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Old 12-10-2009, 05:11 PM   #1
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Default Lactobacillus Dreg Propagation

I intended to use the dregs of a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin LaRoja in a Flanders Red (1.055 OG, 15 IBUs). I'm concerned I might have hosed up my lactobacillus population.

Here's what I did:
1. Pitched dregs of JP LaRoja into 800mL of 1.047 / 38 IBU* wort.
2. Starter totally finished out in 4 days with good apparent yeast growth (judged by visual inspection).
3. Poured off liquid, added 600ml of 1.040 / 0 IBU wort to starter. Fermentation complete after 2 days.
4. Since I had such a good yeast population, I simply pitched into primary fermenter after complete and settled.**


*I used a hopped starter to prevent unwanted infection, but I could have also prevented growth of lactobacillus.

**I know Jolly Pumpkin uses WLP550, so I realize that I did not need to culture the primary yeast. But it was free and came along with the bugs/dregs.

Here's my questions:
1. Did the usage of hops in my starter do anything to "harm" my lactobacillus? The presence of hops is used to prevent their growth.
2. Should I pitch a package of WY5335 Lactobacillus to assist in souring this beer?
3. Perhaps in general, does making a starter from a sour beer really do ANYTHING to assist in propagation of lacto, pedio, or brett? These are slow growing organisms? Does the starter help them at all?

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Old 12-11-2009, 04:44 PM   #2
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Pitching lacto after the primary yeast will do little to sour it. At this point I suggest riding it out and seeing what happens...

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Old 12-12-2009, 04:38 PM   #3
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I'm confused by your response. Typical fermentation of Flanders beers includes a saccaromyces primary fermentation followed by the introduction of lactic acid producing bacteria. This is my 5th sour beer and I promise they get sour if the bugs/brett are pitched after primary fermentation.

If I wanted to sour the beer in a week (i.e. a Berliner weiss) I agree that pitching lacto after primary fermentation would have a limited effect.

But I'm aging this beer for 6mo-2yrs, so I'm prepared for the bacteria & brett to work slowly.

My question is really one of cell count. Do I have enough lactobacillus from the dregs of one bottle? Did I limit their cell count or viability by pitching into a hopped starter?

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Old 12-12-2009, 06:02 PM   #4
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I think what he might be saying is that lacto (lactobacillus) doesn't perform as well when the alcohol level increases, thus you'll get more sourness from lactobacillus in the primary. Pediococcus (another lactic acid producing bacteria) also also some alcohol limitation, but maybe it's higher, and more importantly can work in the presence of IBUs, and so RR claims pedio provides most of it's sourness. In short (though it's much more complicated): lacto: primary; pedio: secondary.

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Old 08-23-2010, 02:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixbillionethans View Post
I'm confused by your response. Typical fermentation of Flanders beers includes a saccaromyces primary fermentation followed by the introduction of lactic acid producing bacteria. This is my 5th sour beer and I promise they get sour if the bugs/brett are pitched after primary fermentation.
I wonder it you finally tried this technique and how the beer turned out.

I am going to do similar thing now: to pitch lacto do secondary fermentation of Flanders Brown (quite a big beer). I have seen some warnings on the forum, that lacto will not work in high alkohol/IBU beer.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr View Post
I wonder it you finally tried this technique and how the beer turned out.

I am going to do similar thing now: to pitch lacto do secondary fermentation of Flanders Brown (quite a big beer). I have seen some warnings on the forum, that lacto will not work in high alkohol/IBU beer.
adding a lactic culture from either WY or WL like this will not result in sourness, both strains are horribly incompetant at adding significant sourness to a beer if any amount of alcohol is present or if IBU's start approaching 5ish

Flanders beers are also fermented starting with a mixed culture, they ferment in barrels or foeders that contain the entire blend of souring bugs from the start

Now YOU might get a sour beer by first fermenting with an ale yeast, but I doubt I would think it was sour, I like things puckeringly tart, and without using a barrel that route has never worked for me, in glass you really need to start with the sour blend from the start
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryane View Post
adding a lactic culture from either WY or WL like this will not result in sourness, both strains are horribly incompetant at adding significant sourness to a beer if any amount of alcohol is present or if IBU's start approaching 5ish

Flanders beers are also fermented starting with a mixed culture, they ferment in barrels or foeders that contain the entire blend of souring bugs from the start

Now YOU might get a sour beer by first fermenting with an ale yeast, but I doubt I would think it was sour, I like things puckeringly tart, and without using a barrel that route has never worked for me, in glass you really need to start with the sour blend from the start
If one found that their beer wasn't souring like they wanted to, would it be possible to add lacto to a quart, or 2 quarts of wort (with similar grain bill), let it sour for 2 weeks or so and add it back to the original batch or would that risk other issues/infections? Not a problem I'm dealing with yet, but a question I thought about while reading Wild Brews and these threads. It seemed somewhat applicable here.
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:35 PM   #8
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it would be possible, however I doubt that the amount of acidity one could get in a small portion of wort would have a large impact on a full batch

adding lactic acid would be very easy to do though at that point

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Old 08-24-2010, 02:24 AM   #9
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I just made a Flander's red using La Roja yeast this past weekend. I started with a 500ml starter with the dregs, stepped up to 1000ml, decanted, then another 1000ml. I sampled the "beer" when i decanted and it was definitely sour, more so than La Roja actually. It's been fermenting pretty strong over the past few days. I'll wait a couple weeks to pull a gravity sample and cross my fingers it soured at least a little. If not i'll brew something else and blend it in a few months.

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