Yeast is easily one of the most important flavor contributor for most
beers. If you use the wrong yeast, you are not likely to get the results
you're looking for (unless you get there by accident, or, if you really
know what you're doing, and you're intentionally aiming for a variant of
a more "standad" beer style, by design).
Remember: Brewers don't make beer...YEAST makes beer. Brewers
basically just put everything in the right place at the right time for
the yeasties to make what the brewer is aiming for. (Ok, that's a bit
of an oversimplification, but as a very general concept, it is true.)
My Yeast Bank: RIP
I used to have an extensive yeast bank. Too extensive, in fact, for me
to manage properly after my first cancer destroyed my energy levels. I
couldn't keep the slants up-to-date, and it eventually just ended up a
total loss. I may revive it at some point, but for now, I'm checking out
some of the Wyeast strains to see how they compare with the old Brewtek
strains. If I'm not satisfied with the Wyeast equivalents (specifically
for CL-170, CL-200, CL-450, CL-690, and CL-920), I might be looking to
restart it with only those Brewtek strains. So if you have all of those,
and are willing to send me a master slant of any/all of them, please
contact me at jtmp2 AT outlook DOT com. No, this is
not my normal e-mail address, but it's so heavily filtered against spam,
I might miss your e-mail.
Major Topics Covered Here
- Yeast Strains and Yeast Labs
- Using Yeast For Brewing -
HOW you use yeast is just as important as choosing the right
yeast. This section gives an overview of the life stages of yeast,
things that impair the yeast's health (and thus, have a negative
impact on your beer), and finally, how much yeast you should pitch
into your batch of beer.
- "Yeast Nutrients Make Fermentations Better" by
Christopher White, Ph.D., from White Labs.
In this document, White describes why you SHOULD be using
yeast nutrients. Basically, while you can usually get an adequate
fermentation (with the odd stuck fermentation here or there), you
can get better, faster, cleaner, better-attenuated fermentations,
avoid stuck fermentations, and have healthier, more viable yeast,
by the simple addition of a small quantity of inexpensive yeast
- Basic Stuff You'll Need For Yeast Culturing
- Making Starter Wort - Before you
can make any yeast starters, you will need some starter wort. You can
print this section out as an instruction sheet to work off of.
- Making Yeast Starters:
- Maintaining Your Own Yeast Bank - you
can save money on yeast, have more (and probably better) choices, and
ultimately, brew better beer. Keeping your own yeast bank, or using a
club yeast bank, etc., is a great way to improve your beers and save
money at the same time.
- Making Agar Media for Yeast Culturing
References on Yeast, Yeast Culturing, and Yeast Maintenance
Contact: spooky130u AT gmail DOT com.
Yeast Culturing Practices for Small-Scale Brewers (Karl King,
Brewing Techniques, May/June 1994 issue) - This is a good
overview of brewing using yeast smack packs (etc.), yeast from slants,
and has a paragraph or two on making your own agar plates and slants.
- "Characteristic Flavors From Yeast
(And Their Relationship to World Beer Styles)" - This is an old
(about 10 years old) document that I wrote during a local BJCP study
group. It covers the basic concepts at a relatively simple level
(i.e., no organic chemistry).
Making Plates [and] Slants from German Brewing Techniques - This
is a GREAT step-by-step reference on making plates and slants.
Yeast Propagation and Maintenance: Principles and Practices (formerly
Guide to Yeast Culturing for Homebrewers) (MB Raines, Ph.D.,
Maltose Falcons Home Brewing Society, Los Angeles) - Explains
everything from what yeast is to its life cycle to yeast culturing,
media preparation, and so on. This one document probably covers
everything I was going to write on, and more....
- Yeast Supplemental Material - From the
American Brewer's Guild - includes
general information in yeast handling, yeast harvesting, etc.
- Yeast In Brewing
from ProBrewer.com; by Sylvie Van Zandycke, PhD,
Simple Detection of Wild Yeast and Yeast Stability (Rodney L. Morris,
Brewing Techniques, May/June 1994 issue).