HOW DOES THE BEER BECOME SOUR? – The souring process relies on fermentation by acid-producing bacteria such as lactobacillus, pediococcus or acetobactor that feed on sugars in the beer and excrete organic acids as a metabolic by-product. While these bacteria are considered “beer spoilage organisms” in most common beers styles such as IPAs, stouts and lagers, sour beer producers purposefully use them achieve a desired level of sourness.
- 1 Are sour beers healthy?
- 2 Is sour beer a lager or ale?
- 3 Why is it called a sour beer?
- 4 Why is sour beer so expensive?
- 5 Is sour beer better for your gut?
- 6 Is Guinness a sour beer?
- 7 What is a true sour beer?
- 8 Is Corona a sour beer?
- 9 Do sour beers age?
- 10 Should sour beer be chilled?
- 11 Do sour beers have probiotics?
- 12 Is sour beer fermented?
- 13 What kind of yeast is used for sour beer?
What is added to beer to make it sour?
What Makes Beer Sour? There are a variety of ways to get sour flavor into a beer—and an almost endless variety of beers that you can add sourness to. To be clear, we’re honestly not the hugest fans of the term “sour beer.” For us, sour is a flavor descriptor and not a beer style.
- Sour beers can be dark, fruity, light, heavy, anything really.
- But that doesn’t answer the question: how do you make a beer sour? In pretty much all sour beers, you’ll find lactobacillus, pediococcus, or both.
- Both are souring bacteria that each add a different layer of sourness to the beer.
- How those two bacteria, or just one of them, make their way into the beer is what differentiates one sour beer from another.
At Allagash, there are four main ways that we give our beer that sour flavor profile. The most direct route for us is adding these two bacteria to our beer manually. You’ll recognize lactobacillus as the same bacteria that gives yogurt its tartness. Pediococcus serves to add another layer of tartness and flavor.
While yeast produces alcohol and carbonation, lactobacillus and pediococcus produce acid, creating tartness. There are a couple ways of adding these two organisms to your beer.1: you can add a culture of lactobacillus and pediococcus to the beer.2: You can add a portion of “old” beer that already contains these two bacteria.
That small portion of beer will serve to create acidity in a new batch. But not just any barrel. You’ll need a barrel that previously held a tart beer. An unused oak barrel, a wine barrel, or barrels that once held spirits like bourbon or rum aren’t going to magically turn the beer sour.
What happens in a barrel that previously held sour beer is that the souring bacteria (lactobacillus and pediococcus) actually finds a home in the barrel’s wooden staves. Even after cleaning out an emptied barrel (as we do for all the barrels we plan to re-use) that souring microbiota goes on living deep in the wood.
Thus, the next beer that goes into the barrel will eventually come in contact with that bacteria, which will then make that new beer sour. The key here is that we have to add actual fresh fruit. Souring bacteria like lactobacillus and pediococcus naturally live on the skin of fresh fruit. So we can take a non-tart beer and just by adding, for example, fresh cherries to it we’ll eventually have a tart beer.
- The added bonus to this method is that you’re getting fresh fruit flavor in your beer as well! We use,,,, and more in our beer.
- Think of this as the “sourdough” method of brewing beer.
- Instead of physically adding yeast or bacteria to beer, we send the unfermented beer (known as “wort”) out into an open vessel called a cool ship.
In that vessel, the wort is introduced to all the microbiota floating in the air. After spending an evening outside, the beer is put into oak barrels where that melange of microorganisms gets to work, adding tartness to the beer while also fermenting it. You may have heard the term “kettle souring.” That’s not something we actually do at Allagash. In a kettle-soured beer, the brewer adds the lactobacillus before fermentation. More specifically, they add it while the beer is in a brewing vessel called the “kettle.” Thus the name “Kettle Souring.” By adding the bacteria at that point, the brewer is able to sour the beer in a matter of hours rather than months.
What you’re not able to get with kettle souring are many of the subtle and complex flavors beyond just tartness. In a kettle-soured beer, you’ll find a simpler, one-note acidity. Like everything else in brewing, neither method is “better” than the other. It simply comes down to what the brewer is looking for in their beer.
If they want that clean kettle-sour tartness for a gose, they can go right ahead. If they want something more complex, then they have barrels, fruit, spontaneous fermentation, and more at their disposal! One more note on souring, and this concerns a method that we think of as a bit too much of a shortcut.
Are sour beers healthy?
Benefits Of Drinking Sour Beer – There are many benefits to drinking sour beer, and here are some of them: • It is a great alternative for those who don’t like the taste of traditional beer. Sour beers have a unique, complex flavor profile that can be quite refreshing and delicious.
- Sour beers tend to be a lower calorie count than traditional craft beers.
- The sourness can help increase your appetite and promote digestion, so it’s a great drink for those who are trying to lose weight or eat healthily.
- Sour beer is loaded with probiotics, which can help improve gut health.
- It can also help reduce inflammation due to the tartness of the beer.
• Sour beers are often less carbonated than regular beers, making them easier to drink and more refreshing. • They can have a range of flavors and aromas, so there’s something for everyone. • Sour beers can be aged, making them a great option for those who like to experiment with different flavors and aging processes.
Is sour beer a lager or ale?
What’s the Difference Between Sour Beer and Saison? – Sour beers may be either a lager or ale, while Belgian saisons are ales. The two beer styles tend to be equally refreshing and highly carbonated. Depending on the brewer’s approach, saisons might have a slightly tart taste, but they are generally not as puckery as sour beers.
A variety of methods are used to produce sour beer. The common factor is the introduction of an acid-producing organism, which is responsible for producing the tart taste during fermentation. Saccharomyces is the standard brewer’s yeast species used to make beer. To create a sour-tasting beer, a wild yeast species called Brettanomyces (often abbreviated “Brett”) may be introduced to the wort,
Some brewers introduce bacteria like Lactobacillus and Pediococcus, which produce lactic acid (as in yogurt). There are also times when acetic acid is used or fruit is added during the second fermentation to impart a sour taste. When making a saison, the brewer may employ Brett, Lactobacillus, or a sour mash in the wort.
Mixed fermentation uses a combination of Saccharomyces and Brett along with bacteria.Wild fermentation may use Brett alone or pair it with Saccharomyces and is fermented longer than normal beer.Spontaneous fermentation can take years and relies on the natural organisms present in the environment or a beer’s ingredients.
Due to its untamed nature, brewing sour beer with wild yeast and bacteria is difficult to restrain. Many breweries choose not to dabble in wild yeast sours because it can contaminate beers that are highly controlled and throw off the entire production.
Why is it called a sour beer?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Norwegian sour beer aged for eighteen months in oak barrels with Lambic microbes Sour beer, also known as Sours, is beer which has an intentionally acidic, tart, or sour taste. Traditional sour beer styles include Belgian lambics, gueuze and Flanders red ale, and German gose and Berliner Weisse,
Is sour beer OK to drink?
Conclusion – Infected beer is generally safe for consumption and you can drink it comfortably without expecting any health complications. In fact, in some instances, the contaminants may add flavor to infected beer by giving it a mild sour taste. However, beer infection can also create a disgusting unsavory brew that could waste your time and valuable resources.
Why is sour beer so good?
Why Everyone Is Suddenly Obsessed With Sour Beer S our beer is the hottest cold drink of 2017. The funky brew is the latest niche offering to take off in a market obsessed with finding ever more obscure and complex beers. In recent years, craft beers have soared in popularity, with particular varieties, such as extremely hoppy IPAs, gaining a strong following among a cadre of beer drinkers, who increasingly view beer with the discernment, vocabulary and sophistication once reserved for wine.
