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How bubbly should moto/shubo be after three days?

I’m using the shubo style starter (added lactic acid). How bubbly should it be after three to four days? if I put my ear near the starter I can hear some bubbling but it is not very vigorous.

I’m using the Wyeast #9 sake. I cracked the smack pack and mixed it up but only minutes before adding it to the starter. I saw elsewhere you are supposed to crack the nutrient pack a few days before you use it. So I’m wondering if I might have messed it up by not letting it activate before pouring into the starter …

Three days is not much time for the koji enzymes to turn the rice starch into sugar… but by day 3 the moto should look a bit more liquid. Here’s what a batch of mine looked like after three days:

But by day 5 I did have a lot of activity:

Also, lower temperatures means slower conversion and slower fermentation.

I try to keep the moto at 70 degrees fahrenheit the first couple of days for increased enzyme activity and I leave the yeast on top to pick up oxygen and to provide a metabolic barrier to other beasties.

Then I start stirring it regularly (more oxygen and mix the enzymes around) and then a few days after that I drop it to 60 degrees and (stop stirring) to reduce some of the esters that a more ‘overheated’ yeast will produce.

Terrific, thank you so much, that is exactly the information I needed. Mine looks like yours on day 3. It is pretty liquidy, it’s been around 71F for four days now. I can hear it bubbling if I listen carefully though I don’t see much bubbling.

Is the right time to start dropping the temperature when the bubbling begins to pick up? Or should I just start dropping it after a certain number of days no matter what?

I’d start dropping the temperature when the foam starts climbing up… My opinion is that one should ‘listen’ to the moto while gaining understanding from (and of) the instructions. If you’ve got a slow moto then give it more time, if it takes off like a rocket, throttle it back a bit by dropping the temperature!

Thanks, I like your blog and brewery layout sketches.

Hm my moto is now on day 5. It is nice and liquidy. However within about the last 20 hours the bubbling seems to have stopped. I cannot hear any bubbling anymore.

I have another packet of the Wyeast #9 left, I’m wondering if I should activate that, let it sit a couple days, then add it to the moto? I didn’t activate the first pack, I just smacked it and poured it in right away … thanks!

By day 5, the yeast will have largely exhausted the food supply in the moto and consequently be winding down their fermentation activity. At this point I allow a day or two for the fermentation to truly finish out and to give the lactobacillus some additional time to lower the pH, then I move the sake to refrigeration and carry out the rest of the moto steps.

Hi, thank you very much. I"m basically following the method on your web site. Do you think I will have any problems because I didn’t let the Wyeast #9 activate before adding it to the moto? (I just smashed the nutrient pack mixed it up and poured it right in).

I listened carefully and it is still bubbling a touch but not nearly as much as it was. Ok I will drop the temperature now and let the moto rest.

I’m planning to start the rice additions on Thursday evening. I want the big batch of rice steaming to fall on the weekend since that is going to take me a while to steam that much rice.

If you were following my directions to the letter, you wouldn’t have bothered with the nutrient pack at all. :slight_smile: As long as you’re certain your yeast got to you in good shape, you don’t need to bother with proofing it in that way.

Sounds like a plan to me.

Perfect thank you, it was the first time I used one of these ‘smack packs’. Yes I did see your instructions said to sprinkle the yeast on top, I assumed that was just for dry yeast packs like champagne yeast. In the future, I won’t bother opening the nutrient pack.

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