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45. Using the Brix/TA ratio to determine sensory perception in sour beers

K. M. TAYLOR (1); (1) White Labs, San Diego, CA, U.S.A.

Friday, October 9
4:00–5:45 p.m.
Grand 6–8

As sour beers become more popular, the most common trend is becoming the more sour the better. The most common practice to estimate the sourness of a beer is pH and sensory perception. Measuring sourness by titratable acidity (TA) is a better indicator in relation to sensory perception. Because of this, the use of TA testing of beer has become more popular. Measuring TA is very popular in wineries to understand the acidity of the beer and relates better to sensory perception than pH. Wineries also use the Brix/TA ratio to determine sensory attributes. Using the Brix/TA ratio in sour beers can help predict the level of sourness perceived by the customer. Using a trained sensory panel and many sessions of sour tastings in combination with the Brix/TA ratio we are able to correlate the ratio to the sour ratings. This correlation can then be used to estimate the perception of how sour a beer is.

Kara Taylor has been with White Labs since 2009. She became interested in fermentation science while home brewing during her days at Loyola Marymount University. She received a B.S. degree in biology in 2009 and began employment at White Labs in San Diego, CA, as a yeast laboratory technician. Since January 2014, she has functioned as the analytical laboratory manager. Kara is a member of MBAA and the American Society of Brewing Chemists.