Hello Bakers new here with yeast questions

Hello bakers want to introduce myself and ask some questions. I've been brewing beer for awhile and since I have a refrigerator full of different yeast strains I figured I'd try and make some sourdough which is the only type of bread I like. I got my starter going with a Belgian ale yeast and I got that taste in my first loaf not so much in the 2nd so I assume it's mutated with some local yeast. That's not a problem I can just make fresh starter every time the problem is it's not sour enough. What do you think about adding some lacto in the form of good belly or yogurt? I know over time the starter will go sour but then I loose the yeast flavor. All comments are appreciated
223 users have voted.


yozzause 2018 April 15

Hi Brewcat if using your brewers yeast  and growing it in a flour medium  you will still only be propogating whatever strain of yeast you have started out with. if you are enjoying the flavour that a particular strain is giving you it is probably best to use that brewers strain fresh each time. As you stated the flavour had  diminished with your second bake.  I dont think that you are actually  getting a "Sour dough starter" forming that has the lactobascillus  and wild yeast strains that form naturally from grain and the environment. Adding commercial good gut flora may not work  and a good sour dough starter has developed with a good symbiotic culture. Yogurts are quite good additions and can make some great breads as can sour cream and milk but i would use them as add ins to the dough rather than in a sour dough culture. Cultures need to be kept fairly simple, Brewers and yeast companies do a lot in selecting their strains of yeasts in the laboratory and keeping them pure and growing them on. 

Kind regards Derek  

Brewcat 2018 April 15
Thanks Derek. So if I want the yeast profile and sourness I should make a starter with the beer yeast each time and add yogurt to the dough ? As far as the starter I made it's very aggressive should I keep it going or should I start again and capture the wild yeast and maybe add the beer yeast at preferment? Or just add wort or flat beer in place of water?
yozzause 2018 April 16

Hi Brewcat i use a number of different yeasts and cultures for my bread making, and enjoy experimenting with different yeasts too. I like to use the dregs from the bottom of my brewing container once ive decanted the beer it keeps well in the fridge too, i usually feed that a couple of times with flour, starting off with a relatively small amount building up to an amount that will be required for a bake, this helps to cut down on waste. This isn't what i would call a sour dough culture rather just a brew culture but can be treated in much the sameway in a 3:2:1 type formula for sour dough for bread making! For an authentic Sourdough then i use a culture that i have had going for some time this is where the culture has been started from its local surrounds capturing wild yeasts and lactobicillus. You can of course take a short cut and obtain a sourdough culture form a friend/fellow S/D baker. It is very rewarding though to start your own culture from scratch. there is plenty of articles on that subject as are articles on encouraging sourness into those S/D cultures.

regards Derek



Brewcat 2018 April 16
I've captured wild yeast and brewed with it so I'm sure I could do that. I've also built up dregs. I had a thought about the flavor of the Belgian yeast . When I built the bread starter the first time I kept it in a warm water bath at 80deg. Belgian beer is fermented hot like that to develop the esters that give Belgian beer that signature taste. After that first bread I built it back up at around 65.
yozzause 2018 April 16

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the yeast that is used commercially in bread production, but i have noticed up at the brew shop that quite a few of the sachets of yeast there are also listed as Saccharomyces cerevisiae it's just that they are further defined with numbers or letters especially some of the wine yeasts. These of course have been selected for their tolerance of higher alchol levels that come about during their fermentation. Brewing also has yeasts that as you suggested the Belgian Ale yeast that tolerate different temperatures. Lagers and Stouts are good examples of that difference.

From the point of view of achieving a more sour S/D I have found that if the S/D culture is treated with some neglect ie not being fed when it is ready for a feed  for a few days and it starts to exhibit a bit of hooch  then that will often induce that sourness that some people  like. Probably best to get  a couple of good feeds into it prior to baking just to make sure it has some vigor. GOOD LUCK always fun and always learning, if you can keep notes on what you have done they will prove invaluable later when you want to replicate something you have done.

i still have my technical college notes from 50+ years ago when i did my baking apprenticeship and have refered to them on many an occassion  even though the dough formulas where in lbs and ounces then and temperatures were farenheight. but still relevent interesting and historic.

kind regards Derek

Brewcat 2018 April 16
I call it saccharomyces cervaza. Some of the people on the home brew forum have mentioned not feeding the SD for a couple days to bring out the tang. Stressing yeast by underpitching is a way I use to develop flavor in certain beer.
Brewcat 2018 April 16
Have you heard of I think it's called barm where you top crop some yeast off a fermenting beer and use that to make bread. Not a sourdough but sounds interesting.
yozzause 2018 April 17

Hi Brewcat i think the use of the dregs in the fermenter can be classified as a Barm, the cropping of the foam from the top of a fermenting beer was done for bakers use before yeast was commercially available and in fact brewers were compelled to make it available to bakers at a regulated price.

I was given a book by my daughter called Elizabeth David English Bread and Yeast Cookery it is an interesting read and deals with bread making back into history the chapter on yeast you would find fascinating im sure. it has accounts of how house keepers used Ale to obtain the yeast required to ferment bread they made.

Try your library for this book. Where abouts are you located?  i'm In Perth Western Australia.

Brewcat 2018 April 17
Thanks Derek I'll look for that book I love history like that. I just read 52 Loaves' that was a fun read. I'm in CT USA. I thought you were from the States since you mentioned ounces and farenhight
Brewcat 2018 May 4
Got a copy of Elizabeth David's book from a used book dealer. I'm reading the chapter on yeast now. Very interesting.
yozzause 2018 April 17

Half a century back it was lbs and ounces, pounds shillings and pence . now dollars and cents and grams Which really is much easier. 

Post Reply

Already a member? Login