that will be going into a chili along with some leftover bacon.

Using an amount of water that's less than equal to the amount of meat is actually best.... less ingredients are used and the brine is more concentrated so curing is faster and there's less of a chance of the brine possibly going bad during long term cures.

Follow up question that I have for you regarding the EQ brine and the water. Due to the shape and size of my container, I needed almost 2x more weight in water to cover the meat. Is it an issue that I'm having a much higher water weight % compared to what Martin suggested?
Phil from NJ
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Re: Brines 101: The differences between Gradient and Equilibrium Brines
« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2017, 08:55:38 PM »
Follow up question that I have for you regarding the EQ brine and the water. Due to the shape and size of my container, I needed almost 2x more weight in water to cover the meat. Is it an issue that I'm having a much higher water weight % compared to what Martin suggested?

Great to hear it was a success, Phil!

I'm not really sure about your question.  Maybe Martin will chime in.  I would think you would need to adjust your ingredients for the extra water weight, but I'm really not sure!  One way you could avoid that problem, though, is to use a big Ziploc bag to put the brisket & brine in...just be sure to put the whole thing in a container that will hold it all, in case your bag turns into the Oroville dam!  Nothing worse than a brining bag springing a leak (been there, done that).
Tony from NW Arkansas
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