|By the power of Greyskull!|
Ferment, lacto minions!
With the short lived craft beer world star of Black IPA long forgotten (remember that?), extreme experimentation has since mainly focused on sour beers. These lambic style beers are mostly fermented with a mixture of brettanomyces and saccharomyces yeast strains, lactobacillus, and pediococcus. This blend gives the characteristic "sweaty horse blanket" character and extreme sourness. (How many of you out there have actually smelled a sweaty horse blanket?) The problem with lambics is that they're so damned extreme. I love lambics, but I really can't stand to drink more than a couple glasses in a single sitting. The acidity puckers up my mouth and makes my teeth hurt (weird, right?). So, in comes lacto beer to the rescue.
The acidity in a beer soured with lactobacillus alone is usually much less harsh than that found in lambics. It lends the beer a nice crispness, similar to a dry cider. It also gives a very clean acidity--no sweaty horse blankets to be seen. This means you can really bring other flavors from hops, fruit, or spices into the mix. The other important thing with lacto is that you can sour a beer with in a matter of hours or days before you boil and ferment. This means that you can make hoppy lacto beers. The long bacterial fermentation required for lambics just won't work if the beer is hoppy. Hoppy lacto IPA, anyone?
|I will gladly dress up as this man if that|
is what it takes to get some damn gose
I'm excited to see more experimentation with lactobacillus beyond berliner weisse and gose. American brewers have taken lambic experimentation far beyond the tradition, and I can't see that it would be any different with lacto beers. Anyone out there experimenting with lacto at home? Have a favorite berliner weisse, gose, or other lacto soured beer?