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EWW
02/01/09 01:07 PM  
Lacto strains from yogurt
I'm in the planning stages of a Berliner and was wondering if my wife's goat yogurt would be a good source of lacto. Per the package it contains active cultures of:

(Info from this great site - http://www.ebi.ac.uk/2can/genomes/bacteria/)

S. Thermophilus - Streptococcus thermophilus is a Gram-positive facultative anaerobe. It is a cytochrome-, oxidase- and catalase-negative organism that is nonmotile, non-spore forming and homofermentative. Streptococcus thermophilus is an alpha-hemolytic species of the viridans group. It is also classified as a lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Although it may be certainly be true that S. thermophilus is physiologically and biochemically less versatile than other lactic acid bacteria, the reality is that this organism is actually very versatile. Research during the past two decades has revealed that S. thermophilus has properties that make it one of the most commercially important of all lactic acid bacteria.

L. Bulgaricus - All I can figure out is that this is a subspecies of L. Delbrueckii which should provide some sourness.

L. Acidophilus - a member of one of the eight main genera of lactic acid bacteria. Each genus and species have different characteristics but they are generally chained cocci or rod shaped Gram-positive , nonmotile, nonsporulating bacteria that produce lactic acid as a major or sole product of fermentative metabolism and use lactose as their main source of carbon to produce energy. L. acidophilus grows in or without the presence of oxygen, is able to live in highly acidic environments of pH 4-5 or lower and is characterised as a homofermentative ie produces lactic acid as its sole product. L. acidophilus is important in the fermentation of many foods, from dairy products to fruits and vegetables. Fermentation occurs when bacteria break down sugars and carbohydrates to produce alcohol, carbon dioxide and lactic acid . These by-products are responsible for the unique taste of fermented foods and help preserve and increase palatability.

Bifidus - I think this another lacto strain, but I'm not sure about that and don't know too much about it

Based on the knowledge of this board, is it worth making a starter from the yogurt's whey for a Berliner? Anyone have experience with/or knowledge of any of these bugs? Do you think I would be better off using a commercial lacto strain? Thanks in advance.

Jimbo
02/01/09 01:51 PM  
Re: Lacto strains from yogurt
Based on my results with kefir in beer, I think you should definitely try this.

My logic is that these more 'tame' versions of lactic bacteria have been selected for producing more pleasant flavors in short fermentation times for yogurt, or in my case, kefir.

Do it and let us know what kind of results you get :)

I'd wager that you'll get nice sourness without the excessive funk from the more 'wild' lacto bugs.

Baums
02/02/09 10:30 AM  
Re: Lacto strains from yogurt
As with yeast, different strains of bacteria with different brewing characteristics can get lumped together under the same name. So, the scientific classification of a particular bug (l. d. bulgaricus, l. acidophilus, etc) isn't enough to say what it will do.

That said, I've at least heard of strains of acidophilus (from tablets) producing noticable sourness in beer. I've also heard of yogurt being successfully used as a source of souring bacteria. On the other hand, when I made a starter with yogurt myself (Mountain High brand), it never soured. Anyway I think you've got a shot and the only thing to do is just try it.

Jimbo
02/02/09 11:39 AM  
Re: Lacto strains from yogurt
Good point about species vs. strains, Baums. Also, interesting info about yogurt-beer experiments.

I'll add this, EWW, as it may help you get a viable beer starter going:

The first time I used kefir, I made my starter with the same technique I use with regular yeast. It took forever to get going. I started another over the weekend, though, with a bit different tek.

I used 75% DME and 25% Lactose as the sugars in my starter. My logic is that since the bugs are used to eating lactose only, this mix will give them a springboard to make a smoother transistion from lactose to malt based sugars. I also kept the starter at 75 degF which is a bit warmer than usual for me. Anyway, two days later, I'm getting some nice yeast buildup, a good amount of bubbles/foam surfacing and a pleasant sour beer aroma out of the starter.

Again, I think mixing the sugars in the way may help "teach" the bugs to transition from lactose to malt sugars. Just my 2c. :)

certainkindoffool
02/09/09 04:12 PM  
Re: Lacto strains from yogurt
I have some limited experience with using them in dairy application (not in beer). Here's what I know:

When it says homofermentative, that means it only produces one thing in fermentation: lactic acid. Heterofermenters produce other by products such as diacetyl and CO2.

Some dairy LB strains are selected for diacetyl production, primarily the cultures used in sour cream, cultured butter, and cream fraiche. These are mesophillic (are most active with temps around 85-100 degrees F). The strains used in yogurt are usually selected for their acid production, and are generally thermophillic (prefer higher temperatures in the range of 100-115 Degrees F). Don't know so much about Kefir, because it varies so much.

I guess the only other thing I can suggest is that you're probably going to get a clean but very tangy beer from those cultures. I've never done it before, let us know how it turns out.

Jimbo
02/10/09 12:52 AM  
Re: Lacto strains from yogurt
Funny you should mention the temperature thing, fool (funny name, btw.)

My it's been 24 hours since I pitched my kefir starter into a ~65 degree wort and....nothing. So, I added a brew belt and it started slowly. I had made the starter in the mid 70s, so I rigged a heating pad to get me there...

Anyway, interesting points about temp ranges and flavor components, thanks! My own gut feeling/bit of experience is in agreement with your "probably...clean, but very tangy beer" opinion.

 
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