Food & Wine
The importance of healthy yeast for beer brewing
A recent poll conducted by Gallup revealed that an average of 63% of American adults drink alcohol and those who drink beer constitute a major fraction of the figure above. This shows that there is a high demand for beer products, not just in America, but in other countries of the world.
The ingredients used in the beer brewing process include malt, water, hops, and yeast. Yeast is an important ingredient usually added during the beer brewing process within the fermentation stage and it adds a unique flavour to the beer.
What type of yeast is used in making beer and how is it done?
There are types of yeast, all of which perform the same basic functions. However, they all have unique properties as well. There are four types of yeast which are active yeast, fresh yeast, instant yeast, and rapid yeast. These can be used for processing different food and drinks.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an example of instant yeast. It should be noted that instant yeast has a property that allows it to be effective almost as immediately as it is poured. An example of this is the instant leavening effect the yeast produces immediately when it is added.
Yeast becomes necessary in the beer brewing process at the fermentation stage – the stage where yeast is added to the other ingredients. Nonetheless, there are two methods by which beer can be fermented.
The first method is by putting the sugar derived from the malted grains, which is known as the wort in a container, and then the yeast is added on top. This is known as the ale method.
The second method is when the yeast is first poured into the container, and the mixture obtained from the previous stages of the brewing process is added to it. This method is called the lager method.
It should be noted that the ale method allows the beer to absorb more flavour and is effective when used in an environment with a higher temperature.
The lager method is more effective in an environment with a lower temperature. Usually, the lager fermenting process is done using a combination of two yeasts, saccharomyces cerevisiae, and saccharomyces eubayanus.
Why is healthy yeast important in the beer brewing process?
Healthy yeast is important during this process because of the following reasons:
Yeast Ensures Proper Fermentation
Even though the beer may have tendencies to ferment if left to itself, the yeast makes it ferment better and quicker. If yeast is not applied, the brew ferments slowly, which becomes harmful and poisonous to consume.
It prevents the growth of harmful organisms
The addition of yeast to brewed beer prevents the growth of harmful organisms in the beer. This means that yeast is not only a fermentation agent in the beer brewing process but also a preservative.
This, in addition to the natural preservative quality of hops, another major ingredient in the beer brewing process, is what ensures that the beer is safe to be consumed for a long period after production.
Enhances the texture and flavour of beer
The presence of yeast in the beer makes the flavour and texture of beer products unique to other drinks. It has been discovered that the yeast used in the fermentation process of a particular beer goes a long way to determining both the flavour, taste, and texture of the beer.
Gives it the fizz
Yeast gives beer its texture and unique taste. Also, it is important to note that yeast consumes the sugar created in the mash, which leads to the production of carbon dioxide and alcohol.
Fermentation makes beer
Despite all the procedures involved in brewing beer, the fermentation stage makes it beer. The addition of yeast makes the fermentation of the brewed and malted grains possible. Without yeast, there is no fermentation, and without fermentation, the malted grain cannot be properly called beer.
In conclusion, yeast is as important to the brewing industry as it is to the baking industry. You cannot separate yeast from beer brewing; any attempt to do that is to take the entire essence of what makes it beer.