Portland’s introduced a peach sour beer last year and saw sales of the brew double this year, spurring the brewmaster John Harris to make a new batch every week rather than every other week. The soft flavor of peach found such a large following that the brewery decided to make the sour beer — typically seen as a summer drink — all year round.
“Thirty years ago we would have thrown these brews away, saying they were bad,” Harris says. “Now, we are purposely putting tanks in our breweries to sour beer. It’s the evolution of craft brewing now.” And it’s not just Portland. Sour beer has become a go-to for craft breweries across the country, as sales have spiked.
Just 45,000 cases of sour beer were sold in the U.S. in 2015, a figure that more than quintupled to over 245,000 cases in 2016 and is set to rise an additional 9% this year, according to Bart Watson, chief economist at, which supports the American craft beer industry. Sour beer is still dwarfed by better-known craft brews, such as IPAs, which sold 14.5 million cases last year.
But it’s become popular enough for major chains to take note. Whole Foods now carries sour beer from more than 150 different breweries, and beverage category manager Joe Kaulbach says sales are up 25% from 2016. Anhueser-Busch InBev, which makes Budweiser, also owns smaller breweries that make sour beer, including Long Island’s Blue Point Brewing Company.
At MillerCoors, Blue Moon sometimes makes makes sours at its Denver brewery, but they’re just for visitors to try on tap and haven’t yet been packaged and sold. The taste of sour beer may be exotic to American palates, but the beer’s flavor actually dates back to the early days of brewing, when beer came only in an unpasteurized form, teeming with bacteria.
The drink gets its tart taste from bacteria like Lactobacillus and Pediococcus, which produce acids that cause it to sour. While sour beer’s flavor is old, American brewers have only learned how to safely produce it en masse over the past five years. Conventional beers are brewed with a single strain of yeast to yield the same taste in every batch.
- Sour beer, in contrast, uses a variety of bacteria and wild yeast, which can produce a different mix of flavors each time, ranging from spicy and leathery to fruity and floral.
- The process is tricky to perfect — one rogue microbe could potentially infect an already-sterilized beer, causing it to ferment further than intended.
Most American brewers avoided sours for fear of losing money on the fickle brew, says Matt Miller, 34, a home brewer since 2011 who will open a sour beer-focused brewery called Mellow Mink Brewing in Mechanicsburg, Pa. next year. After years of experimenting and sharing tactics, though, many brewers have now perfected the processes to produce enough of the brew to keep up with growing demand, Miller says.
- Across breweries that produce it, sour beer is quickly outselling other forms of craft beer like pilsner, stout and lager, with sales second only to IPAs, according to Miller and other beer makers.
- The science and research and communication that have now become available online has made a lot of the mysteries and questions of why things are less consistent easier to tackle,” Miller says.
“Brewers are learning to make sour beers so there’s less waste and better consistency of product.” Sour beer comes in many varieties, which have been refined over the decades in Germany and Belgium, where sour beer has long been popular. There’s the light and tart Lambic beer, the fruity Flanders brew, the sea salt and coriander-influenced Gose and the lemony wheat beer Berliner Weisse.
In the U.S., beer makers often put an American twist on the traditional recipes, with the addition of fruit or other ingredients to draw out tart and sweet flavors. According to Dan Jansen, brewmaster at, sour beer has become a phenomenon because it gives beer fans something new to try, while also enticing people who don’t think of themselves as beer drinkers.
Sour beer is comparable to wine in its method of preparation — both are blended and can be aged in oak barrels — and in the way it balances sweetness with acidity. Much like wine, the drink also pairs well with the cheeses, meats and fruits you might find on a charcuterie board.
Why is sour beer so expensive?
WHY IS SOUR BEER MORE EXPENSIVE THAN OTHER STYLES OF BEER? – The process of making quality sour beer isn’t cheap! While most styles of ale can be made in less than a month using basic brewing equipment, sour beer can take significantly longer to produce – up to three years in some cases – and requires huge investment in specialty equipment.
Storage of sour beer requires large warehouse spaces in which to house the beer during the aging process. Additional costs such as barrels, racks, blending tanks, cellar staff, and ingredients all add significant costs to making sour beer that traditional non-sour breweries don’t incur. The tradeoff, however, is that sour beer can achieve a level of uniqueness and complexity that few other beer styles can match.
Experiencing the sophisticated flavors and aromas found in sour beer can be a revelation to the uninitiated. In fact, sour ales are often considered the finest beers produced in the world.
Is sour beer better for your gut?
New sour beer could be good for your gut The specialty sour beer incorporates the probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei L26, which was first isolated from human intestines and has the ability to neutralize toxins and viruses, as well as regulate the immune system.
“The health benefits of probiotics are well known,” says Chan Mei Zhi Alcine, a student in the Food Science and Technology Programme in the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Science. “While good bacteria are often present in food that have been fermented, there are currently no beers in the market that contain probiotics.
Developing sufficient counts of live probiotics in beer is a challenging feat as beers contain hop acids that prevent the growth and survival of probiotics.” Studies have shown that consuming food and beverages with live counts of probiotics are more effective in delivering health effects than eating those with inactive probiotics.
Is Guinness a sour beer?
Varieties – Guinness Extra Stout and Guinness Draught Guinness Original/Extra Stout Can Guinness stout is available in a number of variants and strengths, which include:
- Guinness Draught, the standard draught beer sold in kegs (but exist also a texture-like version in widget cans and bottles): 4.1 to 4.3% alcohol by volume (ABV); the Extra Cold is served through a super cooler at 3.5 °C (38.3 °F).
- Guinness Foreign Extra Stout : 7.5% ABV version sold in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, and the United States. The basis is an unfermented but hopped Guinness wort extract shipped from Dublin, which is added to local ingredients and fermented locally. The strength can vary, for example, it is sold at 5% ABV in China, 6.5% ABV in Jamaica and East Africa, 6.8% in Malaysia, 7.5% in the United States, and 8% ABV in Singapore. In Nigeria a proportion of sorghum is used. Foreign Extra Stout is blended with a small amount of intentionally soured beer. Formerly, it was blended with beer that soured naturally as a result of fermenting in ancient oak tuns with a Brettanomyces population; it is now made with pasteurised beer that has been soured bacterially. It was previously known as West Indies Porter, then Extra Stout and finally Foreign Extra Stout, It was first made available in the UK in 1990.
- Guinness Special Export Stout, Commissioned by John Martin of Belgium in 1912. The first variety of Guinness to be pasteurised, in 1930.8% ABV.
- Guinness Bitter, an English-style bitter beer: 4.4% ABV.
- Guinness Extra Smooth, a smoother stout sold in Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria: 5.5% ABV.
- Malta Guinness, a non-alcoholic sweet drink, produced in Nigeria and exported to the UK, East Africa, and Malaysia.
- Guinness Zero ABV, a non-alcoholic beverage sold in Indonesia.
- Guinness Mid-Strength, a low-alcohol stout test-marketed in Limerick, Ireland in March 2006 and Dublin from May 2007: 2.8% ABV.
- Guinness Red, brewed in exactly the same way as Guinness except that the barley is only lightly roasted so that it produces a lighter, slightly fruitier red ale; test-marketed in Britain in February 2007: 4% ABV.
- 250 Anniversary Stout, released in the U.S., Australia and Singapore on 24 April 2009; 5% ABV.
- Guinness West Indies, a Porter which imitates the 1801 variety with notes of toffee and chocolate: 6% ABV.
In October 2005, Guinness announced the Brewhouse Series, a limited-edition collection of draught stouts available for roughly six months each. There were three beers in the series.
- Brew 39 was sold in Dublin from late 2005 until early 2006. It had the same alcohol content (ABV) as Guinness Draught, used the same gas mix and settled in the same way, but had a slightly different taste. Many found it to be lighter in taste, somewhat closer to Beamish stout than standard Irish Guinness. The Beamish & Crawford Brewery was established in 1792 in the City of Cork, and was bought by Guinness in 1833.
