Lacto Infection

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Lacto Infection

Postby boda getta » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:42 am

I very often have a lacto infection in my all grain mashes, I have not been overly concerned in the past and some say a lacto infection can be beneficial. I have a wheated bourbon mash now working for a week that is infected with lacto that is at 1.01 now. My problem is that due to scheduled events I will not be able to strip it until 7-8 days from now.
My question: Does a lacto infection eat alcohol? I have read that some infections do (mash turning to vinegar) Will this mast be OK for another week without negative effects?
Any thoughts, advice greatly appreciated.

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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby rgreen2002 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:14 am

Lacto doesn't actually do anything to alcohol. Lacto will take available sugar and turn it into lactic acid... as opposed to ethanol that your yeast does. So it decreases your alcohol output, but only by decreasing the sugar available... not by destroying alcohol. That lactic acid is the reason that it is used in beer making, to give an acidic "tang".

At 1.01 it sounds like you are pretty much fermented out, the odds of losing any ethanol are pretty minimal. I have left mashes with great lacto infections for many days (maybe even a week or two) with no outward effects so I suspect you will be fine!
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby Shine0n » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:55 pm

I just ran some HBB that had a lacto and sat for 3 months, good stuff!!!
SCD said he had one set for 9 months and was awesome too and I've read many others who have done the same.

No worries bubba, will be fine and add some character :thumbup:
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby Truckinbutch » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:56 pm

I wouldn't worry . Run it when you can . If you don't run it ; you will never know .
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby dukethebeagle120 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:17 pm

i find lacto ferment good also.
the only thing is if the fermenting temps are cool it takes forever.
i got one going now and man its slow.
its to cold in my shop to speed up the process.
at 85-90 degrees things move along swiftly
its better to think like a fool but keep your mouth shut,then to open ur mouth and have it confirmed
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby Wino2Distill » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:39 pm

What are the tell-tale signs of a lacto infection? I left my wheat/corn mash cool overnight and it was fermenting in the morning. The best description of what it smelled like I cannot write here, but I strained it out and heated the wort to 80C to kill whatever it was at which point it smelled somewhat like it should but with a cow dung element. I cooled properly and pitched yeast.
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby boda getta » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:13 pm

What I am calling a latco infection is a white powder looking on top, doesn't seem to affect the smell in a negitive way
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby Wino2Distill » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:35 pm

boda getta wrote:What I am calling a latco infection is a white powder looking on top, doesn't seem to affect the smell in a negitive way


Oh I have that in my rum. Not my wort, yet!
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby NZChris » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:35 pm

A lacto infection makes butyric acid which smells like vomit. If you have that, wait until the smell changes to pineapple before you run it.
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby der wo » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:57 am

Sorry NZ for being the smartass, but a lacto infection produces lactic acid, which doesn't have a smell. And in combination with alcohol it will produce fruity flavors.
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby Wino2Distill » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:34 am

Ethyl lactate... Yummy
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby Pikey » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:37 am

der wo wrote:Sorry NZ for being the smartass, but a lacto infection produces lactic acid, which doesn't have a smell. And in combination with alcohol it will produce fruity flavors.


I know you are very knowedgeable in the contaminated wash dept der wo, but in defence of NZC's statement, my old book says (at page 25)

"...Under the influence of lactic fermentation, sugar and starch are converted into lactic acid. When it has once developed, it proceeds rapidly, and soon decomposes a large quantity of glucose; but as it can only proceed in a neutral liquor, the presence of the acid itself speedily checks it's own formation. Then however another another ferment is liable to act upon the lactic acid already formed converting it too butyric acid which is easily recognised by it's odor of rank butter. Carbonic anhydride and hydrogen are evolved by this reaction. The latter acts powerfully upon glucose, converting it into a species of gum called mannite, so that lactic fermentation - in itself an intolerable nuisance- becomes the source of a new and equally objectionable waste of sugar. It can be avoided only by keeping the vats thoroughly clean; they should be washed with water acidulated with 5% of sulphuric acid. An altered ferment or the use of too small a quantity will tend to bring it about....."
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby der wo » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:59 am

old book page 25 wrote:...Under the influence of lactic fermentation, sugar and starch are converted into lactic acid. When it has once developed, it proceeds rapidly, and soon decomposes a large quantity of glucose; but as it can only proceed in a neutral liquor, the presence of the acid itself speedily checks it's own formation. Then however another another ferment is liable to act upon the lactic acid already formed converting it too butyric acid which is easily recognised by it's odor of rank butter. "another ferment" Does it mean another ferment of lactic bacterias or a new ferment of another bacteria? Is this quote about lactic fermentation or about infections in general. Does the book clearly say lactic bacterias produce butyric acid or only that after the lactic bacteria another bacteria may produce butyrc acid? Please Pikey check it in the book.
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby Pikey » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:17 am

