After a little research I decided to split this batch into to 3 gal carboys. Both got a Lactobacillius head start.
In one, I went with the Wyeast 5335 lacto culture and in the other I tried a spontaneous variant (pictured at left) that I grew by taking a cup of raw uncrushed 2-row right from the bag, added about a cup of 120F water and sealed it in a pint mason jar for a week. The fact that I took it from a sack of 2-row that has been sitting for several months probably helped, if anything. It took off really well and a nice sour apple aroma was coming off of it after the first day or so. It was actually pretty strange how much like granny smith apples it smelled. Evidently, that is a sign that the correct microorganisms are at work.
So I added a little more water to this homegrown culture and pitched all the liquid I could pour off of it, into 1 carboy and the Wyeast lacto in the other. After a little over 24 hrs I was getting a thin white haze on the home grown one and barely visible activity on the Wyeast one.
After 3-4 days the wild side was going nuts. Big puffy pillowy powdery marshmallowy stuff going on. The commercial version was a bit behind but showing some a little white fuzz. I took a guess and after 3 days, I pitched re-hydrated Safale US- 05 into both. Shortly after that a more typical fermentation took place.
When the airlock activity had nearly stopped, I racked each into a clean 3G carboy and let them set. After a few days, I started to get a white pellicle again. Basically that meant that the Lacto was still doing its thing. The sourness was not quite enough at that point so I let it ride for another week.
From what I had read, the souring will continue in the bottle so I primed with enough corn sugar for about 3.6 volumes of carbonation and bottled the “wild” half into 12 22s and 8 12s. This has been a week now and i’ll give it another week or two before I open one of the little ones and check on carbonation and sourness levels.
-Update Opened one of the little bottles and it was nearly a gusher. It was still at room temp so this helped. The flavor was just about right on. Very dry, tart, and lemony. Put a big bottle of it on ice for a few hours and shared it that night with the HomeBrew club at our monthly meeting and, chilled, it was very nice. Got several good comments on it. I will move some of that bottled half batch to the cool garage to see how the sourness comes along, and refrigerate the rest.
Very encouraged with this recipe and I will be making it again sometimes soon, possibly adding rasberries or pie cherries to some of it. Also, Will be looking to enter a couple bottles in a HB competition if there is one coming up that I can send them off to.