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brewinhard
03/31/10 07:52 PM  
lacto starter w/ apple juice?
I have heard that puckering lacto starters can be made with apple juice. Is this a viable way to get those bacteria populations up and ready to ferment out an all malt berliner weisse or is it best to just stick with DME? Can a blend of the two be used or are lacto akin to sacch. in that they will only get used to eating a certain nutrient (ie making a starter with sucrose)?
Al B
04/01/10 03:03 PM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
In my opinion, for homebrewer's it is best to use DME at a gravity close to (in this case) Berliner.

It can be done w/ juice, but there is not alot of amino acids in apple juice for healthy cell growth, so you should add yeast nutrients in the juice.

JeffB
04/01/10 06:54 PM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
I made a lacto starter last spring for a Berliner on the advice of Patrick Rue. It came out nice and sour, but I should have decanted the apple juice off before pitching because as the berliner aged there was slight malic acid flavor present in the beer.

I would do this again if I had the chance. Be sure to sue good apple juice though. I used the little apple shaped bottles of Martinelli's.

brewinhard
04/02/10 10:18 AM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
Preservative free apple juice I am assuming? Does the juice need to be boiled? Jeff, what size starter did you make and at what temperature and time did you let it ferment for?
tankdeer
04/02/10 01:16 PM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
I personally got good results just using regular ol' starter wort. Just like I do for everything.

That being said, if you do use apple juice, definitely no preservatives. You shouldn't need to boil it if you buy store bought as it'll be pasteurized.

brewinhard
04/03/10 08:23 AM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
Tank,

What size starter did you make and how long did you ferment it for and at what temp? Did you chill and decant or add the whole starter?

JeffB
04/03/10 11:49 AM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
I made it with 2 small apple juice containers, 10oz each (yes, preservative free) and put the starter in my warming oven (averages about 85F). I did not boil the juice.

It should be noted that the best Berliner I have ever had was Tanks, so maybe go with what he did.

tom sawyer
04/03/10 06:44 PM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
I've heard of using apple juice to run up the cell count of malolactic bacteria for winemaking. Frozen juice is good, sterile and doesn't have preservatives. You need to add nutrient though, a good wine nutrient not just DAP. Apple juice is high in malic acid so its a good substrate for malolactic bacteria.
tankdeer
04/05/10 11:37 AM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
brewinhard, it was a pretty standard 1 liter starter, done on a stir plate at around 90. If I remember correctly, I think I did a little weaker wort than normal, (maybe 1.025 instead of 1.035). I let it go for 3 or 4 days until it was nice and cloudy, and then chilled and decanted before pitching. My overall process was very similar to a normal sacch starter, just drawn out more. Lacto is very powdery so it takes a long time to settle out, and even when it does it gets stirred up easily.

Thanks Jeff, that berliner of mine is a real crowd pleaser. I really need to make up another batch. I have a handful of bottles that are about 2 years old and tasting as good as they ever did. : )

Joelle
04/05/10 03:44 PM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
Hey tankdeer, how long did it take for the berliner to finish and have the sourness you were looking for when you used the 1L starter? Thanks!

Joelle

tankdeer
04/08/10 06:44 PM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
Not long at all. It was quite tart within a week. I was drinking it within 2. It only got better from there, but not much more sour after a couple weeks.
Joelle
04/09/10 02:17 PM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
Cool, thanks for the info!
Mike T
05/05/10 02:51 PM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
I pitched a tube of lacto into a pint of apple juice with a bit of yeast nutrient 48 hours ago, and it doesn't seem to be doing anything. The tube had a best use by of October, so it was pretty fresh. The only preservative in the juice was Vitamin C (130%), could that be enough to have killed my bugs?
Mike T
05/05/10 09:05 PM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
Luckily after 3 days it is finally showing signs of life. Trying to sneak in a batch of Berliner tonight, but I've got a pretty slow sparge going at the moment (at least it's a no-boil beer...)
tom sawyer
05/06/10 07:53 AM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
Glad to hear it. Doesn't sound like apple juice is the best growth medium though. I suppose the bacteria might take a couple of days to get going in most any medium.

What nutrient did you use? Something with vitamins/minerals as well as a nitrogen source?

Mike T
05/06/10 08:41 AM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
Yeah, Wyeast nutrient. The bacteria was really rocking by the time I pitched... around 1 am. I saved some of the starter for future batches, does anyone know how often lacto needs to be fed to stay alive? Should I keep it in the fridge to slow the metabolism.

Long brewnight, I had to wait through one of the slowest sparges I've seen (33% wheat, 66% pils, plus a few handfuls of rice hulls). The late night was woth it though, I've got 5 gallons of 1.033 Berlier Weisse, and 5 gallons of 1.045 Berliner Lambic (Imperial Berliner Weisse?).

danger
05/06/10 09:38 AM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
i think i remember kristin england saying that lacto does really well at cold temps so i wouldnt worry about storing it in the fridge for a while. cant say how often it should be fed, but i tend to feed my random jars of bugs like once a month or every other month with some last runnings of whatever im making at the time.

tankdeer
05/06/10 06:18 PM  
Re: lacto starter w/ apple juice?
I've read that lacto takes to freezing really well, presumably because of the small cell size. But I don't know if that has any relevance on just storing in the fridge.
 
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