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-   -   Questions about brewing with bread starter (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/questions-about-brewing-bread-starter-167861/)

Ernie Diamond 03-12-2010 08:49 PM

Questions about brewing with bread starter
 
I have a fantastic starter that I use for breads. It's funky and boozy and I think it would add a great character to a beer.

My question; assuming that I just want to go for it, what would you suggest as a good, basic brew (all grain)? I am thinking berliner weisse. Anyone have a recipe and suggestions?

In essence, I want to use this beer as a vehicle for this bread starter to see what kind of funky brew I end up with. Would love to get your thoughts.

Barc 03-13-2010 01:37 AM

If you're just wanting to see what you wind up with, I'd make it as simple as possible. I'd try to keep the aroma and flavor hops to a minimum and use ones that complement the smell of the starter. I'd probably keep the IBUs under 40 to make sure you can taste any sour bite it may have (in fact, I'd probably try to keep it under 30). Making a Berliner Weisse might be an option after you make sure you've got a good yeast for that profile but you want to know what it is bringing to the party before you use it, or so I would think.

I don't know how funky it will be, though. Depending on how you acquired your yeast and bacteria, it can run the full range of types of bugs you might have (and even the method of acquiring the bugs doesn't necessarily guarantee anything!). I've had some starters that were very high in alcohol but low in flavor and others exactly the opposite. I have one now that I can use to make what I call "banana pancakes" since they have so much banana flavor. And I've had several others that taste a bit tart but without any real "funk" to them.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Oldsock 03-15-2010 08:53 PM

I used a sourdough starter on a kvass (pale/brown/rye, plus a loaf of rye bread), but anything low alcohol would be fine. Keep the hops low since most of the bacteria won't be able to deal with them. I puyt some of the dough starter into a wort starter to get it going before adding it to the beer, not sure if that is a must though. I didn't get much funky/sour, but it was still a fun beer.

Freezeblade 03-23-2010 01:40 AM

it really depends on your starter, as each one will have different bugs. I recently did a dry stout in which I used a drop of sourdough starter in 22oz of saved wort, in order to sour it, boiled it after a week of fermentation, then added back to my main batch.

It really turned out strange and funky. really funky. I almost can't take it, no sourness at all, so I really would suggest testing it out on a little wort first, next time I'm going to use it to sour, but do it with already fermented beer, instead of the wort. YMMV.

Dauntless 03-29-2010 10:41 PM

I have an oatmeal stout that I had leftovers of when transfering to the carboy. I now have about a litre of it in a loosely capped 2 litre pop bottle that I inoculated with a half teaspoon of my ultra acidic sourdough starter. I guess there are advantages to forgetting about starter in the fridge for a few months.

That was a couple days ago, fermentation has restarted and a thin pellicle is forming.

Barc 03-29-2010 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dauntless (Post 1974977)
I have an oatmeal stout that I had leftovers of when transfering to the carboy. I now have about a litre of it in a loosely capped 2 litre pop bottle that I inoculated with a half teaspoon of my ultra acidic sourdough starter. I guess there are advantages to forgetting about starter in the fridge for a few months.

That was a couple days ago, fermentation has restarted and a thin pellicle is forming.

From experience, it probably isn't a pellicle. It is probably just a layer or "stuff" that looks like a pellicle. I've seen it several times with mine. But, sigh, no Brett. I hope yours does turn out to be Brett (if that's what you want).

Dauntless 04-01-2010 01:46 PM

You're absolutely right, that pellicle was just oily stuff being inflated by the reactivated fermentation.

Barc 04-01-2010 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dauntless (Post 1980500)
You're absolutely right, that pellicle was just oily stuff being inflated by the reactivated fermentation.

Just quoting the "you're absolutely right" part as I hear it so rarely... :mug:

Anyway, hope you're brew turns out to be a good one!

wetherel 04-03-2010 08:22 PM

I've used a sourdough starter with some success. Use an older runny starter, where the acidity has broken down the glutans. This is not ideal for making bread, but better for making sour, because the low pH environment kills off the enterobacter and clostridium, which give off flavors in your beer. Keep your IBUs low <10, otherwise your lacto might die. Give the sourdough starter a couple days head start, and it's much better to ferment above 95F. Finish off with regular saccharomyces. The one time I tried lacto only, it wasn't that good.

Barc 04-03-2010 09:16 PM

Lacto only would probably be much like saurkraut, I'd think. No alcohol, either. :(


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