Topic: Fence as drying rack  (Read 616 times)


JP_Finn

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« on: February 19, 2021, 08:02:21 PM »
For a nomadic hunter, or any fisherman, it'd be appreciated if we could use fence section as a drying rack. We can already use outside of a shelter for it, but I feel it'd be thematically appropriate to allow drying on fences as well. Faster to set up and avoids unnecessary Shelter icon pop up on the Wilderness map. I personally refuse building shelters to shore section on water tiles as it looks messy on Wilderness map.

Pros: additional option for drying, even by water line, no messy shelters shown on Wilderness map over water.
Cons: none that I can think of, there'd be no need to have to dry only on a Fence section.

Dark Art

« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2021, 11:45:19 PM »
Kinda yes and kinda no. While it would make sense and simplify drying, the real question (IMHO) should be do we need this? If anything, I'd be more happy to see a new, buildable structure - a drying rack. I've prepared plenty of salt cured dried fish and I can guarantee you that with a proper rack it dries faster and had much fewer chances to rot. The trick is not to have any parts of the meat touching either another drying piece or any wooden parts. Moreover, this way bugs have harder time getting at it and from time to time you can start a small, smoldering fire underneath the rack to speed up the process and add a bit of smoky flavour. With the fence its possible to dry things, but the bugs get at it pretty much right away and probably spoil bits of the meat directly touching the wood, possibly even more that just bits, since in URW the mean isnt salted beforehand. But then again, in URW the drying happens only in the winder (still wonder why, IMHO it would make more sense to do it in the summer), so maybe you'd be fine.... Still, is it something worth spending time implementing?

Privateer

« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2021, 12:35:35 AM »
 Kota frame takes 10 more min. to make then fence and has no tying equipment.
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JP_Finn

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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2021, 01:55:54 AM »
I’d actually prefer drying rack too, there’s plenty of them use in Northern Norway still.
I thought to keep it simple.
And the current locations, shelter wall is spruce twigs, cabin wall is logs and cave wall is rock. Not much distancing for the protein there.
Best drying season would be late winter - early spring. Drying in the middle of winter shouldn’t work, the protein would freeze. And drying in the Finnish summer, well, too rainy and humid, not sunny enough.

Kota frame IMO should require tying equipment for the first three poles.
And IIRC it needs 8 slender trunks, where a fence takes 6/8 of one.
2-3 felling jobs vs one. Hauling 400lbs vs 14.x lbs.
Guess building one by more permanent fishing camp would do.

Dark Art

« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2021, 10:39:24 AM »
If you think drying cant work in the summer, you've been doing it wrong. On occasion, I've sun dried beef and i've dried plenty of chicken with very little spicing and no preservatives like salt or vinegar. Trust me, it works just fine. its a major pain in the proverbial to properly prepare in large quantities, but it works. What you need to do is beat the slices of meat into paper thin sheets and lay them out on a hot surface to dry. I've used metal oven grills placed on a large rock coz I am lazy, but a friend of mine built an actual drying rack out of thin bamboo. In less than a day of hot weather you'll have the meat completely dried out to the point where it would snap like potato chips in your hand. Thats how we tested it if it was ready - it should crackle and snap. In this form it very bland and has not a very pleasant texture, but it would keep pretty much indefinitely if stored properly. Adding spice is generally a no-no as it would either fall right off the dried strips, or let the moisture stay in the meat. When I was in my teens and early twenties, we've used to prepare these strips for long camping trips as they are a very cheap and reliable source of camping food, extremely light (i think the meat loses about 60-70% of its initial mass) and pretty awesome in any stew. Or if the the cook feels lazy or just low on veggies - just boil them for 5-6 mins, add insta-noodles, a bit of salt and you've got a pretty filling meal.

PALU

« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2021, 02:54:24 PM »
And you did that in Finnish summer weather rather than somewhere where the summer is actually mostly hot with a mostly clear sky?
Sure, there can be week long periods of sun and no rain, but they'll probably happen at times other than when you have a fresh kill...

JP_Finn

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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2021, 05:18:52 PM »
When you say “hot surface”, you’re aware that in Finland the weather is considered “hot” when the temperature reaches 25C or 76F.
If the summer is hot, it might be in 80Fs, I don’t recall it ever reaching 90Fs when I lived there. Although, I left 15 years ago. 

(On contrary, yesterday in San Fernando Valley in California, it was 72F. And this is the “coldest time of the year”, during summer, we can get 100F-120F)

Your humidity is too high if you’ve only lost 60-70% of the initial weight. You’ll want 80%+ gone, if you want to preserve long term (months, not few weeks)

Dark Art

« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2021, 07:39:58 PM »
I've done in in central Ukraine and southern Canada :) Havent been to Finland so far, but I think that Ontario's summers are somewhat compatible - its extremely humid and the temperature is somewhere between 25-30 at its max, but usually sits around 20-25. It has been getting warmer in last years, but not dramatically. Ukrainian summers are very similar, just not as humid.

I dont know exact % of weight loss and it really didnt matter all that much. The food had to last up to two, three weeks max with no fuss or special care. As long as dried product would snap and crumble instead of bend and tear - it would last long enough in a simple ziplock bag. Maybe it would last longer, but like I said - it never had to. Since it was a major pain to prepare in quantity, we never really made too much of it to see what would happen with it long term.

