Knowledge Is Power is our new beer series to increase flavor intensity and develop and improve the complexity of our beers. We want to translate scientific findings into liquid story experiences you can enjoy.
Knowledge Is Power #2 is all about thiols. By using a wine yeast which is known to enhance the release thiols from their bound precurser form we want to achieve a more complex fruit characteristic in our IPAs while also ensure a better shelf stability. For reasons of comparison we brewed again an identical reference beer but without the co-fermenting wine yeast.
Malts: Pilsner malt, Oat malt, Chit malt
Hop varieties : Strata, US Columbus, Nelson Sauvin, US Cascade
Specialty: Co-fermentation with wine yeast
We are always on the hunt for findings to improve our beers and our knowledge about it. India Pale Ale became a sort of a synonym for this craft beer movement and this beerstyle experienced a huge alteration over the last decade, apparently reaching its upper limit in terms of innovation and making new breathtaking experiences. The possibility to communicate with every creative brewery in a global network — besides all the benefits of it — seems to be responsible for an evolving lack of uniqueness due to shared techniques and processes. This is the brewers side. One the other side we see a customer who craves for a certain flavor in a narrow range in his IPAs while demanding for new, innovational creations on a daily basis just to drink it once and never twice. From a brewers perspective the availablity of different hop varieties — and therefore different IPAs — is too big to not meet this demand and, simultaneously, the Time-to-Market-Window is too small to be able to work on new and reasonable creations without being scared to be left behind.
With our Knowledge Is Power-Series we want to reach the next stage, the next level of brewing IPAs to hopefully escape from the hunt of different single brewed IPAs every month . This Knowledge Is Power-Series is not restricted to IPAs only, but for this certain style we have already a lot of different ideas and pre-development-work going on right now.
In the end of the day we want you to be part of this story to be able to gain as much knowledge as possible for all of us!
This is Knowledge Is Power #2
Wine as a beverage is held in such high regard that it’s no secret at all that wine is some kind of a role model for the product and the scene of beer. But beside it’s reputation as a brand-like beverage there are some techniques and natural given processes in the wine making industry which can be adapt to the beer brewing process to create more complex, flavorful and more efficient beers. In this specific scenario we want to look at those already introduced Thiols.
Thiols are sulfur compounds (R‑SH) which are known for their highly aromatic fruit-like odor and can be found in certain grape varieties. Depending on which thiol group we are looking at we can see aroma descriptions from passionfruit, pineapple and guava to grapefruit, rhubarb and gooseberry. Luckily, for us brewers, Thiols can not only be found in grapes but also in malt and hops. That means: Using the Learnings from the wine industry on brewing beer should benefit the aromatic complexity.1
The good thing about thiols is their very low sensory threshold (we are talking here about few nanograms per liter). That means you only need very few of these thiols to be able to perceive them. The other side of the coin is that most of these thiols has to be released from their bound precurser form to be considered aromatic. By saying this I have to mention that there are ‑depending on the variety- certain quantities of free thiols in hops and malts which already have influence on the aroma of the beer. But improving usage efficiency of the ingredients and creating a bolder overall impression of our beers doesn’t sound too bad, I guess. Especially when it may help in to increase shelf stability of highly hopped IPAs.
When Thiols became a thing in recent years, they knew that enzyms are the key in releasing thiols from their precurser form. Unfortunately, common beer yeast strains don’t have these needed enzyms. Therefore there are two different pathways to make sure that those enzyms find their way into the fermenting beer wort. Pathway one is to controllably mutate commonly in brewing used yeast strains (which is some kind of a sped up version of the natural evolution of a certain yeast strain) until the needed metabolic characteristics can be found. Common examples regarding the release of thiols are thiolized yeasts like Cosmic Punch from Omega Yeast Labs©.2 On the second pathway you are looking for already existing microorganisms which are capable of the metabolic characteristics you are looking for. In this scenario it needs to be made sure that this microorganism does not have an negativ impact on your process or product safety and quality.3
In our approach we find ourself at pathway two by using a wine yeast which is well known for its capability of releasing thiols being aware of the other impacts of this yeast on our beer as well. Beside its very own specific aroma, this yeast releases some substances which function as a toxine for other yeast strains and therefore alters the fermentation progress. As you can see, including this yeast strain is not quite ean easy task.
To bring this to an end: By using this yeast we want to increase the overall aroma expression while maintaing a better shelf stability as well without perceiving wine-yeast-like aromas at all.
1 We already did this in our first commercial beer First Steps almost two years ago but we’ve recognised quickly that the people were missing that “extra-kick” because of the lack of possibilities for comparison when labeling an IPA as “co-wine-yeast-fermented”. By giving you the chance to compare them side by side we want to showcase the impact of this beautiful add-on.
2 It has to be said that this presentation of altering the behaviour of micoorganisms has been simplified and there are different and more complex techniques an methods to achieve desirable mutations. Actually often in combining both pathways. For further information about the development of Omege yeasts thiolized yeast strains visit Omega Yeast.
3 To give you a beer intern example: Some brettanomyces yeast strains are capable of releasing thiols as well but the negativ impact of these yeasts on 100% saccharomyces strain fermented beer styles like modern IPAs likely outshines the positive one.
The survey about this series helps us to accumulate a huge amount of impressions and feedback while having fun drinking these beers. It is also to be understood as a part of the naming of this series. A better knowledge of our favorite beverage can only be achieved when we all are able to share our experiences, thoughts and impressions. We welcome you to be part of it!
You will find the QR-Code to this survey on every Knowledge Is Power-Can and every keg has a card with the QR-Code on it as well, in hope to get as much feedback as possible no matter if you are drinking it from the can or draft in your favorite bar. 🙂