ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Beer - Top 8 Keys to Improving Quality - 5 & 6

Updated on October 28, 2009

5. Behold The Power Of Liquid Yeast

Yeast contributes significantly to the flavor profile of beer. Those packets of dry yeast that come with extract kits can turn wort into beer, provided they are not too old. However, liquid yeast cultures can take your beer to another dimension. Although the quality of dry yeast is better today than it was 10 years ago, it may still contain contaminants in the form of wild yeast and bacteria. Beer made from liquid yeast cultures generally has a cleaner and overall better flavor. Liquid cultures also offer more variety. Dry yeast is typically only available in two types, lager and ale. There has also been some question whether dry lager yeasts are true lager strains.

Liquid yeast cultures are available in many different strains. From the complex, malt accentuated flavor of some English ale strains to the dry, crisp characteristics of certain American lager strains, liquid cultures are available for just about any beer style. Thus, liquid yeast cultures make it much easier for home brewers to achieve the desired flavor profile for a particular style of beer.

Although the use of liquid cultures is somewhat more involved than dry, it is not as difficult as some brewers believe. They do require special handling and cost more, but the increase in the quality and variety you get in your beer is worth the added effort and expense. If you use the new, larger packages, which are designed to contain a sufficient quantity to ferment a full five gallon batch, you need only follow the directions provided with the yeast. Smaller packages don't have enough yeast to ferment that much wort. Thus, they require the use of a starter culture to avoid problems associated with underpitching, such as long lag times, under attenuation, and stuck fermentations. Starter cultures increase the number of healthy yeast cells for pitching. Preparation involves adding the liquid culture to a larger quantity of sterile wort and allowing it to ferment before pitching into five gallons of wort.

6. Keep It Clean

Many of the quality related problems experienced by beginning brewers are the direct result of contamination. Wild yeasts and bacteria can affect the flavor, aroma, clarity, body, and stability of beer. Thus, they are just bad news and their presence in your beer should be kept to a minimum. The best way to prevent contamination is through cleaning, sanitation, and good aseptic technique.

If you've ever visited a brewery, you have undoubtedly noticed that they are very clean places. From the floors and walls to the smallest pieces of equipment, commercial breweries pay strict attention to cleanliness. If you want to consistently produce good quality beer, you should do the same for your brewery. Keep your overall brewing environment and all of your equipment clean. Watch for deposits in bottles and kegs. Your equipment and brewing supplies must be thoroughly cleaned before they can be sanitized. Dust, dirt, and other residues provide hiding places as well as food for microorganisms.

To prevent contamination, anything that touches your cooled wort or beer should be sanitized. Among small-scale brewers, the most popular sanitizing methods are heat and chemical. An example of heat sanitization is immersing a wort chiller in boiling wort before using it to cool the wort. Popular chemical sanitizers include chlorine and iodophor. These chemicals are diluted with water and allowed to remain in contact with the surface of equipment for a sufficient time to destroy wild yeast and bacteria.

Aseptic technique is employed to prevent contamination of wort, beer, and yeast cultures by the brewer, contaminated objects, and the environment. Good aseptic technique comes with practice and knowledge of the ways in which beer can become contaminated. Contamination can come from you, from the air, and from objects that contact your beer or yeast culture. Be careful not to touch your cooled wort, beer or yeast cultures with your hands or objects which have not been sanitized. Sanitize the outside of yeast packages before opening them. Don't allow vessels containing wort, beer, or yeast to sit uncovered. Be extra careful when transferring beer or yeast from one container to another. Do everything you can to keep contamination to a minimum and you should notice an improvement in your beer.

Continued In: Beer - Top 8 Keys to Improving Quality - 7 & 8

Back To Start


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)