April 22, 2016 by fhsteinbart
Today, living in the early 21st century, we have at our disposal more yeasts than ever before, and we’re finding even more! When the discovery was made that the original Lager beer yeast came from Patagonia, the world went sideways. That meant that the yeast traveled to Europe, and took hold in Germany in about 50 years! Quite an epic voyage for a creature the size of a red blood cell in my humble opinion. Now that we have sequenced the DNA of all beer and wine yeasts, we stand at a cross-road, and there are going to be even more choices about which yeast to use and for what end resulting beer we desire. Soon there will be designer yeast that will be flavorful, resistant to infection, attenuate well, and flocculate well. At the moment, only a few yeasts have those kinds of properties, but soon we could find ourselves faced with perhaps too much selection! While there are around a few hundred individual strains, there are only 3 major archetypical yeasts, namely S. Cerevisiae, S. Eubayanus, and S. Pastorianus. I suppose now that your eyes have glazed over and your brain is full, you’d think I’ve given you more than enough to chew on for awhile, but that’s not how I roll! Probably one of the most exciting news is how gushing can be reduced by magnetic fields. Apparently these magnetic fields cause the particles of hops to disperse, allowing the nucleation sites to also disperse which causes gushing in the first place! So between genetics, magnetics, and selective adaptation, we will very soon have designer yeasts to brew with. Very exciting stuff indeed!