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Old 03-19-2010, 07:56 AM   #1
Bru
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Default What should a starter taste like ?

I made a starter with WLP Kolsch yeast. Everything went fine untill I tasted it - it tastes sour but Ive never tasted any of my other starters. Is this normal ? It looks and smells OK. Im hoping the lack of hops or the lactic gives it the sour taste.
2L water + 2oog DME + 5ml lactic (80%)acid (boiled 12mins) - 48 hrs on the stir plate.
What should it taste like ?

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Old 03-19-2010, 08:24 AM   #2
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Why are you adding lactic acid to your starter? Can't think of any good reason for that. And I'd guess that's where your sourness is coming from. If you clean and sanitize everything and have clean processing, there's no reason to get an infection.

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Old 03-19-2010, 12:47 PM   #3
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I know its not vital but recommended by mr malty :
http://www.mrmalty.com/starter_faq.htm

My tap water pH is over 8.

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Old 03-19-2010, 06:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bru View Post
I know its not vital but recommended by mr malty :
http://www.mrmalty.com/starter_faq.htm

My tap water pH is over 8.
I don't see anywhere on that page that recommends adding acid of any kind to your starter, but then I didn't read the whole page. I did a search for "lactic", "acid" and "ph" and only saw that it says your pH of your starter should be 5 or something. You aren't correcting your water to 5 are you?

I see he says this, MY bolding here:

Quote:
The pH of a starter needs to be around 5 pH, but if you can’t test it, don’t worry. Typical wort ranges between 4 to 6 pH, so use a high quality DME and it will be OK.
I don't think it's necessary to add acid to your starter. If your pH is too high, I'd cut it with distilled water first then add back 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient for the yeast (that Wyeast nutrient or equivalent, not DAP). I don't think I've ever heard of anyone using acid of any kind in a starter. Acid is rarely used at all in the home brewery. Most people add it to their sparge water to keep that pH from straying too high and extracting too many tannins during runoff.

If anyone else is using acid in their starters, by all means please chime in.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:16 AM   #5
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I guess I'll leave it out next time.

I always use lactic in my sparge water (1ml / 10L) for reasons mentioned. But I also use it in the mash (5ml / 44L batch). After adding CaCl, CaSO4 and the lactic to the mash pH still stays around 6 if Im doing a light beer.
Im reluctant to add more lactic for fear of getting a sour beer.
Ive recently aquired some 5.2 which I plan on using next brew ,but I want to get my process constant so I can see what effect it has.

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Old 03-23-2010, 08:45 AM   #6
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Are you using a water spreadsheet? You can use either Palmer's or the EZ water spreadsheet and then dilute your water with distilled water and add back salts to get it into range.

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Old 03-23-2010, 12:26 PM   #7
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Ive used a combination Palmer, Beersmith and advice from members here (BobbyM). But I know, ultimately I need to use distilled or reverse osmosis water. The only reason Im still using tap water is I want to brew a recipe a few times and then use the new water to see what difference it makes.
Thanks for your replies.

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Old 03-23-2010, 01:42 PM   #8
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No problem. And best of luck.

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