There's a pretty cool piece out today from NPR's "The Salt" on how craft breweries are putting out a higher volume of sour beer with the use of kettle souring in stainless tanks, a technique initially used for making German-style Berliner weisses and Goses that employs Lactobacillus bacteria to sour wort in a matter of days (as opposed to the sometimes years it can take with barrel-aged sour beers). Here's an excerpt from the piece:
“Kettle-soured beers use some of the same critters as traditional sours to achieve a crisp, sharp tang: bacteria of the Lactobacillus genus, which munch on the sugars in beer and convert them into acids, while also turning out flavors and aromas. Some brewers will even use a dollop of yogurt made with Lactobacillus cultures to kettle sour their beers. (Traditional sours often also use Pediococcus bacteria and Brettanomyces yeast, but right now, most brewers who use kettle souring rely on Lactobacillus.)”
Give the whole piece a read, as it spotlights some of our friends like the incredibly talented Cory King of Side Project in St. Louis.
We’re also big fans of this process, and have put out a couple of beers using it: Our year-round tart wheat Snapshot, and our early-summer Hop Kitchen release Hop Tart. Plus, there’s some more exciting stuff on the way.
A few months ago, we put together a short film featuring our wood cellar blender Lauren Salazar and microbiologist Kelly Tretter explaining the difference between souring techniques in foeders and the kettle. Hit play above and give it a watch.
Cheers — Chris