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11/24/10 08:55 AM  
Lacto Speed and PH
After plenty of research, I'm playing with Lacto, Pedio, and a couple of Brett strains for the first time (via the Wyeast Lambic blend).

I just made a starter for the lacto (yes, I know starters aren't recommended but I'm specifically looking to increase the population of lacto to get some sour quickly) which will be added to a little over 1 gallon of oaked (infusion spirals) Porter to be used as the "aged" portion for an Industrial Revolution-era Porter recipe.

I made a 1.040 OG 1 liter starter with 65% light DME, 30% Dextrose, and 5% sugar and held the whole thing at 32C for 36 hours, I took the PH this morning with PH strips and it certainly looked like it was already at 3.7 -Is this possible in this amount of time?

-I've read that souring normally takes quite a while and I even seen sour mashes take longer than this to get this sour. From what I've read Lacto stops reproducing at 3.8 so for this to reach 3.7 this quickly doesn't add up with what else I've read, but then again I have a good population of lacto and a very small starter, plus the higher temps that lacto likes so I guess it's possible.

Full details of my process, plans, and steps so far are in this post: http://www.beoir.org/community/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=5621&p=62813#p62813



P.S. Sorry for the identical post in the other forum; I didn't realize I was posting in the wrong forum and apparently can't delete the other post myself.

11/24/10 10:43 AM  
Re: Lacto Speed and PH
Starters that I have made from pure lacto cultures can get sour fairly quickly. I think large lacto starters are essential when making a berliner weiss. Although I have no experience with your exact situation (making a starter with a blend, to try to promote the development of one of the bugs in the blend), I don't find your results too surprising. But your post suggests that you may be in a hurry on this batch? The aging process for beers such as this is necessary not only to develop full sourness/bug character, but also to clean up off flavors that result from the fermentation process (especially from the pedio). I wouldn't rush it. If you need to drink this porter quickly, I'd maybe suggest that you get a pure lacto culture and pitch that instead. Save the lambic blend for your next batch, and let it age properly. Cheers.
Mike T
11/24/10 11:19 AM  
Re: Lacto Speed and PH
Lacto can make yogurt overnight if held warm, so Iím not surprised that it could drop the pH of the beer so quickly. You may run into issues trying to sour the porter with lacto, the commercial strains seem to be very sensitive to even moderate levels of IBU.
11/24/10 05:22 PM  
Re: Lacto Speed and PH
So are there some varieties of lacto not so sensitive to IBU's? A couple of months ago I made a Belgian Dark Ale w/ OG 1.078 and added some RR, Orval and Jolly Pumpkin dregs with WY1762. IBU's were 23. It's been sitting at 1.016 for a few weeks slowly bubbling away and I just tried a sample. Very pleasantly tart, pH of 3.8 which surprised me. Seems early for pedo and definitely not acetic acid. I've blown others by letting that get out of hand so I've been doing my best to keep things anaerobic. This tastes much cleaner to me.
11/25/10 05:03 AM  
Re: Lacto Speed and PH
Thanks for all the responses!

I really need to rush out and get some new and lower PH strips as mine stop at 3.8 and I'm already below the bottom of the scale on those.

I took a small taste and I'm definitely getting a lot of the belgian wheat flavor but not much noticeable sour; I also found that there's something wrong with the readings from my ATC 800+ right now and it's reading much higher than the actual temps so I think I may have fermented this much closer to normal ale temps than I think I did. I'm trying to track down a new glass thermometer to calibrate it as I recently broke mine.

The Porter that I'm blending it with originally had about 20 IBUs, but it's been 6 months since it was brewed so I'm hoping that it's lower now and the lacto will keep doing their job in spite of the IBUs. (Next time I will definitely brew a specific "no IBUs" porter just for the aged portion.)

In WildBrews Jeff Sparrows says that Lacto Delbruckii is quite affected by IBUs and then says/hints that other strains are not impacted by hop oils/acids as much but then never mentions specific strains of Lacto that have this property..

I'm hoping that by slowly introducing more and more of the porter to the starter that the Lacto won't be "shocked" by the sudden increase in IBUs (plus the IBUs of the total solution will be much less as I'm essentially blending the porter with the starter early on).

Only time will tell.

Sl8w, I'm willing to wait this one out for a while if I have to, it will probably be 2-3 months before I will have the chance to brew the "young" porter anyway as I've got 2 brews in the queue ahead of this one.

-I'm willing to wait for some of the Brett character to show up because it's SOO important in a historically accurate Industrial Revolution-era porter. (I'm really hoping it's the 2-4 month time period and not 6-12 months, though.)


11/25/10 05:11 AM  
Re: Lacto Speed and PH
Oh yea,

How low have you folks seen pure Lacto take a beer's PH?

Wildbrews only speaks to the PH at which the various microorganisms stop reproducing but not PH at which they stop producing additional acid.

Another random one: Does anyone know the PH of pure lactic acid?

Last one: Does anyone have a calculator or formula for determining the final PH of a solution that is a blend of two liquids of a given volume?



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