Author Topic: Beer on Lees sourdough culture  (Read 1129 times)

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Offline JimmyG

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Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« on: September 03, 2013, 12:18:50 AM »
I had a goofy idea while drinking an unfiltered beer yesterday, why not harvest the caked yeasts on the bottom of the bottle for pizza, breads and such. The beer was Blond Fatale by Peace Tree and reportedly contains a strain of Belgium Ale yeast. The yeast in the bottom of the bottle I'm assuming is nothing more than a yeast culture that spent its food source, much like a neglected starter. So I'm assuming I could theoretically recover it and potentially use it for leavened products. 
As I cracked into each bottle, I careful poured about +90% of the contents into my pint glass, while trying not to disturb the yeast on the bottom of the bottle. I proceeded to do the same with rest of the 6-pack as I finished each beer.  >:D I then poured the remaining hooch into a mason jar, along with some AP flour (120% hydration using the retained beer). The ingredients were thoroughly mix. This is mixture is being left covered on the counter till something hopefully happens. Not sure if this is going to produce a viable culture for dough, but figured its worth a shot! Results to come later this week when something happens. If anyone has any thoughts or comments, please feel free to share as using beer cultures for breads and pizzas are uncharted territory for me.

Jim
Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2013, 06:39:44 AM »
Do you know for sure the stuff at the bottom is alive?
Pizza is not bread.

Offline norma427

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Re: Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2013, 06:46:39 AM »
Jimmy,

I tried using the sediment from a homebrew Steve gave me to leaven the dough for a pizza, but I did not add flour to the sediment to see if it would ferment.

Posted about at Reply 109 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11133.msg103964.html#msg103964 

Another post about it at Reply 111 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11133.msg103970.html#msg103970  and in the next few posts.

Good luck with your starter made of sediment!  I will be watching to see your results.

Norma
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Offline adm

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Re: Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2013, 08:02:16 AM »
I have cultured brewing yeasts from the bottom of beer bottles a few times with good results. Craft beer is quite often "live" and unfiltered -  at least here in the UK.

I normally use a weak solution of malt extract rather than flour though. i build up the size and strength of the malt solution as I go.

Cleanliness is your friend here - normally best to make sure anything that comes into contact with the yeast is sterile until the culture is growing well.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2013, 08:44:56 AM »
You might do control batch as well using water and the same flour and compare to see if you are actually getting something out of the beer or if the activity is instead coming from the flour.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline JimmyG

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Re: Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2013, 09:11:36 AM »
Norma and adm,
Thanks for the input. I got the idea from a friend of mine, who is an avid home brewer. He will often make up a yeast starter (mixture of sterilized water and malt extract) and pour the bottom sediment from the unfiltered beers into this solution, attempting to capture the bottled cultures from his favorite European breweries. I decided to use flour since I am making bread and pizzas and malt could change the flavor of the dough. However, maybe using the malted starter method and inoculating a water/flour slurry with the yeast starter, and building it up over a few generations to wash out the malt is the way to go? We shall see.


Craig,
That is a very good suggestion. Especially given that I don't know how viable the culture still is, and if it can withstand any other strains found in the air or flour. Ill make up a small flour/water batch tonight for comparison.

Thanks all,

Jim
Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

Offline JimmyG

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Re: Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2013, 08:02:56 AM »
Sorry for the long delay, I was called out of town Tuesday and had to put the starters in the back of the fridge for a few days.  The two starters have been out on the counter since Saturday afternoon and there has been quite a bit of activity over the last day in the Belgium Beer starter, obvious signs of leavening, and it does smell remarkably like a Belgium Ale. I'm not sure if the smell is entirely due the 4 day fermentation on the counter, as I did add the original beer contents to the starter. Nevertheless there is a very strong ale smell to this starter. Upon Craig's recommendation also I created a wild starter, however I have seen no indication that anything is happening in that jar yet and has no real discernible smell at this point.

I think I am going to do several feeding rounds over the next few days with just plain water to see if that washes out the beer smell, or if it is truly coming from this yeast strain.

I may try doing a pizza or two along the way to see how it handles for bread/pizza applications.

If this does workout, and it does produces a distinct sourdough culture, I would imagine that this method would also apply to wine as well and one could try cultivating a yeast culture from their favorite winery or geographic region for bread or pizza.

Jim
Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

Offline adm

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Re: Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 08:37:32 AM »
Looks good!

For anyone wanting to build a starter from a specific beer or wine type, it's not even necessary to acquire the actual beer or wine! Although there is a lot of fun to be had that way.....

There are a couple of companies that maintain and sell a very wide range of live liquid yeast cultures:

http://www.whitelabs.com

and

http://www.wyeastlab.com

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 09:32:36 AM »
If this does workout, and it does produces a distinct sourdough culture, I would imagine that this method would also apply to wine as well and one could try cultivating a yeast culture from their favorite winery or geographic region for bread or pizza.

I'm pretty sure there is no live yeast in any bottle of wine.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline norma427

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Re: Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 10:20:39 AM »
Jim,

Good to hear you starter made with beer and beer sediment is doing well.  Will be watching to see how it ferments bread or pizza.

I did add wine to my homemade natural starter one time at Reply 83 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10008.msg88293.html#msg88293  and it did still have a wine smell after awhile.  At Reply 88 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10008.msg88802.html#msg88802 you can see what my my starters looked liked.  Another photo of all my starters including the one with wine at Reply 33 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10008.msg87723.html#msg87723

BurntFingers said typically in wine the yeasts dies off as part of the process of fermentation and says more at Reply 13 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10008.msg87201/topicseen.html#msg87201

You can see what Infoodel (Toby) had to say though that thread about natural starters and about wine yeast.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!


Offline JimmyG

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Re: Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2013, 11:04:49 AM »
So it has been a few days and the flavor of the starter has remained quite distinct, and tastes and smells similar to the beer from which it came, only without malt and hop. I decided to make a high hydration pizza bianca out of the starter to see how it would preform. I was pleasantly surprised. Strong rise. Great hole structure. The yeast flavor was not as forward and intense as the starter, but it certainly tastes from where it came. All-in-all very pleased with the results. I give a few more feedings though to see if anything changes.
Jim

The dough formula was:
100% Bread Flour
90% Water
5% Starter (100% hydration)
2.3% salt
Mixed. Allowed to rise overnight. Topped with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Baked at 550F.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 11:14:41 AM by JimmyG »
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Offline JimmyG

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Re: Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2013, 11:25:43 AM »
Adm,
You are certainly right, this way is more fun. And it gives an excuse to drink and sample many, many, many, beers.  >:D  :-D

Craig,
You are probably right. No yeast left in my '91 Jordan cab sadly :'(

Norma,
Thanks for the links and info.  :)

Jim
Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

Offline JD

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Re: Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2013, 12:37:41 PM »
That looks great. You should lower the %starter and try a 2 day ferment to see if you get any more flavor. I bet it tasted good though, thanks for following up on this one I've been watching from the beginning.
Josh

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Beer on Lees sourdough culture
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2013, 06:19:35 PM »
Craig,
You are probably right. No yeast left in my '91 Jordan cab sadly :'(

The sediment you see at the bottom of some bottles of wine is not yeast.
Pizza is not bread.


 

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