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Old 03-03-2009, 06:45 PM   #1
peck
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Default Using molds in beer.

Usually we avoid mold in beer like the plague but many of the wild brews have to have some molds that fall into the wort when inoculated. Does anyone know what, if any, effects this has on the beer? I'm guessing that the mold is out competed by the yeast and such but I'm curious about them.

I know many molds are toxic but not all of them are and as we know some are used in cheeses. I wonder about deliberately infecting a beer with a 'good' mold. I kind of doubt that the molds used in cheese making would work but still... Does anyone have any insight on this?

Edit: Well it appears that mold is used in the fermentation of sake to convert starches to sugars. Also used in the production of soy sauce. Interesting...



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Old 03-03-2009, 06:56 PM   #2
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Wow.... your question needs a really long answer.

Basically, sour beers (typical brewed in Belgium now) are fermented at least partially with micro-organisms (Brett. Aceto. etc.) that eat sugars and produce acids, vinegars, and other sour compounds that give sour beers their flavor profile.

My best advice to you is to NOT infect any of your food products until you have at least a little idea of what to expect. A great place to start would be to read "Wild Brews". It is a book all about the wild and funky fermentations that create sour beers.

You do not want mold on your beer.



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Old 03-03-2009, 07:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
Wow.... your question needs a really long answer.

Basically, sour beers (typical brewed in Belgium now) are fermented at least partially with micro-organisms (Brett. Aceto. etc.) that eat sugars and produce acids, vinegars, and other sour compounds that give sour beers their flavor profile.

My best advice to you is to NOT infect any of your food products until you have at least a little idea of what to expect. A great place to start would be to read "Wild Brews". It is a book all about the wild and funky fermentations that create sour beers.

You do not want mold on your beer.
Yes, I've read Wild Brews. I'm specifically wondering now about the effect of molds on beer. I think I'm going try using koji (Aspergillus oryzae) which is used in the fermentation of sake in a batch. A brett. lambicus and koji batch coming up. Must ponder...
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:16 PM   #4
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OK, you are actually asking about mold specifically. I apologize, a lot of people see a pellicle for the first time and think it is mold.

I do not have any experience brewing with mold. I thought koji and rice had some strange relationship where it worked but would not on other cereal grains??? I don't know. I do know that some people on here have at least attempted to brew some sake and may have more insight.

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Old 03-03-2009, 08:29 PM   #5
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I think Koji can grow on any grain. I buy Miso from a farmstead producer in New England, and they make a Three-Year aged Barley Miso, which has Barley, Soy, sea salt, and Koji culture. So presumably, the koji is growing on the barley.

I believe rice is just the traditional medium for culturing Koji, but it need not be the only.

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Old 03-03-2009, 08:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
OK, you are actually asking about mold specifically. I apologize, a lot of people see a pellicle for the first time and think it is mold.

I do not have any experience brewing with mold. I thought koji and rice had some strange relationship where it worked but would not on other cereal grains??? I don't know. I do know that some people on here have at least attempted to brew some sake and may have more insight.
No need to apologize.

I would be interested in hearing from any sake brewers. Right now I'm thinking of throwing some steamed rice into a batch and infecting it with koji. I was considering using malt but even barring the rice-koji relationship I'm not sure what having a pound or so of malt in contact with fermenting beer would do. I'm guessing that the koji would need some sort of substrate to grow on. I wonder if oak would work, especially if I have a starchy, poorly converted wort...
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:03 PM   #7
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I think Koji can grow on any grain. I buy Miso from a farmstead producer in New England, and they make a Three-Year aged Barley Miso, which has Barley, Soy, sea salt, and Koji culture. So presumably, the koji is growing on the barley.

I believe rice is just the traditional medium for culturing Koji, but it need not be the only.
I've been doing a little more reading and I believe you are correct. What to do, what to do. Oh well, I won't have time to do it until next weekend anyway.
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:23 PM   #8
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I've been doing a little more reading and I believe you are correct. What to do, what to do. Oh well, I won't have time to do it until next weekend anyway.
You can buy rice cultured with koji here South River Miso - Online Store
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:02 PM   #9
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My question would be...How do you know for sure EXACTLY what mold spores you would be introducing? Could be dangerous.

Too, just using wild yeasts and other organisms will NOT make Belgian beers just because you are using belgian styles and steps...that would be like me trying to make San Francisco sourdough bread here in Atlanta. You can't. Even if I started with a SF starter, it would evolve. The whole point of many of the Belgian styles is that they use yeasts that are indiginous to the area. I even wonder about this with people replicating yeasts in general. Unless one has a chem lab, microscope, and equipment...what are they really creating?

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Old 03-04-2009, 05:10 PM   #10
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My question would be...How do you know for sure EXACTLY what mold spores you would be introducing? Could be dangerous.

Too, just using wild yeasts and other organisms will NOT make Belgian beers just because you are using belgian styles and steps...that would be like me trying to make San Francisco sourdough bread here in Atlanta. You can't. Even if I started with a SF starter, it would evolve. The whole point of many of the Belgian styles is that they use yeasts that are indiginous to the area. I even wonder about this with people replicating yeasts in general. Unless one has a chem lab, microscope, and equipment...what are they really creating?
Well to answer your first question, I would purchase the mold strain, through either the koji sources, cheese makers or any of the other sources out there. At least at first.

To answer your second question - I could care less about replicating any particular style. Why would I want to waste my time and effort making a beer I could just buy in the store? I do not understand peoples obsession with replicating commercial beers. There is a whole unexplored universe out there with respect to the variety of microorganism to use and the flavors they produce. Also, I LIKE the idea of using the yeasts and various beasties that are indigenous to the area I am living in and exploring the flavors they produce.

So, in a nutshell, I do not care if I am using a yeast, bacteria, mold, fungus, protozoa, amoeba, archaea or alien spores from the 13th dimension that have never been used before in any of the 'traditional' styles. Who cares what I am really creating as long as it is tasty and gets the job done.


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