- Toucan Brew was introduced in May 2006. It was named after the cartoon toucan used in many Guinness advertisements. This beer had a crisper taste with a slightly sweet aftertaste due to its triple-hopped brewing process.
- North Star was introduced in October 2006 and sold into late 2007. Three million pints of North Star were sold in the latter half of 2007.
Despite an announcement in June 2007 that the fourth Brewhouse stout would be launched in October that year, no new beer appeared and, at the end of 2007, the Brewhouse series appeared to have been quietly cancelled. From early 2006, Guinness marketed a “surger” unit in Britain.
This surger device, marketed for use with cans consumed at home, was “said to activate the gases in the canned beer” by sending an “ultra-sonic pulse through the pint glass” sitting upon the device. Withdrawn Guinness variants include Guinness’s Brite Lager, Guinness’s Brite Ale, Guinness Light, Guinness XXX Extra Strong Stout, Guinness Cream Stout, Guinness Milk Stout, Guinness Irish Wheat, Guinness Gold, Guinness Pilsner, Guinness Breó (a slightly citrusy wheat beer ), Guinness Shandy, and Guinness Special Light.
Breó (meaning ‘glow’ in Irish) was a wheat beer; it cost around IR£5 million to develop. A brewing byproduct of Guinness, Guinness Yeast Extract (GYE), was produced until the 1950s. In the UK, a HP Guinness Sauce was manufactured by Heinz and available as of 2013. Guinness Blonde American Lager In 2014, Guinness released Guinness Blonde, a lager brewed in Latrobe, Pennsylvania using a combination of Guinness yeast and American ingredients. When Guinness opened their new brewery in Baltimore, Maryland in August 2018 they recreated “Blonde” to “Baltimore Blonde” by adjusting the grain mixture and adding Citra for a citrus flavour and removed the Mosaic hops.
Guinness released a lager in 2015 called Hop House 13, It was withdrawn from sale in the UK in May 2021, following poor sales, but remains on sale in Ireland. In 2020, Guinness announced the introduction of a zero alcohol canned stout, Guinness 0.0, It was withdrawn from sale almost immediately after launch, due to contamination.
It was relaunched in 2021 starting with pubs in mid July with cans following in late August. In September 2021, Guinness Nitrosurge was released in pint sized cans which contain no widget. Similar to the Surger, nitrogen is activated using ultrasonic frequencies.
What is a true sour beer?
What Is Sour Beer? – As its name suggests, sour beer has a distinct sour, acidic or tart taste. Essentially, “sour beer” refers to any beer that tastes especially acidic and lively. By including fruits like raspberry, cherry and peach, sour beers can create the perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors.
- Unlike other beers, sour beers use wild bacteria and yeast during the brewing process to achieve a tart, crisp flavor.
- The microbes most commonly used to create sour beer are the bacteria Lactobacillus and Pediococcus, while Brettanomyces is often used to add acidity.
- Adding fruit can also give sour beer a more tart taste thanks to the organic acids found in most fruits, such as citric acid.
The wild organisms used to sour beer can bring a wide range of flavors from intensely sour to light and fruity to downright funky. More well-known types of beers use specific yeast strains in a sterile environment to maintain tight control over the brewing process and produce more familiar flavors.
Is Corona a sour beer?
What Does Corona Taste Like? Does Corona Taste Good? – For many people, Corona is a staple of their summer barbeques or beach parties. But for those who have never tried this Mexican lager before, it can be difficult to know whether they’ll enjoy its refreshing taste. It tastes very refreshing when served cold with salt and lime wedge.
Is an IPA a sour beer?
Sugar, Acid, and Hops – Though not officially defined, sour IPAs are commonly understood as New England-style IPAs with added tartness. That flavor primarily comes from lactobacillus, a microorganism used in the kettle souring process. Additional flavors come from barrel aging, or from adjuncts like fruit, vanilla, and lactose.
- Jason Synan, Hudson Valley Brewery co-founder and brewer, is a sour IPA innovator.
- He was inspired in part by the explosive popularity of New England IPAs (NEIPAs), which, he felt, had one obvious deficit.
- I didn’t understand why acidity isn’t used as a control point in this style,” he says of NEIPAs.
“Juice is sugar and acid.” And so, he and co-owner and brewer Michael Renganeschi made plans. “We basically set out to introduce acid to New England IPA,” he says. At the time, Synan was brewing at New Paltz’s Bacchus restaurant and brewery. As he set out to reconfigure NEIPAs, he found himself looking down the river to such iconic New York City cocktail bars as Death & Co., Nitecap, and Please Don’t Tell.
“For me, it really started out with a fascination for making cocktails,” he says. “Cocktails have an ability to be so exact, so precise, so scientific. How do 10 to 12 ingredients combine into a single, beautiful, mysterious elixir? That was the original inspiration.” Like a mixed drink, he breaks down the process for making sour IPA into three primary components: residual sugar, acidity, and bitterness.
The sugars come from soft grains like wheat or oats, as well as milk sugar, also known as lactose, which “creates a supple, lush mouthfeel,” he says. Lactose, and sweetness in general, “acts as a perfect counterpoint to the profile of acidity. That vibrant, quenching high tone from the use of lactobacillus in preliminary fermentation accentuates the perceived juicy quality often used to describe New England IPA.” Hops, used at lower temperatures, provide a “botanical character” that completes the equation. Peaches & Cream State Fair Cobbler was a hit at the Big Beers Belgians & Barleywines festival in Breckenridge, Colo., in January. Credit: Wiley Roots Brewing / Facebook.com If sugar, acid, and bitterness create the base for a sour IPA, “the next step is elevation and embellishment,” such as oak aging, blending, and adding fruits and herbs, Synan says.
- It’s mixed fermentation but under a controlled environment.” Of course, there are multiple ways to make sour IPAs.
- We define a sour IPA as a beer that has an acid component as well as a hop component,” Kyle Carbaugh, Wiley Roots Brewing CEO and head brewer, tells VinePair.
- However, “bitterness, for us, is rarely ever a relevant factor,” he says.
Wiley Roots’ Cobbler series “explore the interplay between traditional pie adjuncts, juicy and citrus-forward hop varietals, and a soured hazy IPA base,” Carbaugh says. Adjunct additions are “heavy handed,” he says, but “no single component dominates the overall impression of the beer from start to finish.” A mixologist might say the same.
For most of the sour IPAs we make, there are definite underpinnings of citrus-forward cocktails. Mai Tais, French 75s, and the Penicillin cocktails have all been recent imbibements that have steered our focus with regard to sour IPAs,” Carbaugh says. One of Hudson Valley Brewery’s popular concoctions, Bloom, is described as a sour double IPA with raw wheat, malted oat, milk sugar, cherries, dark chocolate, and chamomile, hopped with Citra and Simcoe.
“On paper, it sounds like a hype beer. It sounds ridiculous,” Synan admits. “But then you have the beer and you’re like, ‘Oh, sh*t, this is actually saying something.’ It’s not just a list of ridiculous ingredients.”
Do sour beers have a lot of sugar?
So What’s The Truth Behind Sour Beer Calories? – “All things being equal, sours could be perceived as being more dry, having lower carbohydrates, and more ethanol because pure carbohydrates (C-H bonds) have more calories than mixed C-H-O bonds as they’re already partially oxidized,” says Peter Oates, co-founder of Equilibrium Brewery in Upstate New York. So a sour beer might have fewer calories than another beer style, but only if it has less sugar. And many of today’s sours — which are loaded with everything from fruit purée to unfermentable milk sugars — are filled with sugar. “We do mostly kettle sours, and something like a traditional Berliner would use less grain than most beers,” said Sean Biby, brewer at Grist House in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When you consider the rise of adjuncts or additives in beer, you see that fermentable sugars from grain aren’t the only way to add calories to a beverage. From marshmallow and fruit purée to lactose and waffles, any calorically-dense item you put into your beer is going to increase the calorie count.
