Taylor Lane, Russian River Brewing Company‘s head lab tech, joins Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras on the Brew Ha Ha podcast today. She was in graduate school in Microbiology at Cal Poly Pomona, working as a lab technician and manager and researching her thesis subject of probiotic bacteria, when she found that they had a culinary program. She thought there could be good professional opportunities for her in the brewing field. She worked for Ritual Brewing company while in school and then for Innovation Brew Works, where she set up their entire lab operation. Three years ago the joined Russian River Brewing Company as head lab tech.
The lab is at the center of the production process, as Taylor Lane describes it. Day to day, they test the tanks that are in process and perform various analytics. They look for sugar, color, turbidity or haze, or bitterness, all the variables that brewers care about. They check to see that their yeast is healthy and that there is no unwanted or wild yeast getting in. They also are involved in tasting the final product.
Herlinda Heras asks Taylor Lane about the big room at RRBC’s Windsor location with the cool ship. She describes how surprised some people are about the science required to run a good brewery. Yeast counts and yeast types are important to maintaining a consistent product.
Herlinda asks, why is sour beer good for you? It’s different in this way. It is first fermented as a normal beer, then another sour yeast is added, with other ingredients, to produce the sour beer. Some of the bacteria in their sour stock are bacteria that are also found in our microbiome. That is a relatively new term for the community of bacteria and viruses that live inside us and on us.
The Beverage People have everything for home brewing, winemaking, also cider, mead, kombucha, kefir, cheese, olives, yogurt and more. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff are available to advise you about using their stuff. (Normally they hold lots of classes but that’s off for now due to Coronavirus precautions.)
Open Tuesday through Saturday
pre-order curbside hours are 10 am – 6:30pm,
walk-up hours are shorter, noon to 4pm.