I didn't include the section title der wo - it was "LActic fermentation"

The rest of the section was typed verbatim, except the last sentence, which just said "cleanliness and plenty of yeast"....

It was this book which inspired the "Preheater" thread. You can download the whole book as Stillstirrin kindly identified and found a source : {Edit - source in post 6 - again from Still-stirrin ]

http://ww.homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=87&t=66230#p7469430 You may also fid the section on rum / molasses interesting.

atb

p
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby der wo » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:02 am

I will read the pdf.
Generally lactic bacterias are named this way because they produce lactic acid. It's not a scientific name. In reality there are many very different "lactic bacterias". Many also produce a bit ethanol and acetic acid.
Species are for example: Lactobacillus, Enterococcus, Lactococcus, Pediococcus, Streptococcus, Carnobacterium, Leuconostoc, Weissella, Bifidobacteria. (examples from wikipedia)

For example the yoghurt starter I have at home contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis B12, Streptococcus thermophilus.
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby der wo » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:32 am

Pikey wrote:
der wo wrote:Sorry NZ for being the smartass, but a lacto infection produces lactic acid, which doesn't have a smell. And in combination with alcohol it will produce fruity flavors.


I know you are very knowedgeable in the contaminated wash dept der wo, but in defence of NZC's statement, my old book says (at page 25)

"...Under the influence of lactic fermentation, sugar and starch are converted into lactic acid. When it has once developed, it proceeds rapidly, and soon decomposes a large quantity of glucose; but as it can only proceed in a neutral liquor, the presence of the acid itself speedily checks it's own formation. Then however another another ferment is liable to act upon the lactic acid already formed converting it too butyric acid which is easily recognised by it's odor of rank butter. Carbonic anhydride and hydrogen are evolved by this reaction. The latter acts powerfully upon glucose, converting it into a species of gum called mannite, so that lactic fermentation - in itself an intolerable nuisance- becomes the source of a new and equally objectionable waste of sugar. It can be avoided only by keeping the vats thoroughly clean; they should be washed with water acidulated with 5% of sulphuric acid. An altered ferment or the use of too small a quantity will tend to bring it about....."

This book is from 1907. At this time they didn't know for example...
- that there is more than one "amylase".
- that it needs bacteria that a wash turns to vinegar (Chapter "Acetous Fermentation"). They know only, that air contact is a problem.
- same with lactic and butyric fermentation (your quote). They know only that a lactic ferment after some time will change to a butyric ferment. Not a single word about bacterias. They didn't know what is responsible for infections. They recommend fresh yeast and cleanliness to avoid those infections, that's all.
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby Pikey » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:20 am

I agree with some of what you say der wo - whether they felt the need to go into detail of the "How and why" of what they considered ".....an intolerable waste of sugar......" Apart from saying how to avoid it - I don't know, but I suspect not.

However, as you say, it does link lactic and butyric production.
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby der wo » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:51 am

Perhaps we agree now that lactic bacterias produce mainly lactic acid?
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby rgreen2002 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:52 am

boda getta wrote:What I am calling a latco infection is a white powder looking on top, doesn't seem to affect the smell in a negitive way


lacto 1.jpg
The Look of Lactobacillus


lacto 3.jpg
"Ready for my close-up..."


A few quick pics of a light Lactobacillus infection for ya. Note the dextrans covering the top. Dextrans can cover the surface or form “ropes.” They are visually unappealing, but otherwise harmless, and they can also be useful in protecting against oxidation. Remember Lactobacillus is a facultative anaerobe...