Do sour beers take longer to ferment?
Like any trend in the brewing world, specific styles of beers come with specific techniques to make them a reality. New England IPAs, for example, can utilize non-traditional mash ingredients and also unique hopping schedules. When it comes to technique, sour beers are no different.
- Traditionally, sour beers utilize a long, arduous aging period to allow various bacterial and/or yeast cultures to slowly turn the fermented beer into a wonderfully complex and tart delight.
- In practice, however, many brewers just do not have the patience to wait up to 24 months for the souring to occur.
For these brewers (myself included), there exists a workaround to emulate a traditionally soured beer: Enter the kettle souring method. Duck Duck Gose Recipe Kit: Extract | All-Grain
Who drinks sour beers?
Beer Drinkers Are Growing Sweet On Sour Beers A row of sour beers are lined up at The Wood Shop. Upland Brewing Company Statistically speaking, sours have become a growing interest for beer drinkers. According to Information Resources Inc., sour beer sales went up 40 percent in 2019, and in 2018, according to Nielsen, sour beer sales rose nearly 43 percent, as beer drinkers purchased a whopping $14.8 million worth of them.
Interest in sour beers is definitely growing, says David Bower, president of Upland Brewing Co., based in Bloomington, IN. Upland is one of the grand-daddy craft brewers of the sour movement, as the company started fermenting this style of beer back in 2006. “Initially, we traded Oliver Winery, which is down the road from us, some beer for their barrels, and it started as a small experiment,” Bower says.
“It’s kind of evolved over the last 14 years into what it is now.” “We opened The Wood Shop, our stand-alone, sour-specific brewery, in 2016,” says Eli Trinkle, lead sour brewer for Upland. “We’ve been at it for a while, and we continue to make beer that we’re excited about.” The reason for opening a separate brewery is that sour beers are created by intentionally introducing the beer to wild yeasts and/or bacteria, and that creates the sour taste.
The big difference between sours and clean beer is that we use bacteria in our sours, the same kind of lactobacillus that makes yogurt, as well as a few others and wild yeasts in there as well,” Bower says. “We also age everything in wood, hence the name, The Wood Shop.” These wild yeasts and bacteria have the potential for affecting “clean beers” so the separate production facility made sense.
“We wanted to keep the bacteria and the yeasts separate from our other beers,” Bower says. “Initially, we separated the production into two different facilities in 2012, but we expanded our cellar and opened The Wood Shop where we are today in 2016.” If the production facilities were not kept separate, these wild yeasts and bacteria had more potential to combine with the brewery’s other products.
The bacteria and the yeast can really get into small parts, crevices in gaskets” and the like, Bower says. Upland’s very first production was very small, fermenting the beer in just four wine barrels, but today, this brewery makes anywhere from 40 to 50 different, individual types of sours, and they have 11 oak tanks, which can hold anywhere from 30 to 100 barrels.
Some of their flavors include Pawpaw, which is their base sour blonde ale blended with local pawpaw fruit. But they also make flavors of guava, cherry, raspberry, and Komplex, which is a barrel-aged sour ale which is aged for three months on whole raspberries that’s then blended with kombucha made from oolong tea.
All of their sour beers are aged for at least a year. “Nationally, we are known for our sours, but we make IPAs, Pilsners and things like that,” Trinkle says. In fact, locally, Upland is more known for their more standard types of craft beer, but nationally – and even internationally – the brewery is known for sours.
“The concentration of sour drinkers is in more highly concentrated, urban areas,” Trinkle says. Places like Austin, Texas; California, New York, and Washington, D.C. all drink their sours, and their sours are exported to the United Kingdom, Japan and Russia.
- We’ve had some local fans contact us to say ‘Oh, my gosh, I found your beer in London,'” Trinkle says.
- Every year, the brewery makes around 25 new varieties, which range from large volumes to “only two barrels because we could only get a couple hundred pounds of fruit from that farm down the road,” says Bower.
“We treat these beers like a wine here, with a lot of blending,” Bower says, adding that, like wine, sour beers pair really well with food. : Beer Drinkers Are Growing Sweet On Sour Beers
Why do I like sour beers?
Why Are Sour Beers So Popular in 2022? — Iowa Brewing Company When you think of beer, sour beers probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. But sour beers are actually one of the most popular styles right now, and there’s a good reason for that.
They’re delicious! And there are so many different types of sour beers available, there’s bound to be one you love. In this post, we’ll take a look at why sour beers are so popular today and why they’re so unique. But first, what is a sour beer? Sour beers acquire their fun flavor from a unique brewing process that uses wild bacteria and yeast.
Whereas other types of beer, such as IPAs, use controlled yeast strains to produce more familiar flavors. All of these bacteria eat sugar like traditional brewer’s yeast, but their production of lactic and acetic acids cannot be replicated by the controlled strains of yeast. Science aside, after years of experimenting and sharing tactics, many brewers have now perfected the processes to produce enough of the sours brew to keep up with growing demand. Across breweries that produce it, is quickly outselling other forms of craft beer like pilsner, stout and lager, with sales second only to IPAs for most breweries.
- Because it offers beer lovers something new to try and appeals to those who don’t consider themselves beer drinkers, sour beer has become a craze.
- Sour beer is comparable to wine in its method of preparation — both are blended and can be aged in oak barrels — and in the way it balances its sweetness with acidity.
Many sour drinkers find the tasty beverages more approachable than traditional beers because they’re lower in alcohol content and therefore less filling. They also tend to sell better during the hot and humid summer months when other types of dark beer are considered too heavy to drink.
- While most sour beers finish between 3%-5% alcohol by volume (ABV), some can be as high as 8%-9% or as low as 2%.
- The ABV of a sour depends heavily on the style of sour and the individual beer’s brewing conditions.
- Because sour beer generally has a lower ABV compared to others on tap, most sour beers can be considered a session beer.
This includes any beer that is lower in ABV and high in refreshment, so you can enjoy multiple in a single sitting. With the fruited sour scene exploding over the last several years, brewers are pushing the boundaries of their creativity to come up with new exciting, unique recipes to keep drinkers coming back.
Do sour beers age?
Cellaring and Serving Sour Beer As a brewery focused on both a taproom and a bottling program, we thought it would be beneficial to write about beer freshness and aging. Employees at Mellow Mink Brewing go to great lengths to ensure our draft beers are presented in the best possible manner. While we love to see our patrons drinking at our facility, Mellow Mink Brewing is all about having a good time. We encourage, responsibly, the drinking / sharing of our beer wherever you enjoy. Therefore, we offer growler fills in a variety of sizes for most of our beers.
- Growlers are available in both glass and stainless steel so that you can enjoy our beers wherever your travels may take you.
- When getting a growler filled, we recommend that you keep the beer cold and consume the contents of the growler within three days.
- When a growler is filled, the beer gets exposed to oxygen that will inevitably cause it to go stale faster than in would inside a keg.
Beer in a growler for a few days is okay, weeks is no good! If you would like to preserve our beer for longer than a couple days, our bottled beer can be cellared for long periods of time. Mellow Mink’s beers are naturally conditioned and contain a wide variety of both yeast and beneficial bacteria introduced throughout the brewing process.
These mixed cultures keep the beer fresh for up to several years inside the bottle. We blend these beers so that they will taste great from the day a bottle leaves our taproom. But, we also appreciate the thought of you holding on to bottles to share with friends, celebrate a special occasion, or simply to enjoy later.
