Saturday, January 28, 2017

Debunking the Myth of Yeast Respiration and Putting Oxygen in Its Proper Place

Originally Published by Tracy Aquilla in Brewing Techniques (Volume 5, Number 2)

"Through it flies in the face of popular wisdom, yeast does not go through a respiration phase in the early stages of fermentation. A careful look at yeast metabolism and reproduction reveals a common misunderstanding and points the way to more sophisticated applications of oxygen in the brewery.

Fermentation is perhaps the most interesting and exciting part of brewing beer. There is something fascinating about watching yeast in action, and being close to the process contributes immensely to my enjoyment of my beer. No matter how well we do our part in preparing bitter wort for fermentation, it is the yeast that turns it into beer. For this reason alone, it is important to understand and appreciate what these microorganisms are really doing inside our fermentors. Most of the popular brewing literature, however, fosters a misconception about yeast and fermentation. This articles sets the record straight.

Most of the brewing literature indicates that brewers’ yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and S. uvarum) required dissolved oxygen for a brief period of time after pitching so the cells can respire and grow, implying that yeast needs oxygen to bud and must respire before it can ferment wort. It is true that aerating or oxygenating wort is generally beneficial to fermentation, but it is untrue to say that yeast requires oxygen to reproduce or that yeast uses oxygen to respire during fermentation. The misunderstanding may be subtle, but it is a misunderstanding nonetheless. Gaining a clear understanding of the truth about how yeast works not only sets us on sound technical foundations, but has practical applications as well. This article briefly discusses yeast metabolism, clarifies the role of oxygen, and suggests some practical applications of this more refined understanding of fermentation processes."

Read the rest of the article: Here

No comments:

Post a Comment