Beer Using Sourdough Starter

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by midastouch, Feb 21, 2023.

  1. midastouch

    midastouch Initiate (74) Sep 4, 2020 Massachusetts

    Has anyone tried making beer using sourdough starter? I’m making beer as it would be made in the ancient Near and Middle East as well as the Mediterranean. I’m using a strain of yeast featured in National Geographic’s first bread documentary and haven’t tried this method yet. Any help will be appreciated.
  2. premierpro

    premierpro Savant (1,048) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    You wont know if ya don't go!
    GormBrewhouse and midastouch like this.
  3. YourBeerRunner

    YourBeerRunner Aspirant (212) May 3, 2022

    I like your thinking. Are you making beer the modern way, and then adding the bread yeast? Reminds me of my first attempt to make alcohol when I was a kid who decided to put grocery store-bought bread yeast in juice. Something definitely happened because it tasted terrible after bubbling!
    I say go for it using your adult expertise.
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  4. VikeMan

    VikeMan Pooh-Bah (2,993) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Hey Jack, good to see you around here. I have one of your mills (circa 2009(?)), still going strong, but motorized these days.
    riptorn likes this.
  5. MrOH

    MrOH Grand Pooh-Bah (3,281) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    As Yatte Minahare said about the founding of Yamazaki Distillery, "Go for it! You won't know unless you try."
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  6. elNopalero

    elNopalero Grand Pooh-Bah (4,358) Oct 14, 2009 California
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I am not a homebrew and really have no business chiming in here if not for my beloved sourdough starter.

    I will share that I have occasionally tried brewing kvass using my starter, and it worked wonderfully. I have no idea if your starter would work well enough on its own, or need some extra help. Sounds like a fun project.
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  7. midastouch

    midastouch Initiate (74) Sep 4, 2020 Massachusetts

    I have both modern equipment and clay vessels specially designed for this purpose. I’ve used the clay vessel with commercial yeast and not only does it finish quicker it tastes better as three AHA judges preferred it over the my glass fermenters. I’ll be doing a side by side test for this too and will probably pitch the yeast in some malt extract and nutrients to wake it up again as the instructions says it takes a few days.

    I also have a another clay vessel designed to bake bread which basically makes giant muffins. I can bake the bread and still preserve the yeast which is what some archaeologists say how this is done. I can do the above method for the glass jars and do this method for the clay vessel and compare the two.
    #7 midastouch, Mar 11, 2023
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2023
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  8. midastouch

    midastouch Initiate (74) Sep 4, 2020 Massachusetts

    I do have nutrients on hand to aid the starter which I will probably add to it to be safe. I’ve used this sourdough starter in the past to make a bread and it’s fierce and quick when it gets going. I’m hoping that this will translate to a brew that will finish well. I do have another yeast from a Berber tribe in Saudi Arabia I’ll pitch in another vessel to see how the yeasts differ. I’ll keep y’all up to date on the progress.
    elNopalero and MrOH like this.
  9. beershrine

    beershrine Zealot (643) May 29, 2004 Idaho

    Please report how this turned out.
  10. wasatchback

    wasatchback Maven (1,448) Jan 12, 2014 Tajikistan

    The house yeast that Scratch uses is said to have originated from a sourdough starter.

    Unless you know exactly what’s in your sourdough starter there’s no way to actually know if it will fully ferment the complex sugars from malt.

    There’s a good chance that the bacteria that’s actually souring the dough is very hop intolerant so if you do want something that’s a bit tart I’d suggest keeping the IBUs pretty low to begin with. Like 15 or lower. Might be a good idea to add some complexity as the yeast in the starter is most likely not going to make a very “clean” beer.

    I’d also suggest starting with a “grain bill” that includes a decent amount of simple sugars. If the “yeast” in your sourdough starter consists of a yeast that struggles with the complex sugars from malt you’re much more likely to get better attenuation with a larger portion of simple sugar (dextrose, glucose).
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  11. HouseOfAles

    HouseOfAles Aspirant (200) Sep 8, 2023 Michigan
    Society Deactivated

    I never thought about using it for beer.