Out-Of-Control Yeast

Homebrew Yeast on the Rise
by Daniel Gray

What We Recently Learned About Beer – Saturday School Session 2

There are two living organisms that participate in the brewing process: humans and yeast. As a living organism, yeast has the ability and the power to eat, grow and ferment wort into alcohol. Like human brewers, yeast is volatile, picky, demanding, and sometimes, down-right rebellious. We learned this the hard way on a recent brewery tour.

Without proper sanitation and sterilization procedures after fermentation, yeast will remain alive and active, eagerly awaiting the next batch of beer to begin its tour-de-force of eating. This is sometimes a good thing, as home and commercial brewers can reuse yeast a few times before it wears out (though this is usually a heavily controlled and monitored process).

But if the brewer was not intending to use the same yeast for their next beer, problems can rapidly occur. Continue reading