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 href="http://www.paddockwood.com/index.php">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, href="http://www.wyeastlab.com/hvino/homewprlist.htm">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