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Blinded by Science: Yeast Autolysis!

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August 21, 2015 by fhsteinbart


Here we see dean autolyzed yeast cells layered out looking more like cheese curds than yeast cakes.

Here we see dead autolyzed yeast cells layered out and looking more like cheese curds than yeast cakes.

When I was a beginning brewer I was warned buy those who preceded me to beware of prolonged contact with the yeast in primary as it can lead to yeast autolysis. If you aren’t familiar with that particular flavor/aroma, just open up a bottle of unsalted soy sauce, and you’ll see why people are concerned about it. I’ve never encountered that off flavor in my beers as I have come to believe that autolysis comes from poor, unhealthy, under pitched yeast. Since I always pitch an adequate amount of healthy active yeast, the situation has never had a chance to manifest itself in my brewery. If you clicked on the link above and read the top ten causes for autolysis you’ll soon see that what I said is not only true, but one I think came from improper yeast and temperature management. As long as you take care of your yeast partners, they will reward you with great beer!

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