Without being there with you to look at the set up, it’s pretty hard to say for sure. We’ve had many a customer using the second fridge (aka basement fridge, garage fridge, beer fridge) who report having failed projects–but never those who use the regular home fridge. Sometimes it is simply the age of the fridge that makes it less capable of drawing down the humidity. Sometimes it is just because the fridge isn’t opened and closed frequently enough to encourage it to cycle the humidity out. Sometimes there just isn’t enough in the fridge to encourage the cycle to work. But in most cases, the fridge has been the culprit.
Given this is your first project, and you are being attentive to the changes, maybe you are simply noticing every detail, which is a good thing. However, a salami, in our experience, ought to be getting fairly firm (“a relative concept”) in two weeks.
There are a couple of other causes of “failure to dry”, so here is what to look for:
Question 1: Did you re-chill the meat between each step–cubing, grinding, stuffing?
Question 2: Was the meat almost-frozen when you mixed in the cure, seasoning and culture?
Question 3: When you ground the meat, was it is in large, defined particles? Did this shape hold all the way through the final kneading in of the culture?
The reason I ask is that large, defined particles will make a sausage that releases moisture readily.
Question 4: When you fermented at room temp, was there air flow around the meat? I mean, like a breeze? Sometimes, this can cause the surface of the meat to harden and prevent efficient release of moisture.
Let’s do our best to ensure you are moving toward becoming a master artisan dry sausage maker!