Yeast Flocculation Impacts a Brewer’s Finished Product

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August 1, 2014 by Prost Brewing

Yeast cells go to work during fermentation, and each yeast strain behaves differently.

Yeast cells go to work during fermentation, and each yeast strain behaves differently.

As you’ve learned from our previous posts on this topic, fermentation is a highly technical science unto itself. So many factors are at play when wort is converted into alcohol, carbon dioxide, and the other fermentation by-products that ultimately make up the finished product. A strain of yeast is carefully selected for fermentation based on its flocculation properties, among other reasons we’ve previously discussed. Flocculation is the grouping together of individual yeast cells into clumps during fermentation.

Different strains of yeast contribute toward different rates of flocculation. High, medium, or low flocculation of yeast cells can occur as a result of the specific strain of yeast chosen. With lagers, the classification of most Prost Brewing biers, flocculation tends to increase as fermentation increases. The yeast cells clump together and settle at the bottom of the fermentation vessel, quietly continuing to absorb any unwanted by-products. Bier styles such as our Weißbier require yeast that results in lower flocculation, with more yeast cells left in suspension. The result is a hazier, yeasty appearance that’s appropriate for a German style wheat bier.

When flocculation, which also depends on many controlled factors such as temperature, goes according to plan, our bier styles end up looking and tasting exactly as they should. Our lagers like Pils, Dunkel and Märzen Oktoberfest will have a clean taste, bright appearance, and appropriate sweetness that comes from the malt character, and not any residual unfermented sugars. We take great pride in applying our expertise to brew bier with consistency, quality and excellence in every batch. Prost!

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