If you are cellaring bottles, we recommend the following:
Keep bottles in a cool, dark location. Exposure to light, heat, or a combination of the two is bad for beer regardless of the mixed cultures living inside them. If you prefer to maintain the flavor of a beer as close to our original blend as possible, we recommend that you keep the bottle refrigerated. If you enjoy letting the beer mature and change with time, we recommend cellaring between 45° and 55° F. Fruited beers tend to lose their impactful fruit flavors over time. Generally, our fruit beers will remain bright and fruity for anywhere from 6 months to a year from the bottle release. Beyond this timeframe, however, the beers are often still quite tasty, but their fruit flavors may fade.
Even sour and Brettanomyces beers have their limits. With test bottles we have produced over the years, we are comfortable suggesting that our bottles can be cellared for up to 3 years. After that time period, the beers may still taste pretty good, but will most likely be on the decline.
- When you do decide to open one of our bottles.
- We have a few tips for serving that will help bring out the most in the beer: All of our bottles have a mixture of yeast and bacteria within the beer.
- When the bottles sit still for a while, these microbes will settle on the bottom of the bottle forming a layer of sediment.
To keep these dregs out of the glass, we recommend gently opening a bottle in the upright position. When pouring, gently tilt the bottle and pour each glass to be served without returning the bottle to a fully upright position. As you near the end of the bottle, leave the last half-inch of beer behind with the sediment.
This method achieves the same results as the bottle cradles we use in our taproom, allowing each glass to get a clear pour which will present the best possible flavor profile for a given beer. Check out the serving temperatures that we recommend on the back of the bottle. While most sour and farmhouse beers will taste great in a fairly wide range of temperatures, most of our blends are designed to be enjoyed between 45° and 55° F.
One of our favorite aspects of sour and farmhouse beers are the unique and complex aroma profiles that can be achieved. We recommend using glassware designed to showcase these aromas. Don’t fret if you don’t have the exact glasses pictured on our bottles, most shapes of Belgian beer glassware or wine stemware will do a great job! We hope that these suggestions are both helpful and interesting.
Should sour beer be chilled?
There are two particularly awesome things about being a craft beer fan in 2020. One, the choices today are more plentiful than ever. And two, you can get at-home beer delivery! How neat is that!? But, as much as we’d like it to, no beer stays drinkable forever.
It’s important to unpack your beer delivery soon after it arrives and stow each brew properly — minus any that you crack open and sip right away, of course. Here at Tavour, we’re big beer fans at home, too. Follow these five rules for storing all the different brews that arrive in your beer delivery, and you can enjoy their flavors as intended! 1.
Choose the Right Temperature Maintaining the right temperature is key to storing your beer delivery properly. Too warm, and the brews risk going flat and gaining off-flavors. Meanwhile, too cold will weaken the flavors and aromas. Generally speaking, the vast majority of beers can be safely stored for months between 50 and 55-degrees Fahrenheit or “cellar temperature.” However, this does not always equate to the ideal serving temperature, which is worth considering depending when you want to drink the beer.
- Lagers and Pilsners – Craft renditions like Listermann Brewing ‘s Lager King or Elder Pine ‘s Ameno Pilsner have more nuances of flavor than their macro counterparts — you won’t want to mask them with ice-cold temps.
- These beers should ideally be served between the low to mid 40s, although those who really like ‘em cold can dip down to 38-degrees F.
Ambers and Oktoberfest Beers — Ambers, Festbiers, and Marzen-style Lagers (like Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. ‘s yearly favorite Oachkatzlschwoaf) are traditionally meant for all-day sipping, in beer halls and outdoors. So, it’s best to serve them just a little warmer, between 45 and 50-degrees F.
- Pale Ales and IPAs – To really enjoy all that hop character in the Pale Ale family, these popular brews are also best enjoyed between 45- and 50-degrees F.
- Since the average home refrigerator ranges between 38 and 40-degrees, you may want to let them warm up just a tad before sipping.
- Blonde Ales and Cream Ales — The light, silky bodies of brews like Wise Man Brewing ‘s Krankies Shape Shifter Blonde and 903 Brewers ‘ The Chosen One Coconut Cream Ale makes them most refreshing and tasty on the chillier side.
Serve between 40 and 45-degrees F. Belgians and Abbey Beers — Many people believe that the bigger and boozier a brew, the warmer the better. But, for deeply malty, yeast-forward Belgian styles replete with fruity esters, 45 to 55-degrees F is best for enjoying all the flavors as the brewers intended.
Wheat Beers — Wheat Beers come in many different forms, from Wits to Hefeweizens and many in between. To really enjoy these approachable brews, opt for a temp between 40 and 50-degrees. Porters, Stouts and Dark Ales — The deep complexity found in dark, roasty brews is best at slightly warmer temperatures, starting between 45- and 55-degrees F and then allowed to warm while sipping.
However, the smooth creaminess of Milk Stouts and Nitro Stouts (like Moonraker Brewing ‘s Foamwalker) is more ideally brought out between 40 and 45-degrees. Sours and Wilds — The colorful family of Sour brews seems to grow bigger and more diverse by the day! So, serving temp depends on what kind you have.
For instance, the incredible flavors of an Oak-aged Brett Wild can be amped up at warmer temps, between 50 and 55-degrees. Meanwhile, fruit-forward Sour Ales should be kept on the cool side, with a temperature around 45-degrees F to keep them refreshingly nuanced. On the other hand, Heavily Fruited Sours are best chilled in the low 40s.
*Note: you should never let the temperature fluctuate too much between storage and serving (don’t take the beer out of the fridge and let it warm, only to put it back in the fridge). This can lead to some unpleasant musty or rubbery flavors.2. Avoid Light Ever wonder why the vast majority of beers come in light-impenetrable cans or dark bottles? That’s because UV rays from the sun react with the chemical compounds in beer and cause them to quickly break down into “skunked” flavors. Fortunately, keeping brews stored inside a fridge or a dark, cool cellar or closet will prevent the issue entirely.3. Drink Hops and Fruit Fresh Many parts of your beer delivery should be consumed pretty soon after they arrive, within the first few months. This is why it’s so important to check the bottled-on and/or expiration dates upon arrival (please note that not all breweries include these depending on their local laws, but we do include them on the Tavour app for drink-fresh beers when you make your selections.
- Pay particularly close attention to any beers with large hop quantities or fruit additions.
- With Pale Ales and IPAs, the rule is three months, with four months for Imperial versions.
- Four months is also the rule for Fruited Sours like Drekker ‘s fruit-loaded Braaaaaaaains series.
- Likewise, some dark beers with heavy pastry-ingredient additions or lactose may be better enjoyed relatively soon.4.
Store Beers Upright Storing beer bottles and cans on their side (á la wine bottles) for long periods of time can lead to unpleasant results. The main issue is yeast, which can settle down at the bottom and leave a ring, imparting uneven flavors within the brew. And, with all beers (but especially cans), sideways storage can increase the risk of foaming out or bursting if opened too quickly once turned upright again.
The same goes for bottles with corks, like Bozeman Brewing ‘s AndSoIt Gose Sour series. These should be stored upright, as the corks are often used when a beer is still undergoing fermentation and conditioning within the bottle. In addition to the aforementioned yeast issue, sideways storage can also cause the beer to pick up unwelcome cork flavors.
Fruited Philly Sour | Anvil Foundry | EP38
If you absolutely MUST store your beers on their sides, be sure to gently rotate them at least once a week prior to opening.5. Know Your Cellarable Beers Every craft fan should try cellaring a beer at least once to see how time can bring out a whole new world of flavorful nuances. You don’t need a fancy cellar, mind you — just a cool, dark, dry space where the beer can sit undisturbed. As for the rules of which beers are cellarable, brews that are higher ABV and have strong ingredients (like toasted malts) often handle aging better.
