View Full Version : Lactobacillus in your favorite pour?

02-11-2008, 19:34
Reading around the infallible internet, I’ve found some references to use of Lactobacillus in addition to yeast in fermentation of various sorts of whiskey beers. If I've got this right, this may occur in the yeast mash, or maybe later in the fermentation proper. Most of this info concerns malt whisky or Canadian rye. I am short of details. There’s some mention of this topic in this old thread: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2069.

Now, I know there’s a role for bacteria in the making some wines and beers, but the use in whiskey production surprised me. I gather that in whiskey, these extra bugs may be used in part to adjust mash pH, but their use may also contribute to the taste of the final product.

So my questions: Does anybody know if/how lactic acid bacteria are really used in Bourbon production? Does this really contribute to its flavor? And with all the sleuthing to be found here regarding ‘secret’ yeast strains, are we also to start conjecturing on what proprietary bacterial isolates are hiding in heavily guarded vaults below Laurenceberg and Bardstown?

Thanks for any info!

02-12-2008, 05:29
A true sour mash by definition has lactobacillus in it: this is the souring agent naturally present in the grain husks.