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Old 11-28-2011, 09:56 PM   #1
JNish
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Default Lacto not starting?

I brewed a berliner weisse on Saturday and pitched a vial of WLP677 lactobacillus directly to the fermentor. No aeration as I read that lacto doesn't like oxygen. Pitched at 72 and raised to 85 (heater seems like it can't get to 90F in winter). After 2 days there is still no activity. I later read that I should have made a lacto starter. Since my LHBS doesn't carry lacto (had it shipped on ice from MoreBeer, maybe it died in transport?) I was thinking of picking up a couple bottles of 1809 and pitching the dregs. Three questions:

(1) Should I pitch dregs directly to fermentor or create a starter. How does a lacto starter differ from a normal starter? Do I not use stir plate since it doesn't need oxygen?

(2) Should I hold off on pitching dregs in hope that lacto is slowly working? I've read that lacto takes a long time to take effect, but I've also read that it usually has a lot of CO2 activity.

(3) I wanted to give the lacto a head start on the sacc by waiting to pitch the WLP011 european ale by a day or two. Since I haven't seen any lacto activity I'm holding off on pitching. Should I go ahead and pitch the sacc, hoping that the sourness will develop over time, or hold off until I see the lacto take off? I was waiting to pitch since I heard that pitching at the same time tends to yield little sourness.


Pretty bummed about the lacto not having any activity and not sure what to do now, particularly since my LHBS doesn't stock lacto. Any advice/tips appreciated!

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Old 12-01-2011, 03:45 PM   #2
Tinga
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I just recently brewed a brown ale and pitched my 5335 without a starter into the carboy. I had the temp at about 80 for the last three days. I havent seen any activity either. I cooling it down to pitch the yeast tonight so we'll see how it goes.

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Old 12-01-2011, 08:55 PM   #3
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What is the IBU of your belinner weisse? IIRC lacto is very sensitive to alpha acid.

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Old 12-02-2011, 07:02 AM   #4
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I only did a mash hop so it makes it a little difficult to estimate, but beer smith gives me 4 IBU, so pretty much nothing (though I did decoctions so it might be higher than that).

I suspect 2 things: (1) I can't get my heater above 88F (damn aquarium heaters!) so it's quite a bit cooler than the 100F I've read people using to start their lacto. (2) I noticed the pH was low (below 4.6, the lowest reading on my strips) so I added some baking soda in hopes that it might bring the pH up. I haven't taken a second pH reading yet.

After 4 days, I finally found a bit of film growing on the surface and the upper ~1/2cm layer of the beer has a lighter color. So it seems like there's a bit of activity, albeit very slow.

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