In many cases, this means Barleywines, Strong Ales, and Stouts. Many Sour Ales are also cellarable, like Casey Brewing and Blending ‘s oak-aged Farmhouse Ales. Cellarable beers can typically be aged between six months to a year, though there are exceptions that can go even longer! Barrel-aged renditions are particularly great for cellaring, as their harsh booze notes will mellow over time, allowing deeper flavors to become more pronounced.
Have more questions about how to store your Tavour beer delivery ? Reach out to us!
Are sour beers hard to make?
If you own a restaurant, brewery, or pub, chances are you’ve heard of sour beer or even make it yourself. This unique brew is popular among seasoned beer drinkers and novices alike, and its tart flavor and aroma has even brought non-beer drinkers into the fray.
- Sour beers are notoriously difficult to make and require a long aging period, which discourages some brewers from attempting such an undertaking.
- However, those who do (and those who purchase sours to sell) reap the rewards of offering these daring and delicious beers.
- Eep reading to learn more about the history of sour beer, how to make and serve it, and the differences between various kinds of sours.
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Do sour beers have probiotics?
Do sour beers have probiotics? – Certain sours on shelves today share a flavor profile with another tart, trendy liquid: kombucha, The commonality has led some health-conscious imbibers to wonder if sour beers, like their piquant cousins, can also be considered “probiotic.” Here brewmaster Garrett Oliver spills the tea: “In the ‘simple sour’ — also known as ‘kettle sour’ — technique, the wort is boiled after the souring, and no probiotic bacteria survive.
Is there vinegar in sour beers?
Sour Beer Primer: Flavors Lets talk flavor! When it comes to tasting and understanding sour beers, I think its very helpful to have a basic understanding of the types of flavors both commonly present as well as the potential off flavors that one might encounter.
- Naturally, every beer will have its own unique characteristics, but speaking in broad strokes we can group the flavors of sour beers into a few distinct categories.1.
- Sour Flavors One of the first flavors we encounter when tasting a sour beer is the sourness itself.
- In nature an acid is considered to be any chemical compound that releases single hydrogen protons into solution.
This process lowers the pH of the solution. Acids in general provide us with the overall sensation of sourness. However, there are a wide variety of acidic compounds present in natural foods and in beer and these acids will all have subtle or sometimes large differences in flavor.
- For example, most of us have tasted 4 common organic acids, all of which may be present in sour beers.
- I’ll start with citric acid, which is present in all citrus fruits and in higher concentrations gives lemons and limes their characteristic sour flavor.
- Another acid common in fruits is malic acid.
- This is the acid that gives tart cherries and raspberries their sour profile.
Citric and malic acid are combined to coat Sour Patch Kids, a popular sour candy in the US. Lactic acid (the predominant acid in sour beers), is produced by a variety of bacterial fermentations, and is the namesake of the large family of beneficial bacteria called Lactobacillus.
- Lactic acid is the chemical that gives unsweetened Greek yogurt its classic tang as well as provides the souring in sauerkraut.
- These three acids, citric, malic, and lactic, all have their own unique flavor profile but overall produce a similar effect of tartness on the palate.
- When we taste these acids we often perceive the sensation of sourness near the center and backs of our tongues.
We also can feel a puckering sensation in the inside of the cheeks and in the area where our jawbone connects to our skulls. These sensations are some of the first ones people will note when tasting a sour beer, and they can sometimes be overwhelming.
- Whenever I am introducing a friend to sour beers for the first time, I always tell them to take a few sips of the beer before trying to decide if they like it.
- It takes at least a few sips for most people to get accustomed to the high acidity of these beers before they will begin to taste the complexity and be able to appreciate the malt or fruit components of the recipe.
The fourth organic acid I mentioned is acetic acid, more commonly known as vinegar. Most of us will be familiar with the characteristic flavor and aroma of this acid. In most sour beers any high presence of vinegar is considered an off flavor and I share this view.
- Acetic acid when present in low levels can add to the complexity of a beer and is generally pleasant.
- I would consider the highest appropriate level of acetic acid to be when it can be slightly detected, but is still a much weaker flavor than the lactic acid presence.
- When vinegar is more apparent than the other sour flavors of a beer I feel that this would be a flaw.
As an educational side note, I would like to mention that none of the yeast or bacteria present in sour beers can produce acetic acid without the presence of oxygen. So if you are brewing these beers yourself, be very careful with the amount of oxygen your beer is exposed to during fermentation and aging.
Another note worth mentioning here is that many brewers and beer fans mix up the words acidic and acetic. Acidic means anything that has a low pH and tastes sour. Acetic means that something contains acetic acid and tastes vinegary. Many people will claim not to like sour things, but the truth is that they mean they don’t like extreme sourness, which is as much an acquired taste as alcohol, or beer in general.
In reality, almost all delicious foods have a combination of two or more broad categories of flavor. Fruits are sweet and sour, meats are sweet, savory, and salty, while traditional beers are sweet and bitter. In traditional beers sweet, grainy, and bread-like flavors of the malt combine with bitter, herbal, piney, or fruity flavors of the hops.
- Sour beers, like wines, are a balance between sweet and sour.
- All the malt flavors present in traditional beers can also be present in sour beers while the acidity from bacterial fermentation provides the sour balance in these styles.2.
- The Flavors of Brettanomyces There are a few varieties of sour beer that have a simple flavor profile which combines maltiness with lactic acid.
Berliner Weiss is an example of a classic style which aside from the tartness of lactic acid, is otherwise “clean” in its profile. However, this is uncommon in sour beers as a category. In most sour beers, the presence of a family of yeast called Brettanomyces produces a wide range of complex flavors in addition to the baseline malty and sour profile of the beer.
- There are a multitude of different natural strains of this yeast.
- While many of these strains are yet uncategorized, research into Brettanomyces has suggested that there are many more strains potentially in existence than those of the classic brewers yeast Saccharomyces.
- The Brettanomyces present in many classic and contemporary examples of sour beer produce flavors ranging from fruity esters which can taste like tropical fruits or pie filling to flavors we associate with other fermentation products like aged “stinky” cheeses.
These funky flavors are often described as grassy, earthy, leathery, or as giving the impression of being in a barnyard or horse stable. Brettanomyces can also impart aromas that are more bread-like or dough-like than most of the classic strains of brewer’s yeast.
- Many traditional sour beers, such as the lambics of Belgium, pick up Brettanomyces from the air during their cooling process or from the oak barrels in which they ferment and age.
- In addition to producing the fruity and funky presence in these beers, the Brettanomyces also have the ability to consume more of the long chain sugars present in beer than traditional strains of brewers yeast.
This ability to ferment out extra sugars in a beer leaves the product much dryer, and sometimes with less body, than a traditional beer style. A thinner body and very dry finish in a sour beer is a classic characteristic of the presence of Brettanomyces.3.
The Flavors of Wood A number of sour beers are fermented or aged in oak barrels. These barrels and the wood aging process add a number of potential flavors to the beers. One flavor that many of us will be familiar with is the bourbon flavor of whiskey. Bourbon flavor is a classic character of spirits and beers that are aged in what is called new oak.
The oak barrels that these products are aged in are newly manufactured for the production of such spirits and in the case of whiskey production the inside of the barrel will be flame charred to a certain roast point. This roasting as well as chemicals within the fresh wood in a newly manufactured barrel will produce the classic bourbon flavor.
- While whiskeys by law can only be produced from new oak barrels, if these barrels are then used to age beer, they will continue to introduce bourbon flavors into the product for several aging cycles.
