Should I use this lacto starter? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:35 PM   #1
scottatdrake
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Jul 2011
Des Moines, IA
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I was planning to start my first Berliner Weisse about four weeks ago, so I grabbed and handful of grain and tossed it in some warm water. Things got busy and I never used it. Jump to today and I'm ready to brew... but his starter looks and smells pretty bad. Like sour milk. But maybe that's okay? It's supposed to be sour, after all. Maybe just use a small part of it? What do you think?

(Wishing my local brew shop carried lacto strains today.)


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Old 04-21-2012, 03:16 PM   #2
ryane
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Nov 2008
Washington
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Taste it, sour milk isnt a bad sign, it is lacto after all

You say you added grain to warm water? you didnt use any DME or anything to feed the bugs??



 
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:28 PM   #3
ReverseApacheMaster
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Jul 2009
Keller, Texas
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That's what it should smell like, actually. Many lacto strains produce a lot of diacetyl along with lactic acid so you get sour plus butter, which makes sort of a sour milk smell. I have some wort souring from lacto acidophilus and some other stuff and even though there's wort it smells like slightly rotten buttermilk. No grain smell. Usually my sour mashes have more of a corn smell to them but this one doesn't have any grain or corn aroma.

 
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:41 PM   #4
scottatdrake
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Jul 2011
Des Moines, IA
Posts: 90

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryane View Post
Taste it, sour milk isnt a bad sign, it is lacto after all

You say you added grain to warm water? you didnt use any DME or anything to feed the bugs??
Yeah, I was going to try this sort of homemade lacto technique.

I'm mashing and still on the fence. It's really more of a dead roadkill smell than sour milk. Maybe I'll hedge my bets and just add a smaller amount of it. Kind of pussing out over here.

 
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:42 PM   #5
scottatdrake
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Jul 2011
Des Moines, IA
Posts: 90

Oh, maybe I should mention that the temp was in the mid 60's, not the 90's that I've read that lacto likes. Does that make any difference?

 
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:56 PM   #6
ryane
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Nov 2008
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottatdrake View Post
Yeah, I was going to try this sort of homemade lacto technique.

I'm mashing and still on the fence. It's really more of a dead roadkill smell than sour milk. Maybe I'll hedge my bets and just add a smaller amount of it. Kind of pussing out over here.
Hmm, I would suggest adding some DME to this type of starter in the future, otherwise there isnt much to grow the sacch and bacteria on (only starch)

 
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:37 AM   #7
greyhoundbrewing
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Sep 2010
midland park, nj
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i just tried the homemade lacto technique. but the twist was that i took a black trash bag out of the box, all folded up, and wrapped it around the growler and set it on the window sill. this weekend has been pretty warm. i came home and there was a pellicle on top. my thought was, i used hot water with the grain and it sat on the sill in direct sunlight. so i suspect the temp was close the at least 120f during the day. there had to be some conversion since the lacto grew over the weekend.

any other thoughts

 
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:15 AM   #8
cswest
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Jan 2011
macomb, Il
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I did this about a month ago to serve at my club's big brew event but with a low OG starter I made with DME. It was light in color, tart and smelled good after three days. I used a heat stick in a water bath and a temp controller to keep it around 100. If it was me I think I'd dump it and try again.

 
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:23 AM   #9
cswest
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Jan 2011
macomb, Il
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Here's the wort after being inoculated

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And here's the finished Berliner Weisse with syrups

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