Looking over the comments regarding the Lactobacillus and butyric acid I can say this...everyone is right(to some degree)

Lactobacillus creates lactic acid. Interestingly, in an appropriate environment (mostly in an anaerobic one...) Lactobacillus has been known to degrade lactic acid into other acids such as acetic, succinic acid, formic acid (yuck), etc... In my review, butyric acid was not one of these acids. Here is one of the papers I reviewed discussing this concept: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC92530/

Another nice article discussing organic acid productions in Chinese alcohol yeast starters (Daqu) comparing B. licheniformis and B. subtilis. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jib.58/full

Looking at the info that Pikey posted:

Pikey wrote:... Then, however, another ferment is liable to act upon the lactic acid already formed converting it too butyric acid


"another ferment" does not necessarily mean that Lactobacillus is to blame. There are several reasons butyric acid is formed (I still cannot find anything regarding degradation of lactic acid into butyric acid though...).

1. It is frequently produced in small quantities during the fermentation. I SUSPECT (no real evidence on my part here) that this small amount of butyric acid mixes with the ethanol to form esters and that is why it is transient. The actual reason for its formation in the ferment is unknown to me so please add to the post if you guys know for sure!

2. Another reason for butyric acid formation ( and a more problematic one) is a secondary bacterial infection. The more common bacteria for us to produce butyric acid are Bacillus subtilus and a Clostridium spp. This is the butyric acid you cannot get rid of.... the one that lingers forever, cannot be "aged' out and turns bourbons into ant killer. :mrgreen:

Also, lactic acid bacteria can produce diacetyl... that "buttery" flavor we have discussed on the forum many times before. Fermentation through the heterofermentative pathway of lactic acid producing bacteria, during or just after alcoholic fermentation, when high populations of yeast are present, yields lower amounts of diacetyl due to rapid yeast reduction. In the absence of high populations of yeast, more diacetyl is formed

Here is a nice little chapter on lactic acid bacteria from the book Wine Microbiology: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... 9xL9KjoM5w

I had a little trouble getting this free google book chapter so I included it here:
Wine Micro.pdf
(257.6 KiB) Downloaded 5 times
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby der wo » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:25 pm

rgreen,
your pics may be include the look of lactobacillus. But it's not only lactobacillus, it's also yeast. Lactobcillus would not form such bowls.
rgreen2002 wrote:2. Another reason for butyric acid formation ( and a more problematic one) is a secondary bacterial infection. The more common bacteria for us to produce butyric acid are Bacillus subtilus and a Clostridium spp. This is the butyric acid you cannot get rid of.... the one that lingers forever, cannot be "aged' out and turns bourbons into ant killer. :mrgreen:

Yes. If we have butyric acid, then it is the product of clostridium normally. But why it turns Bourbon into ant killer? Clostridium is the No.1 most important bacteria in dunder pits. It definetely doesn't turn Rum into ant killer, so why Bourbon? Yes. Butyric acid smells terrible. But if you add alcohol, it forms a nice ester. Perhaps in beer or wine the alcohol content is not high enough for a full reaction, but in spirits it's another story.
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby rgreen2002 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:51 am

der wo wrote:rgreen,
your pics may be include the look of lactobacillus. But it's not only lactobacillus, it's also yeast. Lactobcillus would not form such bowls.


der wo - I think you are talking about the bubbling on the surface...? The bubbles are trapped CO2 from fermentation under the dextran strands, and it is kind of neat to see them form. I don't doubt that there would be yeast involved in the dextran layer and I would guess a host of other organisms as well trapped in there(particularly any aerobic organisms)!

As far as the ant killer comment I (luckily) have never had an infection produce butyric acid to the point where it is overwhelming. I'm talking about the persistent butyric acid though.... that lasts through distillation and into aging and oaking. Conversations here have frequently led to people having to discard that product because of this. If you have aged something and oaked something for several months and in the end, it still smells like vomit... I'm going to suggest that it is undesirable. I will certainly concede that not all infections/butyric acid producers need be tossed. I would defer to you and your experience there...I've seen some of your infections: lol: :mrgreen:

Rum..... Rum is just one big infection! A big, beautiful, delicious infection. I would say (more out of speculation than evidence) that there is a difference between rum and other spirits when it comes to infection and spoilage mainly because good rum BEGINS with an infection. We make dunder pits purposely looking for that infection while most of the time (MOST...not always) the goal with bourbon is no or maybe a late infection. I've never had anything more than the transient butyric acid during fermentation in my bourbons, so it's hard for me to say it's truly undesirable. This certainly is not evidence for anything and is chock full of my biases...

