Thursday, July 7, 2022
EntertainmentBeerthoven: Scots brewery to study effect of piano music on fermenting beer

Beerthoven: Scots brewery to study effect of piano music on fermenting beer

A SCOTS brewery has joined forces with a company of professional musicians in a bid to discover whether playing piano to fermenting beer affects the taste.

Edinburgh-based Bellfield Brewery has teamed up with Pianodrome to run the experiment.

Sean Logan, a member of the company, is playing a wide selection of his music to two batches of new beer now in the fermentation tanks at Bellfield’s brew house.

The two new beers – Resonancy IPA and Resonancy Pilsner- have been brewed specially for Pianodrome’s summer-long ‘Resonancy’ at their new, upcycled piano amphitheatre at the Old Royal High School.

Sean Logan playing piano to a batch of beers at Bellfield's brew house.
Sean is playing some of his own work to two batches of new beer at Bellfield’s brew house. (C) Anthony Ravelo

Yeasts – living organisms used in the production of all beer – are thought to respond to sound. 

Research has shown that sound makes yeast grow faster, alcohol production is increased and aromas are enhanced.  

The research – published by the US National Library of Medicine – states that ‘Specifically, aroma compounds associated with citrus notes were upregulated with the application of sound’.

At the end of the brewing process, Bellfield plans to hold a blind tasting with trade and industry experts including staff and students from the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University, Master Brewer, David Smith (B.A. (Chem), FIBD, Dipl.Brew) and a panel of beer writers.

They’ll taste the two Resonancy beers alongside conventional brews of the same beers to establish whether and how the piano music played during the brewing process has affected taste and aroma.

Resonancy IPA and Resonancy Pilsner will be pouring at the Pianodrome Lounge through the summer.

The Resonancy beers reference Bellfield’s branding concept, which uses patterns reminiscent of sound waves on its packaging.

Speaking about the partnership, Bellfield’s CEO Alistair Brown said: “We’re excited to discover how this musical partnership affects the yeast and fermentation process – and ultimately the taste and aroma of the two beers. 

“We’ve already witnessed Sean give one live performance in the brewhouse, so we’re expecting great things as this collaboration progresses.

“We greatly respect Pianodrome’s ethos of inclusion and community focus, which chimes strongly with our own.”

The ‘Resonancy’ beers will be pouring on draught in The Pianodrome Lounge throughout the Pianodrome ‘Resonancy’ at the Old Royal High, which runs 1st July-11th September 2022. 

Returning for this year’s programme are the Pianodrome Free Lunchtime Concerts, running daily from the 5th-27th August on a free, non-ticketed basis. 

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