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2017 Master Brewers Conference
92. A comparison of selected lactic acid bacteria for use in the production of sour wort and beer.

Timothy Lozen, Bell's Brewery, Inc., Galesburg, MI, U.S.A.

Yeast, Fermentation, and Microbiology

As soured beer becomes more popular within the industry many breweries might find it increasingly difficult to maintain brand consistency as production volumes increase. Therefore, it becomes critical to utilize a souring organism that not only produces a significant amount of favorable lactic acid in a relatively short amount of time, but also contributes other positive organoleptic properties with a minimal potential to produce off-flavors. In this study seven different LAB strains were tested for acid production as measured by pH, titratable acidity, lactic acid by reflectometry, and eight primary sensory characteristics. The following strains were picked for their availability and reputation for use in the brewing industry for wort acidification: L. brevis, L. casei, L. buchneri, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis, L. plantarum, and L. rossiae. Three separate groups of sensory trials were conducted over the course of a month. Each trial consisted of either two or three of the selected strains and were grown and analyzed side by side. Sensory characteristics were ranked by a trained panel with experience tasting sour beer.

Tim Lozen has worked in the craft beer industry for more than 11 years since joining Bell’s Brewery Inc. in 2005. After earning a B.S. degree in psychology from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, he turned his attention full time to the craft beer industry and has since held numerous positions throughout the company. As a brewer Tim has spent several years working with Lactobacillus cultures for the production of sour wort and beer. He currently works as a technical brewer on the Bell’s brewing team.

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