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Liquid Yeast

Many home vintners and home zymurgists don’t know about the single most important ingredient available for use in their home brews. I’m talking about liquid yeast.

Liquid yeast is cultured in labs at all of the major labels. It is propagated from slants sometimes dating back to Pasteur himself. A slant is is simply a bacterial culture. Yeast eats the nutrient rich agar in a culture glass or test tube. Commercial enterprises have taken cultured yeasts specialised for particular beer styles or a grape and made available to the home brewer a simple pure yeast culture to pitch into their creations.

I use Wyeast Labs, not out of any preference, but because fresh packs are available locally from Paddock Wood where I get all of my brewing supplies.

Liquid yeast can be propagated from a single yeast cell. It is as pure as it can be. Dry yeast while much more numerous in active yeast cells, suffers from impurities. Liquid yeasts have much more choice compared to dry yeasts. As Ian is a wine maker, and as an example of the variety of wine yeast strains, here is a listing of Wyeast Labs available wine yeasts.

Liquid yeasts are not hard to use . . . and the added advantage is that if you take proper precautions, a few simple steps can extend the life of the yeast through more then a few generations of brew. That’s something unheard of with dry yeasts. I’ll talk about that at a later date. As a hook, my latest lager is the fifth lager I’ve done with this yeast.

Yeast is the single greatest ingredient to beer and wine. The

malts and juices provide the basis, but the yeasts create the

flavours, the alcohol and the balance. Proper yeast selection

can make or break the quaff-ability of a drink. Take some time

selecting the proper liquid yeast and you’ll notice the

difference.

One Response to Liquid Yeast

  • Ian says:

    Lance, your post is interesting. Liquid yeast is more expensive – but as you say, is pure. I’m looking forward to your next article on extending the life of the yeast. I imagine this would bring the total real costs down. Is it considerable? How many “generations” could one get out liquid yeast?

    Looking forward to more information on this!

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