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Old 06-17-2011, 11:34 PM   #1
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Default Wild Starter, man.

Question.

I made a wild starter, been nurturing it for a few months now but have generally left it outside. I tasted it the other night and lo and behold I have what is essentially malt liquor, probably really tasty on some fish, not so much as a beverage. Was going to try a lambic with this, but now I'm wondering if I shouldn't start over, and move the whole thing inside to ferment out in a more controlled environment.

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Old 06-18-2011, 02:46 AM   #2
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Sounds like it may be on the end, but you could make a small batch with it and see how it turns out. Homebrewing is about experimenting, and that is what you are doing now.

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Old 06-19-2011, 04:34 AM   #3
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I guess I'm mostly afraid that whatever bacteria is making the acetic is going to out perform the wild yeast.

But I guess a small experiment couldn't hurt.

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Old 06-22-2011, 12:11 AM   #4
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If it's acetobacter, it can't really get started until there's ethanol at the party, and if you keep it in a bucket/carboy blanketed with CO2, it won't really have much of an opportunity to take a foothold either way. Any O2 introduced via racking will give it what it needs to give your beer a slight vinegary kick.

I second the suggestion of going with a small batch - maybe just scale the next recipe you make to 6 gallons and run one off into a glass jug at the end of the day and see what happens. I plan on doing a couple experiments like this this summer.

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Old 06-22-2011, 02:32 AM   #5
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Ok, that makes sense. I wasn't entirely sure how acetobacter operates.

Also just re-read my OP and realized that I said malt liquor instead of malt vinegar...

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Old 06-22-2011, 02:47 AM   #6
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To be fair I'm not very experienced with wild brewing of any sort and I think other microorganisms can produce acetic character. Still, it's worth an experiment.

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Old 06-22-2011, 03:14 PM   #7
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I would start over. Give it 12-24 hours exposed, then add an airlock and let the yeast get going, step it up and pitch it over a couple weeks. Worked well for me, no acetic acid (just a touch of mold initially).

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