- The trend of aging beers in these relatively young bourbon barrels has become very popular in the US for the production of a variety of bourbon-barrel aged stouts and other specialty beers.
Despite this the flavors of bourbon are considered uncharacteristic for many styles of sour beer. Many sour beer producers, like vintners who age their wines in oak, are looking for neutral barrels. Once a barrel has seen many generations of aging, the classic bourbon characteristics of the barrel will no longer be present.
- These neutral barrels do however still contribute a variety of flavors to the finished beer.
- Two of note are a woody character and a vanilla character.
- When beer ages in oak it will pick up subtle wood flavors.
- These flavors are not unlike what one would taste if you took a piece of unfinished furniture oak and tasted it (or more commonly put a wooden cooking spoon in your mouth).
The sweet vanilla character that oak can impart on a beer comes from complex sugars within the wood which, in the presence of alcohol, can be converted into a substance called vanillin. This substance is the same chemical produced within the vanilla bean and provides us with the classic vanilla flavor.
While strong bourbon flavors are not typical in a sour beer, these woody and vanilla flavors are generally going to be present at some level. The final flavor category imparted by wood which I would like to discuss is that of micro-oxidation. I mentioned earlier that excess oxygen in an aging beer can be the source of vinegar flavors.
However, when only small amounts of oxygen are allowed enter the beer very slowly and over a long period of time, a variety of positive changes in the beer’s flavor can occur. This small and slow ingress of oxygen is exactly what happens through the sides of an oak barrel.
This process both helps keep the Brettanomyces living in the beer healthy over a long period of time as well as produces positive changes to the flavors of alcohol and esters produced during the fermentation process, generally making the flavors smoother. Over time small amounts of oxidation will produce characteristic flavors of sherry in the beers, and this too can add complexity and be a positive compliment to the flavor profile of a beer.
Several years of aging time in oak is generally the limit for these beers however. After this length of time the oxygen slowly leaking into the beer can overwhelm the Brettanomyces, which will be hibernating by this time, and off-flavors of excess oxidation can build up.
These flavors are the ones we typically associate with stale foods and drinks. In beer they often taste papery or like wet cardboard. Keep in mind that three or so years is the limit for barrel aging, unpasteurized sour beers in the bottle can often last many years or even decades and still retain their positive qualities.4.
Fruit or Other Additions Many Belgian and US craft brewed sour beers will have additions of fruit, vegetables, spices, or other ingredients to add complexity to the finished product. The sky is literally the limit when it comes to the number of potential flavors that can be achieved using different additions to the recipe either during brewing or during aging and blending.
I won’t try to delve into all of them now but I will discuss some of the fruits which are commonly added to sour beers. Traditionally, in the lambic beers of Belgium, cherries, raspberries, and grapes, are added to either blended gueuzes or unblended base lambic beer to produce the styles known as kriek, framboise, and druivenlambik.
These and any fruit added to a sour beer will impart their own characteristics on the beer. I personally find the best sour fruit beers to be ones where the fruit added is easy to identify by taste, and the unique flavors of the fruit added are clearly present.
- I also feel that my favorite sour fruit beers have an acidity level on par with the natural acidity present in the fruit.
- One flavor I will make special mention of here is a distinct almond-like flavor present in kriek (cherry) lambics.
- Tart cherries are by far the most common fruit added to traditional lambics, and there are many krieks available on the market today.
The distinct almond flavor in these beers comes from the pits of the whole cherries added to the aging lambics. This cherry pit flavor is one of my favorite components of a well made kriek.5. Sweeteners Some brewers will add sweetness back into their sour and dry beers in order to create more balance and make them appeal to a broader audience.
This can be done by either adding artificial sweeneners into the beer, or by killing off the living yeast and bacteria in the beer through pasteurization and then adding sugar back into the product. As a brewer myself, I think that any addition that improves the flavor of your beer is really fine. However, I do personally find that I don’t care for sour beers that have undergone back-sweetening.
I think that if brewers are seeking to create beers with more mild sour flavors or increase the background malty sweetness of the beers, both of these can be achieved through the brewing process and these types of process adjustments will produce a better beer at the end than can be created using the addition of sweeteners or sugar.
Ending Thoughts The variety of unusual flavors present in sour beers can be overwhelming for many drinkers new to the styles. Despite this, I find that the complexity and uniqueness of these flavors is what has drawn me personally to enjoy these beers so much. I would encourage anyone who has tried a sour beer or two and disliked them to hunt down a highly rated example and drink the first few sips slowly, giving your palate a chance to adjust.
I find that often all people need to become hooked on these beers is one great example of the style and the patience to get through the first half a glass. You’ll be surprised how many wonderful flavors open up in the beer once you do. Hopefully this primer will help educate those interested in these beers to better identify and appreciate some of what they taste when trying these styles.
What main ingredient is used to give beer its bitter flavor?
Hops and Bitterness – As you probably know, bitterness is pretty much all about hops. Hops are the flowers, or cones, of a plant called humulus lupulus, Hops help to keep beer fresher, longer; help beer retain its head of foam—a key component of a beer’s aroma and flavor; and, of course, add “hoppy” aroma, flavor, and bitterness. A bag of pelletized hops. The most prevalent form of hop you’ll find in today’s breweries. It was the hop’s preservative quality that first saw it added to beer way back in 822 C.E. Every single beer on the market today contains hops. If they didn’t, they would be a “gruit” which is basically a beer that, instead of hops, uses witches-brew-sounding herbs like bog myrtle, yarrow, heather, or juniper.
But do hops have to make beer bitter? Adding hops early in the brewing process contributes bitterness to beer. Adding hops later in the brewing process contributes more to the beer’s aroma. But you can still add hops early in the process and end up with a notably un-bitter beer. It’s all about the amount of hops, timing of hop additions, and which hops you’re adding.
Hops are divided into two very general varieties: bittering and aroma. Bittering hops will have higher alpha acids, making them more economical for bittering beer (a small amount goes a long way). Aroma hops will tend to have more essential oils. It’s those highly volatile essential oils that contribute much of what people understand as “hoppiness.” We’re talking aromas like citrus, pine, mango, resin, melon, and more.
- By adding hops early in the brewing process, all of those essential oils volatize (boil away), either during the boil or during fermentation.
- That’s why adding them later in the brewing process tends to make a beer smell “hoppier.” Also, that volatility is the same reason why the aroma and flavor of heavily hopped beers don’t stand up as well to time.
Much of the hop-forward aromas and flavors will dissipate, leaving quite a different beer than the brewer intended. A view of Aroostook Hops, an organic hop farm up in Westfield, Maine. But here’s the wild part: you can add hops and not really have any detectable bitterness at all. In our Coolship beer, we age our hops for up to four years, which allows even those bittering alpha acids to dissipate.
- This leaves only the hop’s preservative quality (and a little bit of a stinky aroma that mercifully dissipates during brewing).
- But does craft beer have to be bitter? Absolutely not.
- We understand that IPAs and other hop-forward styles have certainly dominated the craft beer scene for years.
- But there are plenty of other styles of beer, both craft and not, that have tame and even basically nonexistent bitterness (even including some of the hugely aromatic “New England-Style” IPAs).
If you’re someone who doesn’t like bitterness, here are a list of different beer styles, and examples of widely available beer, that we recommend you try:
Witbier – citrusy, spicy, hazy ( Allagash White ) Hefeweizen – banana, cloves, biscuits ( Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier ) Octoberfest or Marzen – malty, amber ( Samuel Adams Octoberfest ) Bock – caramel-like, malty, strong ( Tr ö egs Troegenator ) Baltic Porter – dark, roasty ( Jack’s Abby Framinghammer ) Gose – tart, hint of salt, refreshing ( Anderson Valley Gose ) Saison – dry, fruity, balanced ( Saison Dupont ) Milk Stout – dark, creamy, roasty ( Left Hand Milk Stout )
: What makes beer bitter?
