Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Two New Pages: Microbes from Dregs and Labs

Two of the most valuable and time consuming sections I wrote for American Sour Beers didn’t make the final cut, and I couldn’t be happier!

I updated and greatly expanded my list of commercial sour/funky beers that contain viable bottle dregs. To do this I talked to staff at dozens of breweries to get the information on what categories of microbes (Brett+Bacteria, Brett, or Bacteria) are in their bottles. While this information is valuable for harvesting microbes for isolating or repitching, it will also give you a hint of how these beers are produced.

Some brewers prefer a bit more control and repeatability in their souring process, so I also compiled a list of the microbes and blends available from labs (and collected by hobbyists). I tried to include every blend and isolate of wild yeast and bacteria on the market today, but it is tough with so many small yeast labs popping up. I tried to include notes on the strains I have experience with. It is relatively easy to isolate new strains, the real work will be in determining which strains are valuable, for what, and under what conditions!

Why am I so happy that so much of my hard work was cut? Because, in both cases the information is likely to change and expand over the coming years. As pages on the blog, I can keep them current, rather than leaving them as static sections of the book. There are so many new sour beers and microbes coming onto the market though that neither will ever be comprehensive, but I’ll try! If you’d like to dispute anything, or offer additions, please leave comments on the respective pages.

Next week I’ll be at the National Homebrewers Conference in Grand Rapids, presenting on “The Influence of Mashing on Sour Beer Production” (look for a video on a future episode of Chop & Brew). While I'm there I'll also be talking to James Spencer (for Basic Brewing Radio), and signing copies of American Sour Beers (the AHA pre-sale is on soon, and the book will be available at the conference)! Also listen for the premier of my spot on The Brewing Network during their live show this Sunday.


Jeffrey Crane said...

Thank you for all your hard work.

I remember sending you an email about 4 yrs ago about some bottle dregs and at the time the amount was limited enough that you could reply in an email. And now that list of bottle dregs is just overflowing and is truly a great reference for any homebrewer that wants an easy way into the sour brewing side.

Have fun with your presentations/interviews.

Ben said...

Awesome, man! Just saw that Amazon just shipped your book to me! Wow. Kinda crazy. Should get here early next week and I'm sure I'll have it finished soon after. Thanks for all your guidance and wisdom over the years. Looking forward to even more to come!

Gene said...

How was NHC?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

It was a trip! Drank some terrific beer at Jolly Pumpkin, Three Floyd's, Right Brain, Odd Side, Short's, EB, Founder's, The Livery, and Hop Cat. Got to sign a copy of my book to John Palmer. Got to speak about sour beers to hundreds of people. Got to listen to Randy Mosher's inspiring talk. Got to hang out with James Spencer and Steve Wilkes. Got to meet all sorts of cool homebrewers! The 500 copies of American Sour Beers sell out.

Can't complain!