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.
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