Author Topic: Lacto. Frustrations  (Read 1760 times)

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Lacto. Frustrations
« on: July 12, 2015, 03:31:45 PM »
Just when you think you know what you are doing...I have to say this lacto. starter I attempted has been a real PITA. I think I made the mistake of listening to advice from no less than 10 people on a good method to do this. After 4 or so days, I see no activity (and this is with a White Labs vial). I could of course break out my PH meter, but it's still in the box and I really haven't had the time to figure it out yet.

I think I'm going to simply dump this starter and give the standard DME and raw grains a try next.

Offline jeffy

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3400
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2015, 04:26:46 PM »
Just when you think you know what you are doing...I have to say this lacto. starter I attempted has been a real PITA. I think I made the mistake of listening to advice from no less than 10 people on a good method to do this. After 4 or so days, I see no activity (and this is with a White Labs vial). I could of course break out my PH meter, but it's still in the box and I really haven't had the time to figure it out yet.

I think I'm going to simply dump this starter and give the standard DME and raw grains a try next.

This sounds like a bad move to me.  Lacto starters don't always look like sac. starters.  Check the pH.  I would much rather use a "pure" culture lacto starter than whatever happened to be on the grain.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2015, 04:47:47 PM »
Jeffy,
Will the Lacto keep dropping in PH if left alone in the heat?

Offline dkfick

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1054
    • View Profile
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2015, 05:16:28 PM »
You should be able to smell if lactic acid has been created as well. Lots of strains of lactic don't give you visible signs of fermentation like producing co2. I can't recall on that strain specifically... Not at home.
BJCP A0936 National Beer Judge and Mead Judge
Cicerone Certified Beer Server
AHA Member
CRAFT Homebrew Club
Sons of Liberty Homebrew Club
HBT "mors"

Offline Tim Thomssen

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2015, 05:37:36 PM »
Keep going with it, you're just getting started.  Assuming you've got WLP677 Lactobacillus Delbrueckii and it's been around 100 the whole time, give it a swirl and look for tiny CO2 bubbles, that's about the only visual indication of activity I've ever noticed.  I just recently did a 1 gallon starter with 1 vial of WLP677, didn't really see any activity for 4 or 5 days, pitched on day 9.  Soured 15 gallons of Berliner wort for 42 hours, the Lacto ate 17 points and dropped the PH to 3.6.

Offline kramerog

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1813
    • View Profile
    • My LinkedIn page
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2015, 07:33:56 PM »
The commercial lacto are pure strains which can have unusual traits like not producing CO2 or only eating glucose.  The lacto found on grains likely contain many strains and therefore I found produce CO2 and eat most sugars in wort.  When I grow my own lacto, I can really tell that it is just beginning to work when I see a pellicle - I don't purge the headspace with CO2.

You may want to try to taste (and spit out) the starter.

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3225
    • View Profile
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2015, 11:24:48 PM »
+1 to letting it ride.  Lacto many times does not produce a typical krausen like sacch. strains do.  When I brewed my last Berliner (in January), my 2 qt starter never showed signs of fermentation except when I swirled it up a bit and the airlock moved.  You should look for increasing lacto sediment on the bottom of your starter and then you will know if the lacto is growing.  That is why I typically give my first step around 7 days to allow for it to completely (and albeit slowly) ferment out the whole starter. 

If you plan on stepping it up again, when you decant the spent wort, be sure to taste it.  It will most likely taste like a tart apple juice/cider. 

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8479
    • View Profile
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2015, 11:43:48 PM »
On my next lacto starters im going to experiment a bit. 2 quarts of 1.030 of table sugar, water, and nutrients, pressure canned. Flood with CO2, pitch the lacto, set on a small heat pad ~100º for 7 days with a ventable solid stopper. Then pitch the whole shebang to an 8 gallon batch.

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3144
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2015, 03:04:17 PM »
You're not going to see a krausen form with lacto and if you are seeing krausen there's almost certainly yeast in the lacto you pitched. (At least one lab has confirmed the presence of yeast in some of the lacto pitches from some of the homebrew/pro yeast labs.) You need to check ph or test it with your senses. You should be able to smell or taste the lactic acid.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline johnnyb

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 242
  • Pembroke, NH
    • View Profile
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2015, 03:26:56 PM »
Just an FYI based on some of the timelines I'm seeing here for a lacto starter. The Omega Yeast Labs Lacto blend apparently works pretty fast and works well at more moderate temps like around 70o F. Here are the instructions from Omega to prepare a starter:

Quote
To use the lacto blend for kettle souring a 5 gallon batch, prepare a 1 liter starter of approximately 1.040 specific gravity and pour contents of pouch into unhopped starter. Incubate 24-48 hours at room temperature to increase cell count.

They say it will sour the unhopped wort in 24 to 48 hours at around the same temps.

I'm going to try it soon on a gose.




Offline brewday

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 453
  • Chicago
    • View Profile
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2015, 03:39:48 PM »
They say it will sour the unhopped wort in 24 to 48 hours at around the same temps.

It most certainly will!!
Jon Weaver

Offline ynotbrusum

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2805
  • Da mihi sis cerevisiam.
    • View Profile
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2015, 06:07:25 PM »
I can confirm the Omega blend works fast.  I used it at 85F and it took 10 gallons of Berliner wort from 4.3 to 2.9 pH in 18 hours.  I made a 1500 ml starter 6 days earlier and held it at 85F right up to the point of pitching it.  I boiled it for 90 minutes and pitched a healthy starter of 1056 then fermented it at 63F.  I will be racking to keg this weekend and tasting it - I expect to need blending on this one....
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2015, 06:34:18 PM »
Well the strain I used didn't move. Measured last night and it was 4.1.

Offline johnnyb

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 242
  • Pembroke, NH
    • View Profile
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2015, 02:12:47 AM »
I can confirm the Omega blend works fast.  I used it at 85F and it took 10 gallons of Berliner wort from 4.3 to 2.9 pH in 18 hours.  I made a 1500 ml starter 6 days earlier and held it at 85F right up to the point of pitching it.  I boiled it for 90 minutes and pitched a healthy starter of 1056 then fermented it at 63F.  I will be racking to keg this weekend and tasting it - I expect to need blending on this one....

Yikes that is fast...

I'm trying to figure out timing, and this throws a bit of a monkey wrench into an already difficult process as far as trying to keep my schedule free for a window to do the post boil souring. I assumed 24 hours would be the soonest it would be ready to roll.

 

Offline JT

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1335
  • Bloatarian Brewing League - Cincinnati, OH
    • View Profile
    • Bloatarian Brewing League
Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2015, 03:58:00 AM »
Well the strain I used didn't move. Measured last night and it was 4.1.
What do you mean didn't move?  If it's below 4.5 it's in the "safe" threshold and the lactose is doing its thing. 

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 04:00:09 AM by JT »