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Old 01-08-2018, 04:41 PM
vertigo's Avatar
vertigo vertigo is offline
Mike - General Secretary
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Keller, TX
Posts: 569
Default Sour Beer Dregs Starter

So, I won a little flask at a raffle at some point so I decided to take the dregs (yeast sediment) of a sour beer and grow it up to pitching levels and doing something with it for fun. I've done tons of starters but none with extra "bugs" in it and it's a new experience for me. I never saw much of a krausen forming while on the stir plate. I left it on for a couple of days and then turned it off to let things settle so I could take a look and did see what appeared to be more sediment at the bottle of the flask. A day later I started seeing things form and now a peticle has formed on top.

I think this is normal??? My biggest question is how do I know when I've achieved the maximum level of growth? Should I take gravity samples?

If anyone has any experience with this, would love to talk at a meeting or on this forum.

Last edited by vertigo; 01-08-2018 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:38 PM
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vertigo vertigo is offline
Mike - General Secretary
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Keller, TX
Posts: 569

So I talked to some people last night at the meeting and learned a few things.
  • Try not to introduce oxygen into the starter (don't use stir bar)
  • Start out with a smaller starter (200ml)
  • The peticle forming on top is normal.
  • Don't bother with cold crashing and decanting since non-yeast strains don't flocculate as easily.
  • Each step in the starter can take 7-10 days
  • Taste it.

So, I'm going to dump what I have and do another one. Starting with a smaller starter and not using a stir bar. My goal is to have a unique strain of yeast and other bugs to ferment a small fruited sour.

I also found this really interesting.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:32 PM
Jremy Jremy is offline
Jeremy Sanders
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 25

Mike here is some info that I have read over the past year that have helped me make dreg and brett/lacto/pedio starters.

Starter info for lacto starters halfway through the article but I recommend this blog for other info and experiments

This Wiki is great and a good facebook, forum to be a member of. Some recommended starter info regarding Brett, Pedio, and Lacto

A dreg list from commercial bottles that are unpasteurized from Michael Tonsmeire. Recommend this blog and his book American Sour Beers

And if you really want to get nerdy I recommend this. Chad Yakobson from Crooked Stave's dissertation on Brettanomyces. Also has experiments and research he has done over the years

Also if your a podcast listener I recommend the Sour Hour hosted by Jay Goodwin from The Rare Barrel on the Brewing Network. Lots of info and great interviews with Funky Sour brewers.

Also you can hear a question from James Herrington on episode 1 or 2.
I hope this helps you and others. I am by no means an expert but this is a few good resources I use and read.

Last edited by Jremy; 01-11-2018 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:37 PM
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winebully winebully is offline
John Mosher
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Fort
Posts: 884
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James Herrington should have good advice on this. He was making a lot of bug beer as a homebrewer and is now working at the Collective.
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