Author Topic: Brewers Share Yeast  (Read 788 times)

Online David in MN

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Brewers Share Yeast
« on: April 23, 2018, 04:45:52 PM »
I was recently in Milwaukee for one of my oldest friend's bachelor parties. We hopped microbreweries all day. [Yes, we used Uber/Lyft and no one drove.] It was a blast. But I learned something really cool. The breweries are sharing yeast.

Yeast is a hard thing for a brewer (those who do know). It's not cheap, you typically use it once, and toss it. [It is possible to yeast harvest but it's not that popular.] Most breweries tend to toss their yeast as they lack the sanitary environment to culture and keep it. So the new solution with Milwaukee breweries came up with is to share yeast. Brewery A finishes a hefeweizen and hands off the yeast to brewery B. This is repeated a few times until the yeast runs out and won't take in a starter culture.

This shook me a little. Rarely do you see a business give an expensive commodity to a direct competitor. But it makes sense. By supporting the competition you save thousands from the yeast companies. The partnership is so strong the owner of Westallion Brewing showed up in a Lakefront Brewing jacket.

It was a good thing to see that the breweries supported their competition. Truth is that in building the community they likely save time and money. And by planning out who gets what strain they optimize production with one another. Also helps that Milwaukee is known for German beers. These breweries are syncing up their Vienna lagers, Munchner dunkelns, hefes, and roggen biers. Hey, it's Milwaukee. We don't do "pale ale".  ;D

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Brewers Share Yeast
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 05:04:18 PM »
I don't know if they are sharing yeast, but in my area, all the micro breweries are helping each other out with anything they need help with.

Like many, I visit a lot of the small breweries in my area.  I really like the ones where the owner/brew master are readily accessible, but in all honesty, even at the new Guinness brewery the brew masters are in the tap room most of the times I've been there. 

But back on topic, I've talked to many of the owners and they all rave about how helpful the other micro brewers are to get things rolling.  There is a fairly large micro brewery in the area that doesn't help the competition all that often.  But most of them do.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Brewers Share Yeast
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 05:10:10 PM »
I have "washed' the trubb left from fermentation when home brewing.  I have had mixed results and don't have lab conditions to control everything.

Online David in MN

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Re: Brewers Share Yeast
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2018, 05:19:52 PM »
I've done the agar culture off bottles from Belgium with mixed results. If they would only give me a gallon of raw beer... Of course this was when I had access to a laboratory with an autoclave and lab sanitation protocol. Most breweries don't have such setups unless you're talking Miller/Budweiser/Coors.

It's really cool to see this fellowship in the industry. They're working to grow the category because a rising tide lifts all boats.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Brewers Share Yeast
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2018, 11:06:13 PM »
Wow! That is very interesting information, Dave. It was nice of you and your buds to do the hardship tour of all the breweries to be able to report back on your findings for us.

Are you planning a follow-up? You should probably check this information and the beer quality periodically to gather data. I don't think you should have to wait for a bachelor party when it is in the name of science.

Offline archer

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Re: Brewers Share Yeast
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2018, 12:58:57 PM »
interesting. i'm glad they are sharing yeasts.