"clean" as a descriptor in sour beer?

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"clean" as a descriptor in sour beer?

First off, I love the podcast I have been listening since the very first episode.  Congratulations on 1 year.  My question is simple and mostly semantic.  What are your thoughts on "clean" being used a descriptor in sour beer.  It seems to me that any mixed fermentation that has been inoculated/infected with bacteria can hardly be described as "clean".  Crisp perhaps or unclutered but clean?  There is an entire segment of the brewing industry producing chemicals to clean and sanitize brewing equipment for the express purpose of removing and killing any beer spoiling bacteria.  Does clean not mean free of beer spoiling bacteria anymore?  How then can this be an acceptable descriptor in sour beer?  What say you good sirs?  

PS I am way more RDWHAH than I am ' get off my lawn'

dmtaylor's picture
"Clean" just means there's

"Clean" just means there's nothing distracting like sulfur or barnyard or nasty phenols.  You just get some tartness and beery flavor without all of those off-flavors or aromas.  It's often a compliment, unless some strangeness is more desired by the judge.

What in the hell does "crisp" mean, for that matter?  Nothing specific that I could ever tell.

Dave "This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)