From Bottom to Top: A Feast from Yeast

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April 4, 2014 by Prost Brewing

Bubbles Formed During Brewing; Courtesy of: Ildar Sagdejev; Under the License:

Bubbles Formed During Brewing; Courtesy of: Ildar Sagdejev; Under the License:

No matter what style of beer you are drinking, rest assured that you are enjoying a feast from yeast. Yeast has always been a vital ingredient to the beloved brew, acting to ferment the carbohydrate rich malt into golden grainy goodness. Of course, in medieval times the brewers had a slightly different concept of how fermentation took place than we do today.

Today we know that there are two main families of yeast that make great beer – formally known as “ale” and “lager” yeasts. These single cell fungi differ in some fundamental ways that ultimately lead to different styles of beer. Ale yeasts are most active when they are set in an environment that is cozy and warm ranging from around 59 degrees to 77 degrees fahrenheit. At this cozy temperature range, these yeasts will produce their best tasting beer, throwing up thick layers of foam in the process. Ale yeasts are also unique in that they ferment sugars that lay at the top of the brew, only sinking to the bottom when they are dormant after they have eaten all they can.

Lager yeasts, on the other hand, actively ferment the sugars that lie at the bottom of the brew. Unlike their ale yeast cousins, lager yeasts produce the best flavors when they are left to ferment in cooler environments ranging around 39 degrees to 48 degrees fahrenheit. They may still ferment at higher temperatures, but they will produce off flavors in the process.

From bottom to top, yeasts work their magic, turning what was just a plain ole mash of grains and water into a complex, flavor filled brew that is loved and feasted upon the world round. At Prost Brewing, we take our yeast seriously, fully embracing the vital role it plays in making any authentic German lager. Using yeast acquired straight from the old Benedictine Andechs monastery located just outside of Munich, we are able to add that extra German ingredient that ensures our beer is as authentic as you will find this side of the Atlantic!

Now for a “Prost!” to the wonders of yeast! We couldn’t live (i.e. drink beer) without it!


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