Bacteria that live in sour beer cans could have a key role in how the beer tastes.
Bacteria living in the can can can, known as “rocks,” can produce compounds that are used to flavor beer.
But if bacteria can make the compounds, they could help craft beer makers to avoid harmful flavorings, such as sulfites, which are used in traditional beer and have been linked to cancer.
A new study published in the journal Food Chemistry by a team led by UC Davis researchers found that when they treated two strains of bacteria with different types of antibiotics, the bacteria in the “rook” bacteria produced a more intense flavor, with a milder, sweeter taste.
The team also found that the “rock” bacteria could produce more compounds than the “sour monkey” bacteria, which produce more sulfites.
This study has implications for beer-making.
“It gives us an opportunity to study the evolution of these bacteria in more detail, and to understand how these organisms evolved to produce compounds to be used in beer,” said John C. Williams, a graduate student in food microbiology at UC Davis and lead author of the study.
Williams said that if bacteria are important to brewing, they may not have evolved to make sulfites or other compounds that people have become accustomed to using.
If bacteria were essential to beer, the researchers would have seen differences between strains that were produced in different ways, such that the bacteria produced compounds with a higher degree of sulfites and compounds with less sulfites than those produced by the “dry monkey” strain.
But there were no differences in the amount of sulfite compounds produced, Williams said.
Bacterial diversity has been linked with beer quality, Williams added.
In fact, the study also found a direct correlation between bacterial diversity and the concentration of sulfate compounds.
While sulfites have been associated with sour beers for years, Williams and his colleagues also found this relationship between the bacteria and their taste.
They found that bacteria produced less sulfite and more sulfite-containing compounds in the presence of sulfide compounds, which tend to be the most common compounds in beer.
Williams said the findings may shed light on the evolution and use of these compounds, but he said they could also have implications for the use of other compounds in brewing, such an adjunct to beers, that can help brewers taste their beers more intensely.
What we know about the origins of beer is that it has been around for centuries.
Some brewers are using it to make a beer with a distinctive flavor, such a sour note, but they’re still finding ways to alter the taste to create their own beers.
Researchers at UC San Diego have found that many species of bacteria, including the ones in the sour monkey and the rolling rock species, produce compounds called phenols, which have been used in brewing for centuries, but that they can also make compounds that have a sweet taste.
This study, by Williams and colleagues, suggests that bacteria may have evolved the ability to produce these compounds and have a role in the flavor of beer.