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-   -   Lactobacillus in cider (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/lactobacillus-cider-373869/)

johnnyjumpup 12-13-2012 02:39 AM

Lactobacillus in cider
Has anyone here tried using Lactobacillus in their cider? What did you think?
I think I'm going to go for it with my next batch, but would love a few reviews of other people's results if such exists.


Bluespark 12-13-2012 03:05 AM

Like the bacteria used in producing fermented pickles? Unless I'm totally off here, that's a horrible idea. Lacto fermenting grows bacteria that produce acid. Brewing uses yeasts that produce co2 and alcohol. They aren't really friends.

johnnyjumpup 12-13-2012 03:14 AM

Correct, same guys. That's what I would think too, but I've recently been introduced to sour beer which is colonized by wild yeast, lactobacc, and many others. The flavors and aromas aren't for everyone (vinegary and musky) but, being a fan of funky things in general, I find them very pleasurable. I only really brew cider, so I'm interested in emulating this style with something of a "sour" cider.
If you haven't tried a sour beer by the way, I recommend Monk's Cafe- the only one I've had so far, but man its good.

CRock303 12-13-2012 03:40 AM

At Colorado Cider Company we soured a cherry cider with lactobacillus just recently for a experimental batch. It worked out pretty well and the lacto was introduced post fermentation, took a while to age out that might have been the brandy barrel it was aged in though. I'm not 100% sure on all the details because I'm don't work on fermentation, but that's what I can tell you about it.

gregbathurst 12-13-2012 04:19 AM

Lactobacillis won't make cider more acidic, but less. It can convert malic acid to lactic acid (MLF) which reduces the acidity and sourness. If you buy a MLF culture it is usually oenococcus but lactobacillis will do the same thing.
Beer and cider are quite different, you can't expect to get the same results for both.

Bluespark 12-13-2012 04:26 AM

Well you learn something new every day....

I've been lacto fermenting forever, just never thought it had a place in brewing

LeBreton 12-13-2012 12:31 PM

MLF is somewhat common in English style ciders, which are mainly comprised of bittersharp apples. It's primarily used as a sequential fermentation during the aging process as in wine production, ie added after the sugars and converted to alcohol by your regular yeast. Not sure what you're apple blend is but I would hesitate to put most American ciders through a MLF since the typically higher levels of malic acid and aromas (while conversely having less structure and body than their old world counterparts) are somewhat defining characteristics. Once that malic acid is converted to lactic acid you may find that the cider is now too dull for such a light body, resulting is a swampy product.

That being said, I've also been meaning to try a MLF cider. I say go for it.

And if you like funky drinks, consider using Brettanomyces.

johnnyjumpup 12-13-2012 01:57 PM

Thanks, that's great to know! Any idea how long you guys aged it for?

johnnyjumpup 12-13-2012 02:01 PM

Thanks for the perspective LeBreton. Any idea what I should expect if I give Brettanomyces a try?

LeBreton 12-13-2012 03:11 PM


Originally Posted by johnnyjumpup (Post 4678363)
Thanks for the perspective LeBreton. Any idea what I should expect if I give Brettanomyces a try?

When done right, a Brett cider should result in a somewhat sour, very pungent cider with emphasized apple body blending with a musty smokey hay and barnyard notes. Damn delicious IMO.

Lacto can add body to cider, but won't exactly give a 'sour' taste like it does in beer. Rather, a heavily MLF cider can end up somewhat flabby like an overly oaked chardonnay.

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