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Old 10-02-2012, 09:47 PM   #1
Aug 2011
Posts: 136
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Has anyone tried using lactose to encourage lactobacillus sourness in a simple sour like Berliner weisse or Gose? One would figure giving the lacto a appropriate precursor that there is no competition for could be a winner.

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Old 10-04-2012, 04:40 PM   #2
Oct 2010
Seattle, WA
Posts: 75
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Unless I'm mistaken, lactose can not be fermented - even by souring bacteria. The conventional wisdom is to use maltodextrin, which can be fermented by the souring critters but not by regular beer yeast.

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Old 10-04-2012, 05:48 PM   #3
Oct 2009
Berkley, Michigan
Posts: 1,015
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Well I know my milk kefir grains ferment lactose. I'm lactose intolerant and drink milk kefir all the time. So I'm assuming this might work.

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Old 10-08-2012, 04:27 AM   #4
Feb 2012
St. Paul, MN
Posts: 36
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Originally Posted by mors View Post
Well I know my milk kefir grains ferment lactose. I'm lactose intolerant and drink milk kefir all the time. So I'm assuming this might work.
+1. Lactobacillus spp. are the organisms responsible for fermenting yogurt, turning lactose into lactic acid

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:02 AM   #5
zentropy's Avatar
Jan 2010
San Antonio, TX
Posts: 19

I used a quarter oz. to goose a Berliner I made, my first. It had not soured much at all after four months, despite having a one liter starter made from apple juice and acid malt, plus a slant of WL lacto. D. The sourness took off after adding the lactose (just poured the powder in), but I think it oxidized somehow, because it darkened from a pale straw color to a pale amber. Next time I'll take more care to minimize O2 exposure.

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Old 10-10-2012, 12:42 PM   #6
weremichael's Avatar
Feb 2006
Posts: 259
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I emailed Wyeast about 2 years ago regarding this very subject after a berliner weiss I brewed with their berliner strain didn't sour up enough. One of the mycologists and I talked about it and he told me that they had never done an experiment with lactose and lactobacillus. I experimented with it by boiling lactose with water with a ratio of 100g to 1 L and pitching that directly into the berliner. I "fermented" it for about 2 months and unlike zentropy, I didn't have any luck with it souring (it remained slightly sweeter). But like zentropy, I have had very good success with an apple juice starter and holding it at 100 degrees F (got that from emailing Vinnie at Russian River).

So my advice, try increasing sourness with an apple juice starter.

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