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Thread: Lacto storage tips

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Incline Village, NV
    Posts
    43

    Lacto storage tips

    Looking for tips on storing lacto between kettle sour brews. I have harvested sour wort off the kettle before bringing it up to a boil a few times but have had inconsistent results when repitching. Hoping to get some tips from others who regularly brew kettle sours. Do you store the lacto wort warm or cold? In a keg, brink, carboy? How long can you store it and expect it to be healthy? Do you feed it fresh wort during storage?


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    Kevin Drake
    Alibi Ale Works
    North Lake Tahoe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    7
    Lacto likes simple sugars, so you can use preservative free juice plus 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient per quart approximately (apple, or whatever) Make sure the juice comes pasteurized so it can be opened and added directly to the starter. You could dilute it up to 50 percent but make sure you use DO water to prevent contamination. Lacto does not need oxygen to reproduce, but a small amount will not hurt it. I have read that some people decant their starters to avoid getting the malic acid from the juice into their beer, but the small amount probably won't cause any problems. Refrigerate to slow their life cycle and keep them from dying between feedings. Adding some chalk can help to buffer against the lactic acid produced by the culture (Lacto doesn’t do well below pH ~3.8) Depending what size batches you brew, you can keep your culture in a growler, carboy, or whatever. Make sure you sanitize and use an airlock on your container. You can probably store it up to a couple weeks before your culture starts to stray too far away from the original strain.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    11
    We have a culture we bought a year ago still going. For 9 bbls in the kettle we pitch 3 to 5 gallons depending on how much we want to drop the ph. We're seeing a drop to a ph of 3.25 to 3.5 overnight. We harvest off the bottom of the kettle into a corny keg. It sits for a month in the walkin between kettle sours routinely. We haven't noticed any drift yet. We do not feed it or decant. We do give it a good shake before pitching and always purge the vessel be4 and after harvest. Also a flow meter hooked up to a co2 line works wonders for trickling co2 into the kettle overnight. Lastly, when cooling down the wort before pitching we started running co2 through our oxygen stone.

    Andy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    west coast
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    277
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Miller View Post
    We harvest off the bottom of the kettle into a corny keg.
    please describe. having trouble wrapping my head around this but would love to know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    11
    I attach a short sanitized hose from the dump valve on the kettle into a purged corny keg once we reach our desired ph. I just put the hose right in the top of the corny and fill from the bottom. Dump a little off before collecting to make sure you are harvesting what was in the kettle and not what was in the piping. Purge a few more times after putting the lid on and store.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    west coast
    Posts
    277
    and you seem to get a good amount of lacto? i would have guessed that the flat bottom of the kettle makes pulling the lacto slurry off the bottom of the kettle a bit difficult.

    or are you not actually pulling the lacto slurry on the bottom, but just the lacto infused wort ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    11
    Tough to say. I know that it works a lot faster than the initial 7 liter pitch I bought so I'm going to keep doing it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    62
    Lacto doesn't form a slurry, at least not in my experience. We do the same thing - pull some acidified wort off the bottom kettle port into a corny keg. Then pitch the corny keg into the next batch and re-harvest. We store warm, haven't bothered purging, and have use this method for several generations with good results.

    We do purge when we're acidifying though - and bubble CO2 through the wort throughout that whole process to avoid off-flavors.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Springfield,MO, US
    Posts
    2

    Lacto Harvest

    I just wanted to add to this thread and verify that this does work. This thread helped me with the steps needed to harvest lacto from the kettle. I confirmed with Omega that lacto does not form a slurry, it just stays suspended in the wort. I did the steps outlined in a few responses here; Purged a sanitized corny keg, attached a small hose to drain spout and collected soured wort into corny (let a bit drain out first) , purged again. I stored it in my walk in for about a month before using it again. I was down to 3.3 in under 24 hours. I was hoping for a bit faster, my usual is 48 hours. I am sure it finishes in 36 but I'm usually sleeping and just come in early on the second day to boil. I have never seen it dip below 3.25. I pitched 3 gallons, perhaps if I pitched the 5 gallons I collected it would have finished quicker. Another option is to do a starter, but I was just keeping it as simple as possible.
    I am happy to answer any questions about our process. Feel free to DM me or reply to this thread.

    Cheers!
    Jen

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