Is sour beer fermented?
How Is Sour Beer Made? Are you a fan of sour or gose style beers? With sour beers rising in popularity and a few of our sours being among our top requested beers, many have asked – what is it that makes a sour beer sour? We are here to tell you just that! First, let’s talk about yeast.
- When beer is made, the wort is fermented with a species of Saccharomyces yeast.
- During this process, the yeast consumes the sugars in wort to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide, as well as a variety of different flavor characteristics.
- Traditionally, fermentation is temperature controlled so that the beer being made has a consistent taste.
When it comes to sour beers however, they are fermented with an acid producing bacteria called Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus produces the tart lactic acid that is what makes the beer sour, Depending on the process, a wild yeast Brettanomyces and another bacteria, Pediococcus, can also be found in the fermentation,
- Brettanomyces, often referred to as ” Brett” yields complex flavors from earthy and funky to tropical fruit all developed during the fermentation process.
- Pediococcus also produces lactic acid, but it is much slower and fermentations can take months.
- Second, process is key to creating a sour.
- There are a couple of popular production processes in the United States that can produce a beer sour,
The first process, which is probably the most common and is also how we produce our sours, is k ettle s ouring. In typical beers, the souring bacteria and yeast are undesirable. So, to protect the other beers, the wort is soured in the kettle by pitching in Lactobacillus and letting it ferment for about a day.
- The sour wort is boiled to kill all the bacteria and then the wort is fermented by Saccharomyces and ready for packaging just like all our other beers in about 2 weeks,
- A second process is a secondary fermentation.
- The wort is fermented normally with Saccharomyces and then it is transferred to wood barrels or fermenters called foeders,
Fruit or another source of sugar is added and any combination of Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus is pitched, Secondary fermentations can take 12-18 months. A third process is a mixed fermentation. The wort is pitched with any of or all four microbes at the same time or allowed to “naturally” ferment in open-top fermenters, also known as coolships,
- Again, these fermentations can take months and require large rooms dedicated to just that beer.
- While sour beers are more difficult to brew, they have become a staple brew in many breweries today, including at Ignite,
- Our Women on the Rise, a blackberry lime gose that was originally brewed in March 2019 on International Women’s Day, falls into this category, and has been a crowd favorite ever since,
Since then, we’ve expanded our rotating sour line to include many seasonal favorites including:
Women on the Rise – Blackberry Lime Gose (as mentioned!) Don’t Stand So Gose – Blueberry Lemon Gose Staycation Sunset – Tangerine Pineapple Gose Cherry Gose with Anything – Cherry Lime Gose THA BLESSING – Cranberry Pomegranate Gose
Stay tuned for tapping news and can releases of some of your favorite Ignite goses throughout 2021! : How Is Sour Beer Made?
What kind of yeast is used for sour beer?
Homebrewing: Introduction to Sour Ales Sour ales are one of the biggest things in craft beer right now. The style that started out as a niche Belgian import not too long ago has spread like wildfire across American bars and breweries. Producing sour beer at home can be difficult, but with some experimentation and education there’s nothing stopping a homebrewer from creating a tart and funky ale just like the best of the commercial brewers.
- The word “sour” in the beer lexicon covers a broad spectrum of flavors.
- It can mean a puckering tartness in a Geuze such as Lindemans Cuvee Renee, or a mild sweet and sour combination in a beer like Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale.
- The term is even used to refer to beers that may not be sour in the traditional sense, but instead have rustic flavor qualities that might remind you of wet hay or leather.
The common thread in all sour ales is the ingredient used during fermentation. While all beer ferments using varieties of yeast known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a sour ale fermentation includes different species of yeasts and even some types of bacteria.
The yeast that can be used in sour ales is called Brettanomyces, and the most common bacterias used are Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. These fermenting critters, affectionately called “bugs” in the brewing world, eat sugar just like regular yeast. The difference is that they produce lactic and acetic acids that cannot be made by the usual yeast.
These acids, along with other flavor compounds, provide the tart and rustic flavors associated with sour ales. “a sour ale can take months to ferment and is typically aged for one to three years.” Fermenting beer with sour bugs can be very different than fermenting non-sour beer.
- The most notable difference is the time commitment.
- While a standard homebrew typically ferments in one to three weeks with a few more weeks of aging, a sour ale can take months to ferment and is typically aged for one to three years.
- This aging process allows the sour flavors to develop, and smooths out the harsher flavors that can be produced by the exotic bacterias.
Historically, most beer produced before the use of stainless steel probably had at least some level of sourness. Sour bugs live quite comfortably in the staves of wooden barrels that were used to store and age ales. When a barrel was filled with a new brew, the bacteria would transfer to the liquid, eat the leftover sugars and then wait for the next batch of beer to be made.
If a beer was consumed quickly, the sourness may not have been noticeable. Brews with a higher alcohol or hop content would also hold off the bugs for a longer period of time. Since Brettanomyces and sour bacteria live so comfortably in wood, modern commercial brewers who are intentionally making sour ales will often age them in oak barrels.
This creates a natural habitat for the bugs to work. Some of the bacteria will produce more acid in the presence of oxygen, which can permeate an oak barrel much easier than a stainless steel fermentor. Homebrewers who are brewing sour ales can mimic the commercial oak barrel techniques by adding oak chips in the carboy.
The bacteria will find its way into the oak chips in one batch, and they can be transferred to a second carboy to pass on the souring bacteria from one batch to the next. Brettanomyces, or Brett for short, is the most common yeast used when making a sour ale. It can produce some very funky flavors that some homebrewers describe as “horse blanket”, but I prefer to call rustic.
These flavors pair quite well with the sour characteristics you will get from the bacteria used to produce sour ales. Using Brett on its own will not make a beer sour, but this yeast will always make a very dry beer with a very low final gravity and funky flavors.
Brett is actually able to eat more complex sugar than standard yeast, but it tends to be a little slower. A common technique is to add a standard beer yeast and Brett to the fermentor at the same time. The regular yeast will ferment as much as it can at the beginning, and as it slows down the Brett will take over and finish the fermentation.
In some cases, Brett is added after the primary fermentation is complete. The Belgian Trappist beer Orval is known for this technique, where the brewers add Brett to the beer just as it’s being bottled. In this case, the yeast actually continues to change the flavor of the beer in the bottle for years, which is why a 5 year old bottle of Orval will taste very different from a new bottle if you try them side by side.
Brettanomyces is available to homebrewers from both White Labs and Wyeast. Lactobacillus is a bacteria that produces a distinct tartness in the form of lactic acid. The variety used in brewing is closely related to the Lactobacillus used in making cheese, but it’s not exactly the same species. This sour bug is prominently exhibited in the sour German wheat styles Gose and Berliner Weiss.
It’s a very temperamental bacteria that does not propagate in beers with even a mild hop content or alcohol above 4% ABV. Homebrewers can buy Lactobacillus in most homebrew shops, but the use should be limited to styles that call for the bacteria specifically.
- Pediococcus is a tenacious souring bacteria that also produces lactic acid and tends to make a lot of the buttery flavored compound called diacetyl.
- It is typically used in conjunction with funky and rustic flavored Brettanomyces.
- You can find Pediococcus in the bottom of bottles of the classic Belgian sour ales made by Cantillon.
This bug is less common in homebrewing stores, but it is produced by Wyeast and it’s available from White Labs in a blend of sour bacteria. Homebrewers should take extreme caution when using Pediococcus, since it can easily infect equipment and wreck other brews that are not supposed to turn out to be sour.