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Saltpeter: Where To Get It?

Discussion in 'Brew Food' started by wildschwein, 10/7/07.

 

  1. wildschwein

    Well-Known Member

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    Posted 10/7/07
    I've always had a strong interest in curing my own meats but have never been able to source saltpeter (potasium nitrate). I've seen it for sale online in the U.K. Does anyone here know where you can obtain food grade saltpeter or proper curing salt (which usually contains some sort of nitrate) in Australia?
     
  2. goatherder

    Fancyman of Cornwood

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    Posted 10/7/07
    Being one of the ingredients of gunpowder, I'd be surprised if it wasn't a controlled substance. Maybe there are alternative products?
     
  3. Quintrex

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    Posted 10/7/07
    Some chinese stores have a curing mix, which has salt, sodium nitrate (salt petre) and sugar in it.

    You could try that
    Q
     
  4. Quintrex

    Well-Known Member

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    Posted 10/7/07
    Check it out but if you get really stuck let me know.

    Quentin
     
  5. fw00r

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    Posted 10/7/07
    Im not sure about food grade but there is an agricultural version often called potash or potash nitrate.

    Saltpeter is just Potassium nitrate (KNO3) for those interested. Potassium nitrate wiki
     
  6. wildschwein

    Well-Known Member

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    Posted 10/7/07
    Yeah it's wierd because cured meats are made in Australia and manufactures must be getting their stuff from somewhere. So far I've seen sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite and potassium nitrate as ingredients in curing salt mixes which are available overseas. Pure saltpeter is available on Ebay UK but I don't have a credit card. I also get a bit worried about searching for sodium nitrate online because I just wonder if ASIO is gonna rock up and frame me for being a terrorist: LOL.
     
  7. newguy

    To err is human, to arrr is pirate

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    Posted 10/7/07
    In Canada, 20 years ago, I used to get mine at the local pharmacy. This was in a small town too (population 1500). I was a teenager at the time and my friends and I were really into making our own gunpowder. Turns out the pharmacy also sold sulphur too. Maybe try a pharmacy?
     
  8. brettprevans

    HB so good, it will raise the dead

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    Posted 10/7/07
    you can make your own saltpeter easily enough. But im not going to tell you how or where you can find instructions on the web. I know from chemistry classes but posting that sort of stuff can bring attention of the wrong kind and Im not being the one who brings AHB into disrepute.

    Im sure you could contact a specialty food place (maybe one who speciliases in cured meats) or your local butcher and they could direct you in the right direction. The other thing is that traditional saltpeter wont be used anymore becuase of the way it was made is will impart particular flavours that might not be all that nice. The newer ways of making KNO3wont leave this residual flavours.

    but to point out the obvious, you dont need KNO3 to cure meats. theres a million and one differant ways of making cured meats. The simplist of which would be to smoke them or salt preserve them.

    My old man's a chef so im sure he's cured meats before (i know he's smoked and salt preserved before). I'll ask him and post his answer.
     
  9. Hashie

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    Posted 11/7/07
    Go to your local Botchers and ask. They use a product called 'quick cure' which has all the nitrates and nitrites needed to cure meats. You could also go to an industry wholesaler. From memory it comes in 1kg bags with instructions printed on the bag for dilution rates.
     
  10. wobbly

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    Posted 11/7/07
    In Perth you can get Salt Petre at MBA (master butchers) in Canning Vale

    Cheers

    Wobbly
     
  11. pint of lager

    brewing on the verandah

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    Posted 11/7/07
    Try these people for curing supplies.

    Orange Farm and Hardware

    Bought a kilo bucket of OFH Corning Cure some time back.

    Contains salt, sodium nitrite, mineral salt and glycerine.

    They have plenty of other bits and pieces for the budding butcher in the family.
     
  12. blackbock

    Braugesell

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    Posted 11/7/07
    My brother is into this meat curing. He also had some trouble getting hold of the right salts, but eventually found a willing supplier somewhere in Sydney. They were prepared to sell pallet loads of the stuff if needed, I remember, so it must be available without ASIO intervening.
     
  13. Tony M

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    Posted 11/7/07
    Thinking back fifty+ years to my gunpowder days, saltpetre as sold for curing was sodium nitrite(ate?) and was totally useless for black powder as it was hydroscopic so was perpetually damp. Made fizoggs.
    Potassium nitrate was for blowing things up.
     
  14. Asher

    Junctyard Brewing

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    Posted 11/7/07
    Always wondered how you kept that pipe glowing on a stormy winters night tony :p
     
  15. jmc

    Member

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    Posted 11/7/07

    If you're in Melbourne

    Butchers Supplies
    Schwarz H & R
    132 Woodlands Drv
    Braeside,
    8586-6000

    is where I got mine

    John
     
  16. Mercs Own

    blabla

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    Posted 16/8/07
    If you have a good read around you will see that saltpeter is considered to be next to useless as a cure for meats, possibley dangerous to your health and basically an old fashioned method that has enough literature to prove it should be discarded and never see a fresh bit of sausage mince or pok butt!
     
  17. wildschwein

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    Posted 16/8/07
    Yeah, I knew it wasn't healthy but it's difficult to get the red colour and flavour complexity in corn beefs and hams without some sort of nitrate addition. I have done just straight salt pork and beef cures but they just don't seem to taste right to me. Maybe saltpeter isn't the way to go but it's interesting that so many of these chemicals are in supermarket and butchers meat products but are not generally available to consumers.
     
  18. stillscottish

    Uh, Detective Parson, madam.

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    Posted 17/8/07
    :eek: :blink: :eek:

    This brings back memories of my "gunpowder days" when I worked in a butchers after school.
    It always amazed me how he could sell "beef" or "pork" sausages with a straight face.
    Why not tell it like it is, "ground up scraps of fat and gristle with filler and flavouring".

    Campbell
     

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