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Old 05-31-2007, 12:33 AM   #1
jammer
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Default Starters and mothers

So i was recently reading an article about making true NY style pizza and the author said that in addition to using yeast (saccharomyces cerevisiae) which caused the leavening, he said to use a lactobacillicus mother in the dough in order to give it a good taste. He talked about keeping mothers going for a while in order to create a house flavor. I assume this means somewhat unsterile propogation methods as well.

That got me thinking, I have heard of pitching bread or dough in the 'olden days' in order to add the yeast.

Has anyone here ever done anything like this? Using mothers as starters? what about culturing all the yeast that brewers use in a mother rather then a traditional starter? Or possibly using mothers for keeping lacto or other bugs and pitching part of the mother to innoculate beer? I have made dough and frozen it for 6 months and after defrosting it for a day it leavened better then the dough i originally made. Do you think this could be used for storing yeast or bugs long term?

is this crazy? would adding flour to beer add bad flavors? Any opinions?


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Old 05-31-2007, 12:36 AM   #2
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My opinion is that the difference between beer and pizza is that eventually the pizza will be cooked and the yeast will be killed and within a few hours it will go into my belly.

However, with a beer it may sit for many months before consumption. As a result, a small infection will have a chance to grow in my beer whereas it wouldn't have that opportunity in my pizza.


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Old 05-31-2007, 12:43 PM   #3
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You'd cease to be making beer if you're using a mother, you'd be making Malt Vinegar. This makes sense in Pizza dough as the acidity would serve to balance out the other flavors of the pizza.

As for your final paragraph, I think you have the concept of a mother incorrect. A mother is to vinegar what a yeast cake is to beer, it is not the dough. The pizza maker uses this to convert some of the alcohol made in baking into a subtle tartness that gives the dough that wonderful flavor. This would probably translate into disaster for beer as you'd be putting an infection right in with your yeast.

Watch the Alton Brown Vinegar episode for a good explanation of what a mother is and why you don't want it in your beer.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:02 PM   #4
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I dont claim to be a microbiologist, but if the mother is an acetobactor mother then yes, you would be making vinegar.

If the mother is one of lactobacillicus or a yeast mother, then why would it just make vinegar? There are mothers for vinegar and there are mothers for dough. I didnt think that mothers inherently made vinegar.

Couldnt a mother just have yeast in it too? no acetobactor or lactobacillicus?

Maybe i just missed somehting...
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:12 PM   #5
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I make sourdough bread, and I use a mother. The idea behind lactobacillus is to give it that distinctive "sour" flavor. it's really good in bread and pizza dough, but if you've ever had a lacto infection in your beer, you'll recognize it. It's sour! Think yogurt, sauerkrat, kim chee, cider. Lactobacilli, especially L. casei and L. brevis, are some of the most common beer spoilage organisms.

So, that's what the others are trying to say. Not a true vinegar (that's aceterobacter contamination) but close enough to be unpalatable in a beer. Well, that's not entirely true- in Belgium, I think some "wild" organisms are actually prized and beer is fermented in open vats. I'm no expert on Belgians (I don't care for them, particularly lambics) but I think Brewtopia (?) is and could give more thoughts on this aspect.


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