Author Topic: Starter for Sours  (Read 390 times)

Offline wmbolling

  • Administrator
  • Cellarman
  • *****
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Starter for Sours
« on: August 14, 2014, 10:30:50 AM »
I am not sure where I heard it, or read it - but I am under the impression that making a starter for a sour beer is not beneficial. I plan to pitch Roselare blend in primary for a Flanders Red. My understanding is that Wyeast has created the Roselare blend with specific ratios of Sach:Lacto:Pedio:Brett for the perfect flavor profile. If you make a starter, then the Sach yeast will reproduce much more quickly than the bugs, and knock off that ratio, therefore messing up the flavor profile that Wyeast created.

Is this correct? Or have I been under the wrong impression about creating a starter with the Roselare blend?

Gracias!
-Matt Bolling

Offline klickitat jim

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4266
    • View Profile
Re: Starter for Sours
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2014, 11:09:55 AM »
I am not sure where I heard it, or read it - but I am under the impression that making a starter for a sour beer is not beneficial. I plan to pitch Roselare blend in primary for a Flanders Red. My understanding is that Wyeast has created the Roselare blend with specific ratios of Sach:Lacto:Pedio:Brett for the perfect flavor profile. If you make a starter, then the Sach yeast will reproduce much more quickly than the bugs, and knock off that ratio, therefore messing up the flavor profile that Wyeast created.

Is this correct? Or have I been under the wrong impression about creating a starter with the Roselare blend?

Gracias!
-Matt Bolling

When I studied up for my Flanders that I brewed a couple months ago, that is what I found too. It comes down to what YOU want. If you want a fermentation profile of a roesalare pitch in 5 gallons, then pitch the smack pack. A starter will work but won't be exactly the same ratios.

Its pretty clear that there are many ways to skin the sour cat. If you want a really good sour education in a short time, I highly suggest the brewing network podcast with Flat Tail. Worth the listen for sure.

Offline kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1329
  • St. Louis, MO
    • View Profile
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Re: Starter for Sours
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2014, 12:03:37 PM »
I recently gave reasoning for the 'no starter for sour blends' SOP.

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=20172.0

The above thread was for filling a barrel. If you're just making 5 gallons, pitch the packet.
@southhousebrew

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments:
http://southhousepilotbrewery.blogspot.com/

STLHops Homebrew Club:
http://STLHops.com/

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1579
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Starter for Sours
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2014, 07:36:11 AM »
Pitch it as is. Keep in mind that you make a starter with sacc so you pitch a healthy volume that will squeeze out any other microbe and to develop a clean yeast profile. In a sour beer you don't really want either. You want to let the lacto grow and acidify the beer while sacc builds up and any excessive ester production will be developed into tasty brett character.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Offline klickitat jim

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4266
    • View Profile
Re: Starter for Sours
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2014, 09:08:14 AM »
Plus there's more than sac and lac in there. Also bret and pedio. If I wanted big lac followed by sac, and didnt care about bret or pedio I would skip the roesalare and do a 3-5 day lacto pitch at 100º then chill to sac temp and pitch a starter.

Offline brewinhard

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
    • View Profile
Re: Starter for Sours
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2014, 12:00:30 PM »
Those WY Roselare packs are just fine to pitch alone for 5 gallons.  No starter needed.  Don't get freaked out if the beer takes 48 hrs to get going in this fashion.  It will be okay in the long run.  No worries.  If it were me, I probably would not even aerate the beer, just a little splashing when transferring to the carboy is enough. 
Don't be afraid to pitch the dregs of a couple bottles of commercial sour beers either as the WY Roselare blend, as good as it is, can still be quite tame and take at least 12-18 mos to produce enough acidity on its own. 

Repitching this strain in successive generations will lead to a faster, more robust sourness in less time, so if you are interested when you rack the beer into secondary for long term aging brew another beer on the same day and pitch a cup or two of the yeast cake into the new cooled batch.  Let the good times roll!