Pour beer. Turn on computer. Write. Some musings over beer that span everything from things we’ve done to things we’d like to do. From the profound to the petty, it’s just stuff that’s on our mind. Thanks for reading.
Boba Brett Sour Project Intro: Part 2
May 20, 2017
If you haven’t read part one of this series, start there to get the overview of our brand new Boba Brett Sour Project, and then come back! If you’re in the right place, let’s hop right into answering some of the questions surrounding the Boba Brett Sour Project.
You might be wondering, “what makes Boba Brett sour?” And while there are several microbes involved in that reply (Lactobacillus and Pediococcus included), we’ll just touch on our project’s namesake, Brett(anomyces), since he’s one of the main answers to that question anyways.
Brett is a strain of yeast, and he’s basically the Big Kahuna when it comes to wild yeast. Brett serves to ferment sour beers, and let us tell ya, he takes his sweet time doing it. Unlike Saccharomyces, the yeast used to ferment most other beers, that only takes days or weeks to develop, Brett can take months or sometimes years to come into his character fully. Depending on the strain of Brett, his character, or flavor, can be anything from pineapple to Band-Aid; Lucky for you (and us), even though Boba Brett is a character from the Dark Side, he does not favor the latter flavor, but he is responsible for the funky flavor you love in a sour.
Now that you know how Boba Brett came to be, want to know how sour each beer that comes from the project will be? We’ve got you covered. We’ll be measuring that through the process of titration. While many breweries use pH to figure out how “sour” the beer is (and we’re doing this too, it’s actually the first step in titration), it only gives you part of the picture when dealing with the weak organic acids present in beer. So, we also wanted to test titratable acidity, which is an approximation of the total acidity (which is mostly lactic acid in sour beer) in the solution, as this can be a more accurate predictor of how “sour” the beer will taste on your palate.
The first beer we’re releasing from the Boba Brett Sour Project is Baril de Saison, and she weighs in at 4.72 g/L (grams per liter). To give you a reference, on the scale of titratable acidity, a 4 means the “sour” taste is just barely noticeable and 12 is extremely “sour”’ (more funky/unpleasant than you’d be interested in drinking). Since Baril de Saison is blended with the Boba Brett sour base, there will just be a hint of sour. Boba Brett by himself, however, will weigh in somewhere between 6-7, but our lab guys are still in the process of determining this exactly.
You’ve probably seen a wine or whiskey barrel in your time brewery-hopping, but have you ever seen a foeder (pronounced FOOD-er)? A foeder is basically like a giant barrel, and two of them (30 barrels each) call our OG location home. Instead of having to use a multitude of different barrels to age beer, we’re able to use these to produce more consistent beers, and in a more efficient and timely manner. Foeders allow oxygen to slowly seep into the sour beers, which is important for a beer that takes a longer time to ferment.
Want a taste?
We’re also dreaming up an incredible, exclusive Boba Brett Sour Project Experience where you could get up-close and personal with our sours and the brewer who made them (Bart Roberts aka OG Funkmaster). The night would include visiting our OG location (on North Davidson Street), where the sour project lives, to take an in-depth look at the creative and lengthy process of making sour beers. As you may have guessed, this will certainly be a taste-and-learn event, and not just the sour beers that are available to the public! You could get in on the action for around $30-35 per person. Sound like something you’d attend? Let us know by responding this survey so we can make it happen!