JP_Finn

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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2021, 09:29:48 PM »
Making large quantities of dried meat, or jerky, biltong is tedious. Even with an actual dehydrator, stocking up is a chore.

I’m not familiar with most of Ontario weather (it is a large province), but Toronto at least gets considerably hotterer in summer than Finland. If the weather by Hudson Bay is cooler and more humid, as a coastal vs continental, I’d assume so. Finland on the other hand doesn’t get neither, but places somewhere between. Similar temperatures, with relative humidity often in 65%+ with frequent rains (1:3 days)

Dark Art

« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2021, 10:57:58 PM »
Friend, you are missing the point. It may or may not be hotter here or there, it really doesnt matter all that much. All you need to do is to have a nice sunny day or three with temperature around mid 20s, a flat rock to accumulate the heat and some thinly beaten meat on some kind of mesh. Thats all. My grandparents used to make quite a bit of this stuff and had the youngsters slave at beating the meat - thats how I and the rest of my younger kin knows about it, as their parents did, coz their parents used to... and so on. You get the picture. There is really nothing complicated or sophisticated about it and the weather reqiroments are rather broad. You can go as simple as you like and use just a large rock, or get sophisticated and build a proper rack with a place for a small fire for added speed and flavour, but thats completely optional. I am pretty sure that in overwhelming majority of places on our dear Earth this can be done with very little resources - as long as it gets hot enough to heat up a large rock to the point of making your hand rather warm to touch and your willingness to go through the process of actually making the thing.

PALU

« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2021, 12:45:49 AM »
If all you require is a single day with a clear sky you may pull it off if you were lucky enough to get the kill that morning. If you need 3 consecutive days I'd expect it to fail due to rain/overcast and humidity most of the time.

Dark Art

« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2021, 01:18:35 AM »
*Shrug* All I know that on a good day you can make a few kilos of the stuff. You'll stink of raw meat, will have to clean the kitchen and have flies crawling all over you, but its perfectly doable. Like I said, I really dont know if the stuff would last for years, as I was too young to give much of a damn and ask my grandparents how to make it 100% and when I made it voluntarily it had to go only for a few weeks max, but guess I can ask my cousins. There isnt many of the elders left in the family, but I am sure someone would remember the "proper" way. The girls were in charge of collecting and packing the dried stuff, maybe they'd remember. But yeah, the grannies used this meat pretty much on regular basis and since it can be made reliably only during summer, the recipe they used had to be good enough to last, right?

JP_Finn

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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2021, 04:03:46 AM »
-snip- There isnt many of the elders left in the family, but I am sure someone would remember the "proper" way. The girls were in charge of collecting and packing the dried stuff, maybe they'd remember. But yeah, the grannies used this meat pretty much on regular basis and since it can be made reliably only during summer, the recipe they used had to be good enough to last, right?

That would be a great service to us, yourself and younger generations as well.
The drying method must be very different from the Finnish drying, where the cold and dry weather, slowly causes the moisture to evaporate to surrounding air. In summer with humidity pretty high, the moisture wouldn’t go anywhere.

Dark Art

« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2021, 04:43:33 AM »
Heh, sure. I doubt that they'll tell me anything super secret since my own drying went rather well almost every time, but sure, I'll ask and see if any of them might remember something interesting.

Dark Art

« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2021, 07:56:32 AM »
Well... I gotta thank you for putting me up to this. If nothing else, its been a few very interesting days, full of remembering a LOT of things and connecting with some folks I havent talked in quite some time:) All in all, I did learn the recipe and the way the meat was stored long term. Here is goes:

Beat up and roll out the strips of completely fat and any membrane free meat into 2.5-3 finger's wide strips and make them as thin as possible. Try not to rip them too much - the stuff gotta be placed as flat as possible on as wide as possible area. The best meats are those that are quite lean to begin with - chiken, beef, rabbit etc. Pork is not advisable. Perfectly doable, but you really gotta know what you are doing, otherwise it may not be safe.

So far nothing new to what I said earlier. One interesting thing that was mentioned several times is this - if grandma wasnt too sure about the weather's conditions, she used to soak a woolen mitten and place it in the morning on the rack. If it was completely dry by supper, the weather was good enough for drying meat.

The interesting part is how they stored it. Once the meat was dried (strips are completely dry, snap and crumble in your hand like a potato chips would), they'd crumble the strips into a fingernail size flakes, pack them into clay jars (something like this one - http://kod-ua.com.ua/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/%D0%93%D0%9B%D0%95%D0%A7%D0%98%D0%9A-3-%D0%BB%D0%B8%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B0.jpg), leaving about two finger's space in on top of the jar. The empty space would be filled with dry hay, usually from rye, then sealed with about a finger's thick layer of tallow, covered with a cloth cap and then closed with the jar's lid. Aparently, this way the meat would sit in the earthen cellar as long as you'd like, but no one really remembered it being there for longer than about half a year. Probably would be ok longer, but everyone agreed that by mid spring, the meat that was prepared in the summer was gone, or just about gone.

 

anything