With the idea of adding alcohol to form esters, I agree..... isn't that the basic purpose of looking for a late infection? Trying to get a few acids from bacterial metabolic products to mix with your alcohol in the fermentation? I think only two things though; "adding alcohol" (which I think you would mean alcohol already in your mash/wash) would then decrease your overall yield, and second if you do mean alcohol from the mash/wash, I would say it isn't much different from beer or wine since we are talking about 7-8% ABV in the fermentation.

Give me more der wo..... it's a great discussion and good information! I hope we aren't hijacking the thread either. :mrgreen:
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby der wo » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:58 am

rgreen,
yes I mean the bubbles.

I had much vomit smell in my backset pits. Probably it was butyric acid. Nothing was detectable after distilling. Either it didn't came over or it was changed to an ester.

If you like the pics of my dunder pits, I can say you will love my next pics even more. :mrgreen:

With "adding alcohol" I mean all possible ways:
- fermenting sugar into alcohol
- adding feints to a fermented dry wash
- mixing low wines with dunder
A "late infection" has some effect. But not much after distilling. But for example diluting the low wines with dunder has a huge effect. Higher abv -> more esterification.
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby Hillbilly Popstar » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:05 am

der wo wrote:rgreen,
yes I mean the bubbles.

I had much vomit smell in my backset pits. Probably it was butyric acid. Nothing was detectable after distilling. Either it didn't came over or it was changed to an ester.

If you like the pics of my dunder pits, I can say you will love my next pics even more. :mrgreen:

With "adding alcohol" I mean all possible ways:
- fermenting sugar into alcohol
- adding feints to a fermented dry wash
- mixing low wines with dunder
A "late infection" has some effect. But not much after distilling. But for example diluting the low wines with dunder has a huge effect. Higher abv -> more esterification.

Where can the pics be viewed?
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby rgreen2002 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:21 pm

I have to admit.... I am not as brave as you when it comes to an infection der wo!! I seem to frequently get a lacto infection on my all grains, particularly when I use rye. It is well known that the Lactobacillus resides on the husks of malted grains and it could really be ANY of the grains, but it seems more likely in my case with rye.

I have let a Lactobacillus infection sit for a few weeks when I could not get to a run in time, or some other ungodly reason and I will say that it never really has the vomit smell (at least for very long if any...). I like to think that even if it did smell a little like vomit.... and I didn't think it would ruin the boiler..... I'd run that.... in the name of science of course. :lol:


Hillbilly Popstar wrote:Where can the pics be viewed?



HP: der wo has a few "my infection" threads running out there.... check them out. Here are a few places: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=66527 , viewtopic.php?f=34&t=64615 , viewtopic.php?f=34&t=65858&p=7472977#p7472977
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby Hillbilly Popstar » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:33 pm

Thanks
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby Wino2Distill » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:02 pm

Reading this thread is making me think that I cannot ferment my bourbon mash where I have my dunder pit and my rum ferments. My two first trials of whisky ferments smell like vomit and sour milk. I'm a fairly clean operator, not aseptic but clean.


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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby der wo » Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:20 am

Wino2Distill wrote:Reading this thread is making me think that I cannot ferment my bourbon mash where I have my dunder pit and my rum ferments. My two first trials of whisky ferments smell like vomit and sour milk. I'm a fairly clean operator, not aseptic but clean.

If only the wash smells like vomit but not the distillate, it's ok.
Generally I agree, I also think there is a taste transfer from mash to mash.

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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby NZChris » Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:35 am

Its a patience thing. If you run a vomit smelling wash, you lock in the butyric acid, if you wait for it to convert into pineapple, you lock in ethyl butyrate.
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby Wino2Distill » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:00 am

NZChris wrote:Its a patience thing. If you run a vomit smelling wash, you lock in the butyric acid, if you wait for it to convert into pineapple, you lock in ethyl butyrate.


I haven't run them yet. So all I have to do is wait for this chemical conversion to happen?
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Re: Lacto Infection

Postby Wino2Distill » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:02 am

der wo wrote:Please disable the tapatalk signature.


I have several times, but the settings keep changing back. Will keep an eye on it.
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