Three years ago we started making kettle soured beers. We did a pretty good job with the process with La Mure becoming a cult summer seasonal and Become the Ocean making it into our top 5 sellers. We put a lot of effort into making our process clean and precise in order to avoid the rather intense faults which can occur when things go wrong. However, over time I became less happy with some of the flavour profiles that kettle souring was producing. There is something about the character produced by boiling the souring bacteria which increasingly didn't sit right with me. And so over the last 5 months, I have made a change. Now all our quick soured beers are made by acidifying a portion of the batch with lactic bacteria and then blending in fresh wort and yeast and then fermenting the beer without using heat to stabilize the souring bacteria. The resulting batches are now on the market. There have been a few tweaks to get the acidity where we think it should be but to my tastes, the quick sour beer we are now producing is far superior to what we produced before the change.
So for us, kettle souring is dead! Long live the sour.
Kieran Haslett Moore - Head Brewer
Listen to a review of Become the Ocean for Beer O'clock here