Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Smells Like Chemistry Prose

From the April 2015 issue of Wired magazine, two wonderfully redolent paragraphs regarding the flavor chemistry of yeast metabolites, courtesy of writer William Bostwick:
"The best sourdoughs command the same sort of cultish reverence as the best sour beers and for years were thought to come only from a few places. San Francisco's loaves are so famous, a Lactobacillus species is named after the city: L. sanfranciscensis, known for molecules like fruity isobutanol, butter-sweet acetoin, and grassy 1-hexanol."
If you're more a fan of lambics, perhaps this flavor profile better suits you:
"Pediococcus produces lactic acid, lambic's dominant flavor note, but can also emit funkier flavors such as buttery diacetyl. . . Brettanomyces also makes stuff like caprylic acid (goat smell) and ethyl lactate (horse-blanket smell). They're what make a farmhouse beer taste like a farm."
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*(Title: Apologies to Nirvana).

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