Early Determinants of Quality in Spontaneously Fermented Beer********

Funding Details
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Grant type: Engage Grants Program
  • Year: 2018/19
  • Total Funding: $25,000
Principle Investigator(s)

No researchers found.


Project Summary

While spontaneously fermented sour beer has been produced for centuries, little is known about how the complex communities of microorganisms interact in order to produce the final product. Due to the fact that spontaneously fermented beer can only be produced during certain times of the year, attempts at recreating spontaneous beer using a method of pitched culture fermentation are common. However, due to the lack of knowledge surrounding microbial succession and interactions during the fermentation, these beers are distinctly less complex. Additionally, there is a high percentage of loss during manufacturing due to barrels which need to be discarded due to poor quality beer. We hypothesize that there are early markers of low quality and spoiled beer that can be identified and used in the future to identify and remove bad barrels. Blind Enthusiasm brewing company has the only purpose built facility for manufacturing spontaneous beer in North America and has a significant amount of experience with the manufacturing of this product in both a traditional and mixed culture manner. In order to identify early markers of low quality beer as well as the factors that lead to this loss we need to better understand what is occurring early in the fermentation process. Through this collaboration, Blind Enthusiasm and the Willing lab will study how the microbial composition and metabolite levels during the early stages of fermentation predict the final quality of the beer. We will also examine whether brewing process factors, such as dissolved oxygen in wort and storage temperature of barrels, play a role in the development of the beer. Additionally, bacteria and yeast will be isolated from the fermenting beer and surrounding environment for future use in mixed culture fermented beers.