spontaneous fermentation by murmer | 07:17
in january, 2012 i visited the cantillon brewery in brussels, where they practice traditional spontaneous fermentation brewing. this means that no yeast or other fermenting agents are added to the brews; everything needed is present in the atmosphere. the wooden building is an ecosystem unto itself, having developed the perfect balance and blend of natural yeasts living in the beams and floorboards; these brews could not be made anywhere else. and yet the brewery is constantly threatened by authorities unsatisfied with their wooden facilities, hygiene and lack of sterilization, all things without which they could not brew. while in the aging room we came across this barrel, fermenting and foaming and releasing its gas around a large cork hammered into the top. the ecosystem in full swing.
photo: andrew zarenski