Preserving an alcohol starter?

Mead, wine, beer, and any other form of alcoholic beverages, as well as vinegar.

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Preserving an alcohol starter?

Postby JohnC on Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:37 pm

I've created a pretty good ginger bug and separately I did a spontaneous grape ferment as a test (delicous).

I'd like to preserve these starters so I don't have to keep maintaining them or start again from scratch.

With my sourdough starter I've sucessfully saved it by drying some starter on parchment paper at room temp, crushing it into powder and freezing it. Later it rehydrates with fresh water and flour in just a day or so. I'm wondering if the same kind of thing can be done with a wild alcohol ferment starter.

My theory is that I could just mix up a batch of raw sugar and water, add some ginger bug and some of my grape ferment together, give it lots of air and at some point, I guess when it gets vigorous, freeze some, dry some out at room temperature or ...?

Then when I make a mead or other alcohol ferment I could use my preserved one like a commercial yeast, throw in a dried bit of it or some that was frozen...?

Any ideas or pointers welcome!
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Re: Preserving an alcohol starter?

Postby khoomeizhi on Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:10 am

as with your sourdough starter, i think you'll have much better luck drying before freezing - going straight to the freezer will rupture wet cells, including most of the yeasts. problem is keeping it viable through the drying process, starting from a much more watery base, since you don't want to heat it too much...

this is all conjecture, as i've never tried it. i'm always happy to start another.
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Re: Preserving an alcohol starter?

Postby bacteriaguy on Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:08 am

They're not difficult to get started from scratch, if you don't want to maintain them.

I had a ginger bug for awhile, but I ended up hating the smell of it and tossed it.

I have a wild yeast that I started from blue berries that is still going strong. It doesn't smell horrible. I keep it in the refrigerator and only "feed" it a little sugar and fruit about once a week.
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